Scar Removal Treatment Types
- Publish Date: 2010/06/13 - (Rev. 2018/01/26)
- Author: Sara Goldstein
Outline: Examines different types of scars and the best scar removal treatment method for each.
Severe scars, such as those left from burns, often require surgery. More superficial scars can be minimized or removed with less-invasive treatments.
Scar removal is somewhat like laying out a new road surface: maybe you can still drive on the old road, but the new surface makes it smoother and more attractive. New technology in laser surgery promises to give you a better ride than ever before.
A scar occurs as part of the healing process of a wound. After a wound becomes inflamed, new tissue forms. Collagen is a protein found in connective tissue that supports the skin and bone structure; when too much of it is left in a wound, a scar forms. Severe scars, such as those left from burns, often require surgery. More superficial scars can be minimized or removed with less-invasive treatments.
There are three main types of scars:
- Atrophic, or skin depressions such as acne scars
- Hypertrophic, or elevated scars found usually on the margin of the wound
- Keloid, or elevated scars that extend beyond the wound site
Treatments for Scars
- Microdermabrasion involves the use of particles to rub away the top layer of damaged skin. Crystals are driven across the outer skin at high velocity by air pressure, essentially buffing the skin and removing a very thin segment of the out-most layer. This "dead" skin is removed because exposure to the elements has caused it to lose its lustrous appearance. This procedure can be done quickly and is minimally invasive, and is appropriate for acne-prone people or those who simply want to tone up their skin appearance.
- Chemical peels involve the application of a chemical that removes the epidermis, or top layer of the skin. Doing this stimulates the production of new collagen and causes the skin to regenerate itself, often improving its appearance.
- Laser skin resurfacing involves the use of a laser to destroy flawed skin cells. New skin cells will grow to replace these.
- Filler injections involve injecting filler material under the skin, using a tiny needle. This procedure generally involves multiple treatments.
Laser Removal Procedure
For atrophic scars, the laser is moved along the scar during the removal procedure. This vaporizes, or removes, the top layer of skin. The more natural-looking skin lying underneath will heal over time and minimize the scar appearance. Fraxel treatment for scars works especially well for thin atrophic scars. Older, bigger, or deeper scars usually require more treatments.
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