Scar Types and Treatments
The natural and very normal part of your body’s healing process, scars form in places where there is damage to the skin caused by trauma such as a cut, burn or other form of wounding. Comprised of fibrous tissues, scars can appear in various forms and to a wide degree of severity.
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What are the different types of scars?
Acne scars – Acne scars are shallow depressions or deep ice-pick like pits that form due to loss of collagen as an aftermath of inflamed acne lesions. Acne scarring is a concern for many people and can have a great impact on emotional health.
Atrophic scars – Atrophic scares are round, crater-like depressions often left from chicken pox or trauma to the skin such as bug bites.
Hypertrophic scars – Hypertrophic scars are raised, firm scars that come after injury or surgery.
Keloid scars – Keloid scars are very large, firm nodules that extend beyond the margin of the scar on the skin. Keloids occur from such skin injuries as surgical incisions, traumatic wounds, vaccination sites, burns, chickenpox, acne, or even minor scratches. They are fairly common in young women and African Americans. Keloidosis is a term used when multiple or repeated keloids are produced
Are stretch marks considered scars?
Yes, stretch marks are a form of scarring. The result of rapid growth or stretching of the skin, they are strongly hereditary, occur in a high number of pregnancies and can appear on various areas of the body such as stomach, chest, arms or upper legs. As with other forms of scars, there is always a possibility stretch marks can appear, but can also be treated in our cosmetic department.
How can I get rid of my scar?
Scar treatment is dependent on the scar type. Below are a variety of treatments available for the scar types mentioned above.
- Fractional Skin Resurfacing – This treatment works to build new collagen in the surface layers of the skin using microscopic laser beams, leaving untreated skin between.
- The only FDA-Approved Dermal Filler to treat acne scarring, Bellafill, fills certain scars that flatten when stretched by the fingers. This treatment replaces lost volume while providing the structural base for your body to produce collagen.
- Rejuvapen Micro Needling creates invisible, micro perforations into the top layer of the skin, the epidermis, to turn on the skin’s natural repair mechanisms to produce collagen and elastin to repair the area.
- If the scars flatten when stretched, they can be treated with our dermal filler, Bellafill.
- Atrophic scars may also be treated with Fractional Skin Resurfacing and Rejuvapen Micro Needling.
- First line treatment uses injections of steroids into the scar to soften the fibrous tissues and flatten the scar.
- Depending on the severity of the hypertrophic scar, a combination treatment of steroid injection and Fractional Skin Resurfacing may be prescribed.
- As with hypertrophic scars, the first form of treatment is to treat keloid scars with steroid injections.
- Keloid scars can require surgical removal. When surgery is required, steps are taken to minimize the chance of keloid recurrence with injected steroids before, during and after surgical removal.
How can a dermatologist help me with my scars?
Scars are often seen as permanent, but they don’t necessarily have to be. Many people find themselves self-conscious of their scars, continuously working to hide or cover their appearance. Our team of skilled providers, both medical and cosmetic, work together and employ a variety of treatment options to diminish the appearance of all types of scars.
If you are ready to take action stop hiding your scars, simply contact our office to schedule an appointment with our medical providers or a complimentary cosmetic consultation to learn about our laser, micro needling and filler treatment options. Our goal at Dermatology and Laser Center of Charleston is to help you achieve the happiest, healthiest skin possible, while making sure you stay comfortable and informed throughout the entire treatment process.