A scar is formed after an injury. Scars are a result of the biological process of repairing the wound, whether it is skin or other organs.
Types of Scars
The scars that are raised above the skin level and take the form of a raised lump on the skin are called hypertrophic scars.
These are generally caused in whipping type of injuries. These scars are more serious as they can grow indefinitely into large, non-cancerous tissue.
These scars can be caused by accident, whipping, surgery, acne or by body piercings.
The scar that takes the form of a sunken recess in the skin is called an atrophic scar. These scars are caused when the fat or muscle tissue supporting the skin are lost. Various causes of this scar are acne, chickenpox, surgery, accidents, insect bites, genetic disorders, etc.
Stretch marks are also a form of scarring caused when the skin is stretched rapidly, like in pregnancy, weight gain or adolescent growth. Stretch marks are also caused when the skin is put under a stretch during the healing process, like near the joints.
A navel also is a type of scar! It develops when healing happens for the umbilical cord which is cut after birth.
Scar Removal Treatments
Hypertrophic scars and Keloids are treated with non-ablative lasers which stimulate collagen growth. Ablative lasers are suited best for atrophic and acne scars.
Collagen is injected as a filler to raise atrophic scars to the level of surrounding skin.
Superficial scars like those formed due to acne are effectively removed by using chemical peels. The Chemicals in the peel destroy the epidermis in a controlled manner, leading to skin generation and the treating of certain skin conditions. These are generally not used when there is an infection on the skin.
Dressings of Silicone are used in scar treatments. They are used for preventing scar formation and also to improve existing scar appearance. For managing burn and hypertrophic scars, pressure dressings have shown encouraging results. Especially in treating ear Keloids, the pressure therapy has been very effective.
Corticosteroid injections help flatten and soften the appearance of Keloid or hypertrophic scars.
Here, the scar is removed surgically. After the excision, the new wound is usually closed up in a way that leaves minimum evidence of a scar.
A combination of surgery and laser-assisted healing in hypertrophic or keloid scars is also practiced.
Deep rolling scars that are left behind by skin ailments including acne are treated by Subcision. It is also used to lessen the appearance of severe glabellar lines. (These are the lines that are like parallel wrinkles between the eyebrows extending up to the central forehead.)
After the skin is leveled through surgery, other treatments like microdermabrasion, laser resurfacing or chemical peels are used to smoothen out the scars.
Other Scar Treatments
To temporarily conceal the scars, medical makeup and cosmetics are used. This is generally done for facial scars.
For scars caused due to wounds or by surgical incisions, massage is also used to reduce the scars.
Dermabrasion is a scar removal treatment wherein the surface of the skin is removed. This can be considered as a surgical procedure and it involves the use of a local anesthetic.