Believe it or not, scars are actually a good thing—they are your body’s way of protecting you and healing to the best of its ability. But that doesn’t mean they’re pretty.
It’s important to understand that scar removal treatments rarely result in the total or complete removal of scars, however these kinds of treatments can significantly minimize their appearance—for patients with particularly deep scars or scars in readily noticeable locations (such as the face), scar removal treatment can be massively beneficial.
How do Scars Form on the Body?
When the skin is cut or otherwise damaged, it attempts to mend itself by utilizing the aid of cells which specialize in repairing injury and releasing a host of healing chemicals. Histamine is one of the primary acting chemicals, which stretches out blood vessels so that the other chemicals can do their jobs. You’ve probably heard of histamine before, as in anti-histamines. Histamine is desirable when you want your skin to heal, but it can also make cuts and healing skin feel itchy. As the body continues to produce more blood vessels so that it can oxygenate the area, the skin takes on a pinkish tone. Finally, new collagen appears, creating the initial raised appearance typical of scars.
All of this is the body doing the best it can to repair itself, but unfortunately we’re left with a visual reminder of the injury or damage that took place. Plastic surgeons and other medical professionals have been continually developing anti-scar treatments for decades, and the good news for patients is that they’re getting very good at it—to learn more about whether or not you’re a candidate for the treatments we’re going to discuss in just a moment, the best thing that you can do is consult with a qualified plastic surgeon who can not only answer your questions, but evaluate your unique situation and suggest the best possible way to proceed with scar removal treatments custom tailored to your needs.
Surgical Scar Removal Treatments
Surgical scar removal treatments are typically only administered to reduce the appearance of particularly deep or visible scars. One option may include a skin graft where new skin is taken from one area of the body and used to replace the scarred area. It’s also possible that a “tissue expander” can be used in some cases. This works by placing the expander underneath the scarified skin and inflating it like a balloon with a salt water solution to stretch out the skin. Once the skin around the scar is stretched enough, the expander is removed and the scar is surgically removed. The extra expanded skin can then cover the scar defect. Surgical scar removal treatments of course aim to not leave worse scars themselves, but there is no guarantee—generally speaking, if your scar isn’t problematic enough to warrant a surgical solution, non-surgical means of removal or reduction are generally preferred.
Non-Surgical Scar Removal Treatments
One of the most effective forms of non-surgical scar removal treatment is with laser scar removal therapy. This form of scar removal treatment is appropriate for removing scars caused by injury, past surgeries, or acne. Laser scar removal utilizes a high-energy beam of light—one popular type is Fotona, which uses a dual-wavelength laser beam which can not only reduce or remove the appearance of a scar, but prevent potential complications with the blood vessel network within the scar. It is effective at removing raised, reddened scars without damaging the underlying anatomy, and may be used to treat hyperpigmentation as well. To learn more about non-surgical scar removal treatments like laser therapy using Fotona, schedule an appointment for a consultation with a qualified plastic surgeon experienced in laser scar removal.