Dr. Steele created the Scar Treatment Center to ensure that scars are treated in the most comprehensive manner with advanced and effective technologies to make sure that scars are their most invisible.
What Type of Scar Do YOU Have?
The word scar is used a lot, but there are so many different types of scars that truly effective scar treatment. It requires evaluation of the individual lesion and a treatment plan, just like any other lesion on the skin. Scars can be areas where the skin is thinned out, too thick, too dark, too light, too red, etc. There are a lot of over-the-counter products that will treat “scars”, but what kinds of scars? Pink/red scars? Raised scars? Keloids? Acne scars? Wide scars? Burns? Surgical scars? Stretch Marks? At the Scar Treatment Center, Dr. Steele will first evaluate your scar(s) to determine which scar treatment options will work best. Located just north of Atlanta, we are in a convenient location to treat patients throughout the metro area.
Schedule Your Appointment With Dr. Chynna Steele!
Dr. Steele has been successful in treating some of the most challenging scars, i.e. those that have been previously treated without success, on areas of the body with lots of tension, or that have come back after previous treatment. No scar is too difficult—it can always be better, and usually it can be awesome! Making scars go away can require some persistence and patience, however patients are pleased with the end results that they otherwise would have been unable to achieve. Given the specific characteristics of your scar and your history, we will develop a comprehensive plan to make sure your scar is managed with the most advanced treatment options that just aren’t available with all doctors. Dr. Steele operates with the goal of making people notice you, not your scar with long-term results and happy patients.
Types of Scars
- + THICK SCARS & KELOIDS
Thick scars and keloids have too much collagen that formed in response to whatever was the initial injury to the skin. When the skin heals from any insult to the skin collagen is formed, ideally to a perfect amount to fill in/repair the skin. However, sometimes the skin repair mechanisms “overshoot” and create more collagen than necessary, giving a “puffy” or “thick” scar. Injections to thin the scar tissue, topical creams and medicines, and excision are the best treatment for these types of scars.Injections include steroids and/or Botox for thickened scars. Steroids injections are the most common way to treat thick scars, and it works well to break down those collagen bundles. It usually requires several treatments to gradually make the scar flatter, lighter, and softer.
In addition to steroids, Botox injections have been an amazing addition to Dr. Steele’s scar treatment regimen. An injection regimen that includes Botox and steroids, speeds up the overall treatment time, makes results last more permanently, and more effectively treats scars. Dr. Steele is an expert is the safe use of Botox for cosmetic purposes, but is now at the cutting edge in it’s use for scars.
Scar Creams can be very effective in treating thick scars/keloids. The best options are those containing silicone which help flatten and heal scars. At the Scar Treatment Center, we can show you the best options. They can effectively be used on almost any area of closed skin, like a surgical scar, but aren’t appropriate for open wounds like a scrape or burn. If you have a very small scar, then a cream alone may be enough, but it is often best used in conjunction with injections for the best results. Scar creams are used every day until the scar looks and feels it’s best.
Excision (i.e. cutting out/off a scar) is only a good treatment option in a few situations with thick scars. When deciding if it will be prudent to remove a scar surgically, Dr. Steele evaluates the chance of a new thick scar forming in response to the procedure. Generally, the risk of a new thick scar is high with a few exceptions, most notably, keloids on the earlobes. This are best treated by surgical excision with follow up to ensure they do not recur. Dr. Steele will advise if excision is an option for your scar.
- + RED/PINK SCARS
Some people heal with pink/red scars while others heal with brown or hyperpigmentation. Redness may signal inflammation, so in the right setting, like in acne, it often means that the area needs to be treated for inflammation, rather than for scarring. If it is truly a red/pink scar then the most appropriate treatment is a laser that targets redness. This is the same laser that treats rosacea or broken blood vessels. The results are permanent with near normal skin color at the site of the scar. Red scars may also be raised scars, sunken scars, stretched scars, etc., so there may be other components to treatment required to get the absolute best results.
- + DARK/HYPERPIGMENTED SCARS
People with pigment (those with olive, tan or brown skin color) are more likely to heal with pigment, hyperpigmentation. Hyperpigmentation in scars is best treated with applied creams that inhibit new pigment formation and help the body “clean up” excess pigment. While these creams are commonly called “bleaching creams”, Dr. Steele prefers to call them creams to even the skin tone. In scars, the goal with these creams, as it is in any case of hyperpigmentation is to make the treated area match the rest of the skin. Not all of these creams are created equally and some are far more effective than others. Dr. Steele will direct you to those that will be most effective. Dark scars may also be raised scars, sunken scars, stretched scars, etc., so there may be other components to treatment required to get the absolute best results.
- + WIDENED/STRETCHED/THINNED SCARS
These scars are the opposite of keloids/thickened scars, instead the skin is too thin. In keloids or thick scars there is too much collagen, and in widened scars there is too little collagen to support healthy, normal appearing skin. These scars are often surgical scars where there was too much tension on the wound given the location, the wound edges were pulled apart during healing (what happens if someone exercises too early after a surgery), or an infection caused the wound edges to come apart. The appearance of these scars is similar to that of a “stretch mark” where the skin is thin and wrinkly looking within the scar. In any case, treatment options for this type of wound include scar revision surgery, laser surgery or scar creams.Scar Revision surgery is usually not Dr. Steele’s first choice for improving the appearance of a scar, but in the case of a stretched/thin scar, it is one of the best options. New collagen needs to get under the scar, and a great way to do so is to cut out the area that is too thin and bring the edges of the healthy skin that surrounds the scar back together. Since Dr. Steele is making a new scar, you must take ultimate care of the scar as it’s healing to make sure that it heals best.
Laser Surgery is another way to generate new collagen under the scar. The newer technologies of some non-ablative and ablative lasers allows energy to be delivered to the underlying layers of skin creating injury and therefore, stimulating the body to make new collagen to support the overlying skin. Laser advancement in the area of scar treatments opens so many more effective and non-invasive options for treating scars. You typically need a series of treatments to get to your desired endpoint, but see improvement at every point along the way. Laser treatments generally require no alteration in your daily activities, so it can nicely fit into one’s lifestyle.
Scar Creams for thinned scars (including stretch marks) include retinoids and other creams that help generate new collagen. The effect is modest, however, these creams may be used as an added treatment to a laser treatment or other mode of scar improvement. Every little bit helps!
- + STRETCH MARKS
Many people who visit Steele Dermatology have agonized over stretch marks for years. Some of them have even tried expensive, over-the-counter products that promised big results but weren’t able to deliver. Fortunately, Steele Dermatology can help anyone with stretch mark removal.
All kinds of people have stretch marks from all sorts of conditions, whether it is skin that has been stretched out from a pregnancy, from getting taller, heavier or building more muscle, etc. A lot of times stretch marks are an unsightly consequence of good things that have or are happening to the body! Knowing what stretch marks are can help patients understand where they came from and perhaps even find the treatment for stretch marks that is right for them.If you are troubled by stretch marks, rest assured that you’re not alone. Many people are plagued by this cosmetic concern. It’s important to note that while you may not like the way stretch marks look, they are not a sign of a larger medical problem nor do they pose any kind of threat to your health.Even with that knowledge, you may be anxious to learn about a stretch mark treatment. These marks, sometimes called striae distensae, form when there are rapid changes to body mass. That’s why stretch marks are fairly common in pregnant women and in teens going through puberty. The skin simply isn’t able to stretch quickly enough to accommodate the growth of the body.
Stretch Mark Treatment
Sometimes stretch marks can improve with time, but don’t always and may only improve a small amount on their own. So oftentimes, treatment for stretch marks is still required . Complete stretch mark removal is not always possible. However, the stretch mark treatment options that are prescribed by your dermatologist have been shown to be highly effective.
One of the most effective of these is microneedling. Microneedling for stretch mark removal is a treatment that safely makes microscopic injuries to the skin using tiny, sterile needles. When these tiny injuries are made, your skin begins to produce extra collagen and elastin in order to heal. By expediting this production with microneedling, the appearance of stretch marks is greatly reduced.
Another popular treatment for stretch marks is laser stretch mark removal. This stretch mark treatment involves an intense beam of light being aimed at the affected tissue. The skin on the treated area is ablated, allowing for a new, smoother layer of skin to develop. Laser stretch mark removal has few side effects and requires little down time. Additionally, it often offers spectacular results, making it a popular treatment method.
Microdermabrasion or a chemical peel may also provide relief for people with stretch marks. Each is a non-invasive treatment for stretch marks that effectively removes the outer layer of skin to allow a new, supple layer to emerge.
If you live in the Metro Atlanta area and would like to learn more about these and other stretch mark removal methods, contact Steele Dermatology.