Scars are the result of the body’s natural healing process. The appearance of a scar can vary depending on the individual’s skin type and the nature of the injury. Minor scars typically fade and soften with time. Scars growing out of an incision line, known as keloids, and wide, raised scars may require dermatological treatment to make them less noticeable. The most common treatments for scar revision include applying pressure to the area, massage, excision, and injections. It is also important to protect scarred areas from the sun by using a sunscreen with a sun protection factor of at least 15.
Acne Scar Revision
There is not a one-size-fits-all treatment for acne scars. Dermatologists utilize a variety of methods depending on the type and severity of the scarring as well as the patient’s skin type. The simplest method involves using a combination of sunscreen and over-the-counter bleaching agents to limit the contrast between the scar and the natural skin.
Professional Scar Revision Techniques
In the case of indented scars, collagen or fat tissue fillers may be injected under the skin to stretch and fill out the affected area. Skin fillers are temporary, so repeat injections are required.
Laser resurfacing and chemical peels improve the appearance of the skin and minimize moderate to deep scars by removing the skin’s top layer. Pulsed light phototherapy and radiofrequency devices have a similar effect but do not damage the skin; however, multiple treatments may be necessary before the results are noticeable. Dermabrasion uses a rotating wire brush to remove the top layer of skin and is typically used to treat severe scarring. Needling involves rolling a device that is studded with needles over the skin in order to stimulate the tissue. In some instances, dermatologists will use a form of skin grafting in which the individual scar is removed using a punch excision, and the area is then closed with stitches. If the area around the scar is puckered, Botox® injections may help relax the area and lessen the appearance of the scar.