Scars can leave you self conscious and affect your confidence, but they don’t have to. If you’re looking to reduce the appearance of your scars- whether they are large and keloidal scars or ice-pick acne-related scars – schedule a scar visit with William Gillen, MD, Patricia O'Connor, MD, and the team at Absolute Dermatology & Skin Cancer Center in Glen Allen and Chesterfield, Virginia. Book your appointment today by calling the Richmond-area office nearest you or send us a message to book an appointment on our contact page.
A scar is a byproduct of your body repairing damage to your skin. If you damage your skin deeply enough, your body produces collagen to help repair the wound. Because your body is trying to respond to your injury quickly, the collagen that it produces is thicker and less flexible than your healthy skin. That denser tissue is your scar.
There are numerous different types of scars, including:
Most scars are flat scars. They tend to be pink or reddish and slightly raised when they first appear. Occasionally, they can be itchy or painful, especially in the initial healing stages.
Atrophic scars are those that result in a depression of the skin. Examples include the ‘ice pick’ or ‘box car’ scars associated with acne.
Keloid scars are the result of your body over-repairing itself, with collagen production extending beyond the area of your injury to produce a raised lesion. Keloids can limit movement if they form over a joint, might feel painful and itchy as they grow, and don’t go away without treatment.
Hypertrophic scars rise above the surface of your skin but don’t grow beyond the boundaries of your injury. They tend to flatten over time, but that can take months or years. They can appear anywhere on your skin, but more typically form on the shoulder, upper back, or chest.
Different scars require different types of treatment, which is why it’s important to have your scar correctly diagnosed by medical professionals, like the team of providers at Absolute Dermatology & Skin Cancer Center.
After properly diagnosing your scar type, your doctor suggests a treatment method, which might include:
Certain medications, like steroids, can help reduce the appearance of scars.
If your wound is still healing, your doctor can apply consistent pressure to your wound to minimize the appearance of your scar and prevent it from turning into a keloid. This involves wearing a pressure dressing, like a stocking or elastic bandage, or special devices for locations prone to keloids like the earlobe.
If your wound has already closed, your doctor can provide you with thin, self-adhesive gel sheets made from silicone. Wearing these on your scar every day for a while can prevent a raised scar from developing and reduce the size of an existing scar.
If you have a deeper scar, your doctor might recommend surgery to revise it. Some surgical treatments that can improve the appearance of a scar include:
Of note, a scar cannot be completely removed. Anytime the basement membrane is breached, whether intentionally during procedures or from traumatic accidents, a scar will result.
If you have a raised scar or a keloid, your doctor might be able to reduce its size and treat the commonly associated itch and tenderness of these lesions by injecting it with steroids.
Schedule your scar treatment with Absolute Dermatology & Skin Cancer Center today by calling the nearest office or send us a message to book an appointment on our contact page.
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