Scars are made up of fibrous tissue that forms to cover damaged skin or wounds. Medical scar treatments are available, but to date, none promise a total removal of the scars. However, the treatments will result in an improved appearance of the skin and faded scars.
1. Skin Resurfacing Treatments
The skin resurfacing treatments using lasers are considered to be the most effective in reducing the appearance of all types of scars. Both ablative and non ablative fractional laser beams can be used to reduce scarring. Genesis or Fraxel are just 2 of the many FDA approved laser treatments that can be used for scars.
2. Chemical Peels
Chemicals that exfoliate the skin can be used on scarred skin. These peels are effective, reducing superficial scars. The chemicals will also penetrate the skin, inducing collagen production, which will have benefits for the kin in the long run.
3. Collagen Induction Therapy
Collagen is an important component of the skin, and it can help immensely in the regeneration of the skin. The collagen induction therapy, also known as needling, is a procedure that involves inserting needles in the areas affected by scars to promote the formation of collagen. The treatment was developed in the 1990s and has shown positive results in many patients with superficial scars. The treatment may not be effective for deep scars.
4. Pressure Dressing Treatment
The pressure dressing treatment can be used on scarred areas. These areas will be dressed with elastic gauze, which will press on the scars and in time, the fibrous tissues will soften and will look more like the neighboring skin.
5. Steroid Injections
Steroid injections applied under the skin can reduce the appearance of keloid and hypertrophic scars. Only small amounts of steroids will enter the blood flow, so side effects are less likely to occur. Oral steroids or steroid ointments are not effective in reducing scars.
6. Silicone Treatments
Silicone treatments can be used on hypertrophic scars. The silicone gel will be applied on the scarred regions and will increase the activity of collagenase, which are the enzymes that make up the collagen.
Dermabrasion is a cosmetic treatment that is performed as an outpatient procedure and will remove the surface layer of the skin. The procedure is performed under local anesthesia and will also fuel the production of collagen, resulting in improved skin texture and diminished scars.
8. Collagen Injections or Dermal Fillers
The injections with collagen can be effective in reducing the appearance of sunken scars. However, these injections can only have a temporary effect, as the collagen will ultimately spread in the tissues.
A more durable solution would be to use dermal fillers that employ hyaluronic acid, which will be effective for up to 12 months. The treatments should be repeated.
Radiotherapy applied on the superficial levels of the skin is supposed to reduce the appearance of keloid and hypertrophic scars. However, the treatment may only be used for short periods of time. Many people avoid this type of treatment, due to the possible side effects.