Can You Treat Scars?
Scars can present on any part of the body including the scalp and vary widely in appearance depending on the severity, depth and type of scar; these factors also dictate the final appearance of the scar once healed.
If your healed scar is affecting your overall confidence or is in a visible place, you may want to look at alternative procedures to reduce the appearance or permanently camouflage the area.
Factors for the type of treatment will depend on the following:
- your age, health, and medical history
- severity and position of the scar
- type of scar
- your tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies
- your preference for treatment
- Skin Needling is an effective treatment for scars (other than hypertrophic and Keloid). Skin is punctured with micro holes from a digital or manual roller device, triggering the skin’s natural healing response. Collagen and elastin are produced which in turn flatten the scar tissue and pigment is often returned to light scars.
- Scar Camouflage is an option for fully healed scars (although cannot be used on Hypertrophic or Keloid scars). Microdots of colour are custom blended and impregnated into the dermal layer of the skin to camouflage the area. This treatment is particularly effective on surgical scars, caesarean incisions, stretch marks and burns.
These are thick, rounded, irregular clusters of scar tissue that grow not only at the site of the wound but also cross into the surrounding areas. They are most often red in colour and can appear anywhere on the body and up to a year after the original injury.
- Keloids can be treated in the following way:
- steroid injections
- cryotherapy – Freezing the scar
- pressure therapy – Wearing compression garments
- surgery – If the scar is particularly severe, surgery can be performed to close the skin, grafts may also be used during this procedure.
- Laser Surgery – Lasers can be used to flatten and reduce the colours of scars and may be used in conjunction with other therapies..
Hypertrophic scars are similar to keloid scars but are confined to the site of the injury. They are usually dark, thick and raised above the skin line. They will start to form within weeks after the injury to the skin.
- Steroids are often the first line of treatment with these scars, Steroids may be given as an injection or topical application. Hypertrophic scars can also be removed with a surgical revision.
Contractures are an abnormal occurrence that happens when a large area of skin is damaged and lost, resulting in a scar. The scar formation pulls the edges of the skin together, causing a tight area of skin which can affect the muscles, joints, and tendons causing a decrease in movement, mobility and flexibility.
There are many different surgical treatment options for contractures, including the following:
- skin graft or skin flap
Skin grafts or skin flaps are done after the scar tissue is removed. Skin grafts involve replacing or attaching skin to a part of the body that is missing skin. Skin grafts are performed by taking a piece of healthy skin from another area of the body (called the donor site) and attaching it to the needed area. A Z-Plasty can be performed, making a ‘Z’ shaped incision to release the surrounding skin and allow more movement.