While scarring is a normal bodily response to repair wounds, it can be uncomfortable or unsightly. If you are bothered by the appearance of a scar, or if your scar is causing you discomfort, contact our office today to discuss your scar treatment options!
What are Scars?
When we injure ourselves and break the skin, the skin will begin to naturally heal itself. During this process, it uses collagen to mend the area, which can result in a scar. Depending on the amount of collagen your body creates during the healing process and the cause of your injury, your body can create different types of scars.
There are many different kinds of scars, including:
Keloid Scars: Keloid scars are caused when your body produces too much collagen during the healing process. This results in a scar that extends beyond the injury. They may appear as raised, pink, red, or purple, and feel firm, rubbery or doughy. Itchiness is also a common symptom of keloids.
Hypertrophic Scars: Hypertrophic scars are raised and red scars that do not go past the boundary of the injury.
Contracture Scars: Contracture scars are often caused by skin that has been burned. As the skin heals itself, it results in a scar that thickens and tightens. In severe cases, this may cause problems with your ability to move.
Acne Scars: Inflammation from acne blemishes can lead to acne scarring. With some acne breakouts, the acne pore swells, and the wall of the pore is broken down, which can result in scars.
Abrasion Scars: An abrasion is superficial damage to the skin, meaning it only affects the outermost layer of skin. While mild grazes of the skin do not scar, deeper abrasions may lead to scarring and discoloration.
Scar Treatment Options
Your scar treatment plan will depend on a number of factors including your age, overall health, medical history, severity, type and location of the scar, and your opinion or preference. While scars usually fade over time, some scars are very large, uncomfortable, or do not fade as much as an individual would like. In these cases, Dr. Gray may recommend the following treatment options:
Chemical Peels: Chemical peels remove the topmost layer of the skin, stimulating skin regeneration. This often improves the overall appearance of the skin, including scarring.
Laser Resurfacing: This treatment option uses high-energy C02 to eliminate damaged skin. Laser resurfacing is a great option for refining hypertrophic scars.
IPL Treatments: Intense pulsed light (IPL) treatments are an effective option for treating scars and acne scarring. This treatment uses short light pulses to target the affected skin, reducing the visibility of scarring.
Cortisone Injections: Injections of cortisone can help to soften and shrink hardened scars. This option is especially effective for keloids or hypertrophic scars.
Topical Prescription Medications: An array of prescription-strength creams or ointments can be helpful in treating scars. There are also silicone gel sheets that can be helpful in diminishing the appearance of scars.
Surgical Revision: To improve the appearance of a scar, surgical scar revision may be an option. The entire scar is surgically removed and skillfully closed with sutures. A new, straighter, less obvious scar will then form.