There are several ways that scars can be treated. No scar will entirely disappear, but the appearance of scars can be reduced. Several of the most popular options are listed below.
- Chemical peel – This is a method where chemicals are used to get rid of the epidermis which leads to exfoliation and will alleviate specific types of skin conditions which can include acne scarring. There are many different types of chemicals used but it will depend on the severity of the scars.
- Filler injection – Injections of collagen can be given to fill in skin that surrounds the scar. There are some dangers involved, but this will depend on the type of filler that is used. In some cases the changes are only temporary or an allergic reaction can occur in some patients.
- Dermabrasion – With this method the skin’s surface will be removed using special equipment and typically does not include the use of a local anesthetic.
- Laser Treatment – This method will smooth skin when it is heated up and will redistribute the collagen to avoid damaging the epidermis during the cooling process. Typically several sessions are necessary for significant improvement in the skins texture. Ablative lasers work almost the same way except they destroy the epidermis deeper and the healing time is longer. With this method, the improvement is only minor.
- Over-the-counter topical remedies – Creams and ointments can be used for scarring as this promotes moist healing.
- Radiotherapy – This method can be used to keep keloid and hypertrophic scarring from recurring. This is only used in severe instances since there is believed to be side effects that last a long time.
- Semi occlusive Ointment & Pressure dressings – Ointment is used to improve the appearance of scars and to prevent new scars from occurring. Research is still weak on this type of treatment. Pressure dressings are generally used for scars that occurred because of a burn; however, there research on this is slim also. This method uses gauze or material that applies pressure the scarred area.
- Steroids – This method uses steroid injections into the scar tissue over a period of several weeks. It is believed to make keloid or hypertrophic scars flatter and become softer reducing their appearance. Since the injection is given straight into the scar, not much is absorbed by the blood stream therefore side effects are minimal.
- Surgery – A scar can be restructured using surgery. The initial scar is cut open again and stitched up at a different angle to cause the skin to grow back with less of a scar remaining. This can be done by a skin graft or by making a small incision and flapping the skin back over to be put back together with stitches.
- Vitamins – Vitamin E or onion extract has not been proven to be effective in the reduction of scars. In several cases, Vitamin E has even caused the scarring to become worse in appearance than it was initially. Vitamin C will sometimes help the dark pigment to fade, therefore reducing some appearance of the scar.
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