Scars can result from lacerations, surgery or skin conditions such as acne. Scars can become red and raised (hypertrophic or keloid scars), stretched, or in some cases pigmented. Some scars remain red for long periods of time.
Most scars can be improved with treatment but there are many types of surgical and non surgical treatments available and a decision about the best treatment for scars is often complex.
The more complex scars may require multiple treatments in order to achieve the best possible correction. The most common scar problems seen are: persistent redness, hypertrophic scars, keloid scars, pigmented scars, lumpy scars and pitted scars eg acne scarring.
Simple scar treatments – In the early phases of scar healing and maturation, simple treatments including gentle massage, regular moisturising, the use of silicone creams and oils and protection from sunlight can dramatically help with the improvement of scar appearance.
Non-surgical treatment of scars:
- Silicone treatment – Silicone is one of the few substances that can be applied to the skin that has been shown to have a significant effect on red and lumpy scars. Silicone is available as a gel, which can be applied as a thin film to the scar twice daily.
- Steroid Injections – Keloid or hypertrophic scars often respond to micro-injections of steroid (triamcinolone) directly into the scar. The steroid dissolves the scar tissue and gradually flattens it over a period of weeks.
- Laser treatment – Lasers are used in scar treatment. The pulsed dye laser can be very effective in reducing the redness of a scar and also lasers can be used for resurfacing irregular scars.
- Dermabrasion – Dermabrasion and micro-dermabrasion can be effective for the flattening of irregular scars such as acne scarring.
- Injection of dermal fillers – Dermal fillers made from hyaluronic acid can be effective in treating contour irregularities beneath scars. This treatment is that it is only temporary and often has to be repeated every 6 months to 12 months.
- Scar camouflage make-up – Scar camouflage make-up has a role to play in the mangement of scars when other treatment have already improved the scar and totally coverage of any existing scar is required
Surgical treatment of scars – There are many types of surgical procedures that may be effective in improving the appearance of scars. These include:
- Scar revision – This is where the scar is excised and the edges re-approximated and re-sutured. This is used in addition with other types of non surgical scar treatment.
- Z-plasty – The scar is re-positioned to make it less noticeable and allow the scar to heal in a more favourable way.
- Subcision –This involves releasing the tethered part of the scar. It can be very effective for some types of acne scarring and is often combined with fat transfer or dermal filler injections.
- Fat transfer – This involves harvesting a patient’s own fat, from the abdomen around the umbilicus, buttocks or thighs. The fat is then prepared and then injected beneath the scar to correct any contour deformity. This treatment can be combined with other techniques.
For more information and to arrange a consultation at a consulting room close to you, please contact a member of the FSUK team on 07774571074.