Your skin is a valuable organ that protects your internal organs by acting as a barrier to external elements. However, because it is the external barrier, the skin may experience a lot of trauma. Burns, injuries, surgeries, and other traumatic experiences can leave unsightly scar tissue on your skin. While scars are the body’s natural response to such trauma, sometimes they are rather ugly and difficult to hide. Here are some of the common scars that our bodies form as well as effective scar treatments to help reduce the size and appearance of scars.
Common Types of Scars
- Keloid Scars – If the body responds in an over-aggressive manner as it heals, the result is keloid scars. These scars spread beyond the original scope of the injury and, over time, can affect mobility.
- Contracture Scars – These typically form after burns and cause the skin to tighten. As a result, they can also affect mobility and may delve deep into the nerve and muscle tissue.
- Hypertrophic Scars – Hypertrophic scars are red and raised. They are similar to keloids but do not spread beyond the edges of the initial injury site.
- Acne Scars – Skin blemishes can leave long-lasting scars of various kinds, such as discoloration, hypertrophic or keloid scars, ice-pick scars, boxcar scars, and rolling acne scars.
Effective Forms of Treatment
For scar treatment, you’ll want to meet with your physician or dermatologist to receive professional medical counsel for your unique circumstances. The following are some dermatologist-recommended treatments that may be suitable for you:
- Creams, Ointments, and Gels – These can be purchased over-the-counter or prescribed by your medical professional. Typically, these products are used to treat scars caused by wounds, injuries, or surgical incisions. They may also include antihistamine creams or corticosteroids for sensitive or itchy scars.
- Pressure Garments or Silicone Gel Sheets – These often help to prevent scar tissue from becoming worse. Your doctor may recommend them to you as a preventative care if you have a chronic skin condition such as acne.
- Injections – Steroid injections can be used to treat hypertrophic or keloid scars. Fillers and collagen injections may be useful for pitted scars, but these are only temporary solutions.
- Cryotherapy – Some keloid scars can be treated with cryotherapy, which involves freezing them with liquid nitrogen.
- Surgical Treatments – For deeper scars or very conspicuous scars, consider surgical treatment or removal. Skin grafts from another part of your body may be used to cover large, noticeable scars. Laser surgery, dermabrasion, and excision may also be used to remove scar tissue. Your doctor may recommend surgery if the scars impair your movement or function.
It is important to note that many scars will fade over time, rendering treatment unnecessary. However, treatments such as those listed above will effectively reduce the size and appearance of scar tissue. Board-certified dermatologist Dr. Patrick Bitter, Jr., will know how to best treat your scars so that they are less conspicuous or bothersome. Contact Dr. Bitter today to discuss your needs and desires for effective scar treatments that will be best for you. Call us at 408-358-5757 to schedule your consultation, or fill out our online contact form today.