Every scar tells a story, but those stories don’t need to hold you back from smooth skin. Cosmetic dermatology services can reduce the appearance of raised and sunken scars, so you can regain your confidence. This guide will break down why your body forms scars and what you can do to remove them for good.
What Is a Scar?
A scar is one of the many ways that the body responds to wounds on the skin. Specifically, a scar forms when a wound goes deeper than the outer skin layer. The body creates new, thicker tissue, and this new tissue can become a permanent scar.
There are several common types of scars:
- Keloid scars: These scars extend beyond the borders of the original wound. Keloid scars are typically round or irregularly shaped. They are more common in people with darker skin and often appear reddish in color.
- Hypertrophic scars: While hypertrophic scars are similar to keloid scars, these raised scars remain within the border of the original wound. They often appear red at first but may fade with time.
- Contracture scars: This type of scar generally forms after an incident in which a large area of skin has been lost, such as a burn. Contracture scars cause tightened skin.
- Acne scars: If you had acne in the past, you may have leftover scaring on your face, chest, or back. Acne scars can appear as small pits or depressions in various shapes.
While scars can be tricky to remove completely, a dermatologist can recommend treatments to reduce the appearance of these skin marks.
How Can You Remove a Scar?
If you have a scar you’d like to remove, there are several products and treatments that your dermatologist may recommend.
- Topical Creams: If you have mild scarring, a topical cream or gel may help. Your dermatologist may prescribe a medicated cream or recommend an over-the-counter product. These may include corticosteroid creams and retinols, but your dermatologist will tell you which ingredients to look for.
- Chemical Peels: During this in-office treatment, your dermatologist will apply a chemical solution to the skin. This solution removes the top layer of the skin or more, causing smoother skin to regenerate. Chemical peels may be effective at reducing the appearance of certain scars.
- Microdermabrasion: This cosmetic treatment can be effective at evening out skin tone and removing scarring over time. During microdermabrasion, a dermatologist will remove the outer layers of the skin using an exfoliating instrument. It may take several treatments to notice a reduction in scar appearance.
- Microneedling: A microneedling dermatology treatment involves the use of micro-needles that create small channels on the surface of the skin. This process encourages new collagen growth, which is key for fading scars.
- Laser Treatment: Lasers are a popular treatment for a number of skin conditions. However, many dermatologists will recommend laser treatment for acne scars. The laser targets the damaged skin and boosts collagen production, which can lead to faded scars over time.
Keep in mind that many scar removal treatments require multiple sessions. And if you’re using a topical cream or gel to fade a scar, it can take weeks to see results. Be sure to be patient, follow your dermatologist’s instructions, and attend all of your follow-up treatments.
The professionals at Pacific Dermatology Specialists offer a number of cosmetic dermatology treatments to reduce the appearance of facial and body scarring. With locations in Downey, CA and other communities in the Greater Los Angeles area, you can book a consultation at an office near you. Our team of experts is happy to make recommendations based on your unique skin needs.