Facial scar reduction
Scars are a natural part of the body's healing process. A scar results from the biologic process of wound repair in the skin and other tissues. Most wounds, except for very minor ones, result in some degree of scarring.Scars can result from accidents, diseases, skin conditions such as acne, or surgeries.
Although scars cannot be completely removed, their appearance can be improved to some extent. Methods for improving the appearance of scars include:
Topical treatments, such as vitamin E, cocoa butter cream, and several commercial skin care products sold over the counter may be somewhat effective in helping to heal scars.
Surgery. Although it will not remove a scar, surgery can be used to alter a scar's shape or make it less noticeable. Surgery is not recommended in cases of hypertrophic or keloid scarring (raised scars) because there is a risk of recurring scars as well as more severe scarring that results from the treatment.
- Steroid injections. A course of steroid injections into a scar may help flatten it. Injections may help to soften the appearance of keloid or hypertrophic scars.
- Radiotherapy. Low-dose, superficial radiotherapy is used to prevent recurrence of severe keloid and hypertrophic scarring. This treatment is used only in extreme cases because of potential long-term side effects.
- Dermabrasion. This treatment involves the removal of the surface of the skin with special equipment. Dermabrasion is useful to blend in the irregularities of a scar whether it is raised or depressed.
- Microdermabrasion is a much less invasive form of dermabrasion but is minimally useful for very superficial scars.
- Laser resurfacing . This procedure, similar to dermabrasion, removes the surface layers of the skin using different types of lasers. Newer types of lasers may achieve more subtle results by working on the collagen in the dermis without removing the upper layers of skin. This advancement results in little down time as opposed to traditional laser resurfacing and dermabrasion, which requires a longer recovery.
- Filler injections. These treatments can be used to raise sunken scars to the level of surrounding skin. The effects of these injections are only temporary, however, and the procedures may need to be regularly repeated. Newer forms of injectable fillers are now on the market and may be an option for some people.
- Microneedling. Many small puncture holes are made into the superficial skin to stimulate collagen production and even introduce collagen stimulators or other products to try to reduce the appearance of scars.