Scar Treatments from U.S. Dermatology Partners

What Are Scar Treatments?

Scars are made up of fibrous tissue that replaces skin after an injury. Scars can be caused by many different things from burns to other trauma, such as surgery. They can also be caused by acne or, in the case of keloids, caused by the excessive healing of wounds.

A scar on a woman's back.

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Who Is a Good Candidate for Scar Treatments?

Keloids scars can appear anywhere on the body.

Scars are a natural part of the healing process and can result from inflammation such as acne, infection, injury or surgery. There are three main types of scars:

  • Hypertrophic scar – The most common type of scar, tissue develops over the course of weeks after the initial injury and will remain within the borders of the wound. Hypertrophic scars may appear red and raised next to healthy skin and will sometimes fade naturally.
  • Keloid scar – This type of scar may appear as irregular clusters of tissue that form a thick, rounded lesion. A keloid scar extends beyond the original boundaries of the wound, can develop as long as 12 months after the initail injury, and may be darker than surrounding skin.
  • Atrophic scar – These scars are well-defined depressions in the skin and are the result of a disruption in the formation of collagen after a skin injury. Cystic acne and chicken pox are common conditions that can lead to atrophic scarring.

How Are Scar Treatments Done?

CO2 laser restoration is a common treatment for scars.

If your scar does not fade on its own, it may be treated with dermatologic care. Your treatment will depend on many factors including the type of scar, your skin type, your age and the location of the scar.

Certain scars respond to topical solutions that work by encouraging collagen production. Laser treatments or exfoliating treatments such as chemical peels and microdermabrasion may also be effective in reducing the appearance of scars.

The most common scar treatments are:

  • Use of an ablative laser known as CO2 laser restoration that stimulates new, healthy collagen to grow and fill the depressed pockets of skin. In some cases, this will be combined with dermal filler injections.
  • Pulse-dye lasering, known as Candela or Cynosure lasering, which uses concentrated beams of heat to soften and flatten the excess collagen that makes up these scars.

Deeper scars may require treatments such as skin grafts, excision or dermabrasion.

The doctors at U.S. Dermatology Partners can help you find the best type of laser treatment for your specific type of scar.

Are There Side Effects to Scar Treatments?

While results vary from person to person, people of ethnic background, such as Asians and African-Americans, face a greater risk of altered pigment after any type of laser treatment.

How Long Will Scar Treatments Last?

Certain scars respond differently to different treatments. How long the effects of your treatment last depend on the type of scar and the response of the scar to treatment.

*Results may vary by individual

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