Skin is the largest organ that covers our entire body acting as fine protective cloth. It has no seams but even the smallest tear or irregularity can alter its appearance a great deal. Any type of injury, burn or trauma that disrupts the skin surface, including surgery, can leave a scar.
Scars are usually not a big problem if they’re tiny or in a position where they can be concealed. However, if it’s large and in a visible place, most people consider ways in which it could be treated so that it goes away or, at least, fades to some extent.
In reality, scars never entirely go away, but there are various methods that can change their appearance and reduce their size.
Causes and types of scars
Scars happen as a natural result of a healing process that occurs after an injury and their appearance and treatment depend on various factors such as the depth and size of the wound, the location, and your age, ethnicity, sex and genes.
There are four basic types of scars: keloid, contracture, hypertrophic and acne scars. Keloid scars are the result of an intense and aggressive healing process so they spread beyond the primary injury. Their treatment can include surgery and removal if the hamper your movement, silicone sheets that flatten the scar and in case of smaller keloids, there’s cryotherapy that uses liquid nitrogen to freeze the scar. As a preventive measure, keloids can be treated with pressure or gel pads with silicone. Statistical data show that keloids most often happen among people with darker skin tone.
Contracture scars form as a result of burning and as their name suggests, they cause the skin to tighten and contract which can impair your mobility. They can also go quite deep and affect both the muscles and nerves.
Hypertrophic scars are similar to keloids and they’re usually red and elevated, but they do not spread beyond the boundaries of your injury. Their treatment includes steroid injections that reduce inflammation or silicone sheets that help flatten the scar. Contracture scars. If your skin has been burned, you may have a contracture scar. These scars tighten skin, which can impair your ability to move. Contracture scars may also go deeper, affecting muscles and nerves.
Finally, acne scars appear as a result of severe cases of acne and can range from deep pits to angular and wavelike scars. Their treatment mostly depends on the type of acne scars you have.
Modern cosmetology and technical advances today offer many different ways to treat scars and help minimize their appearance. Most of them are highly effective on both new and old scars. A high-quality aesthetic clinic will normally offer treatments of keloids, hypertrophic scars, hyperpigmented scars, depressed scars and many more with an individualized plan that will be custom made for your condition and scar type. Procedures may vary from laser treatments, PRP, dermal fillers, derma rollers, cryotherapy, steroid injections, surgical intervention and more.
The surgical treatment for scar removal is the most invasive treatment you can choose that can help reduce the scar or even use skin from another part of your body to cover the scarred area. On the other hand, the least invasive and most effective treatment is laser scar removal where intense light is used to minimize the size, colour and shape of your scar.
Another dermatological solution is a chemical peel. It involves a chemical solution that is put on the scarred area and when the peel is removed, a layer of skin is removed too, revealing smoother skin. It takes several of these treatments to see the results and they are most effective on surface-level scars.
Dermabrasion is mostly used in treatments of raised scars on the skin surface and it involves the use of a machine that looks like a tiny sander to smooth away the top layer of the skin. Steroid injections are used for raised scars in order to shrink them in size and level them with the surrounding skin. In addition, injections of dermal fillers and collagen can also be used to fill the area around a deeper scar. Finally, there are many over-the-counter ointments, gels and creams that are effective for smaller scars. Scars can make you quite uncomfortable and lower your self-confidence, especially if they are large and in a visible area. If you feel you’ll be much more content if you remove your scar, make sure you consult your doctor and choose one of the options listed here that would best suit your condition.