Scars are a result of the skin improperly healing. When the skin is damaged, collagen fibres are used to fill the wound in. These fibres visibly look different from normal skin. This is what makes scars stand out.
However, don’t despair! Scars continue to lighten and become less visible for up to two years!! There are many different kinds of scars, flat discolored ones, raised ones, and sunken ones. There are multiple causes for each kind of scar. Some types of skin are more prone to certain types of scarring.
Depressions develop in the skin because scar tissue has formed underneath the skin surface, pulling the skin downward and holding it in place, inhibiting the production of the body’s natural collagen in those areas.
Common Scar Types:
These are the most common type of scar and are a result of the body’s natural healing process. Initially, they may be red or brown and slightly raised but will become paler and flatten naturally over time, resulting in a flat, pale scar. This process can take up to two years.
(Red or Brown and Raised)
When a normal wound heals the body produces new collagen fibres at a rate which balances the breakdown of old collagen. Hypertrophic scars are normally red and thick and may be itchy or painful. They usually improve over one to two years but may cause distress due to their appearance.
(Red or Dark and Raised)
Like hypertrophic scars, keloids are the result of an imbalance in the production of collagen in a healing wound. Unlike hypertrophic scars, keloids grow beyond the boundary of the original wound. They can continue to grow indefinitely. They may be itchy or painful and may not improve in appearance over time.
Sunken scars are recessed into the skin. They may be due to the skin being attached to deeper structures (such as muscles) or to loss of underlying fat. They are usually the result of an injury.
Acne & Chicken Pox Scars
A common cause of sunken scarring is acne or chicken pox, which can result in a pitted appearance. However, it is important to note that acne scarring is not always sunken in appearance and can even become keloid.
Since acne scars come in various sizes and shapes, treatments are not limited to one specific method. In fact, depending on the number, nature, and depth of the scars, you may need several different approaches.
Most Effective Scar Treatments:
Needle Dermabrasion: (Inkless Skin Tattooing) Most cost effective, good on most scars, even deep ones. ($100-$300) 25-75% total improvements. There are tools available to do this without a tattoo gun, from home. -A tattoo gun breaks up the scar tissue form the top to stimulate collagen
Laser Resurfacing: Helps with shallow scars, skin tone, and wrinkles. More commonly used for wrinkles. ($1000-$4000)
(Micro)/Dermabrasion: Reduces all fine imperfections in the skin, can be used for larger ones over time. ($75-$200)/($400 -$2000) Click here to go to the Microdermabrasion section of a very comprehensive plastic surgery site.
Other Scar Therapies:
Excision and Punch Replacement Graft
A depressed acne scar is surgically removed, and a patch of skin from elsewhere is grafted onto the patient’s body. Recommended for certain kinds of pitted or sharp edged scars.
Collagen Injections and Fillers
Injected in small quantities below the surface of the skin to elevate depressed scars. Read this article for information on types of fillers currently available.
By applying a chemical solution to the skin, mild scarring and certain types of acne may be treated. The procedure enables new, regenerated skin to appear, improving the appearance of the condition. Chemical peels are generally recommended for discoloration caused by acne, not pitted scars. Commonly used chemical peels are glycolic and lactic acid, which are also available for home use.
Used for depressed scars, pitted scarring and ice picks. During a Subcision session, a small needle is used to break up the scar tissue underneath the depression. Subcision is a highly effective method in the treatment of depressed scars, but it usually requires multiple sessions depending on the number and depth of the scars. These sessions are normally spaced four weeks apart, and require approximately forty minutes each time. Bruising occurs for seven days after the procedure.