Scars are disruptions in the normal skin where you have had a burn, injury or cut. There are good scars that are nearly invisible (flat/smooth, small, close to your normal skin color and texture), and bad scars (raised or sunken, darker, lighter or more red-pink than your skin color, or stretched open wide).
Keloids are especially bad scars that tend to be very thick, puffy and larger than the original wound.
You get scars from accidents, cuts, scrapes, surgeries, burns, bad acne bumps, etc. Almost any injury to the skin can cause one, however certain areas of the body don’t heal as well as others. Areas like the chest and joints (like knees, shoulders, etc.), heal poorly because there’s tension or movement on the area. Additionally, skin over muscular areas can tend to create larger scars because of tension. Lastly, sometimes complicated injuries (like infection or poor stitching) prevent them from healing properly.
Scars can be anywhere on the body where there’s been an injury. Certainly, the most concerning ones are usually those that are visible, like on the face. Again, scars on certain areas of the body tend to be worse, like over joints like the elbow, knee, or shoulder.
How do we treat scars?
Silicone scar gels are the simplest way to treat scars. They help flatten, soften and fade scars and must be used for several months. They are best implemented early in wound healing – very soon after sutures are removed.
The next level of treatment would be non-surgical procedures, such as microneedling, laser toning and laser resurfacing which physically break up old scars and re-start the healing process in a controlled manner to give a smoother and more uniform result. These treatments can be really effective, relatively pain free and have a short and easy healing process, which makes them preferable options.
If a scar doesn’t respond or appear as though it would respond to the above treatments, it may require scar revision, which means cutting out the scar and stitching it back together. With the lasers and procedures that we currently have available, we no longer have to resort to this option very often.
For keloids, treatment consists of intralesional steroid injections, scar revision with radiation treatments and/or neurotoxin. Keloids are by far the most difficult types of scars to treat, and we must be persistent with treatment and often use more than one modality. For true keloids there is always a risk of the keloid returning or another one forming, so we are very careful to choose the safest (and most effective) treatment options.
A procedure where tiny needles puncture the skin in a repeated and controlled manner. The needles spark the natural healing process in the skin, to make new fresh skin and repair scars and damaged skin.
A powerful laser treatment that tightens and smooths skin. The energy from this laser can blast away skin that shows deep scars, wrinkles, and other textural changes.
A safe and effective laser treatment to help even skin texture and tone/color for all skin types. A no downtime, “lunchtime” laser treatment that stimulates healthy collagen remodeling to smooth the texture.