What is scarring?
A scar is an area of tissue that replaces normal tissue, usually skin, after an injury and is the result of the normal wound healing process. Unless they are very small, almost every wound will result in a scar.
The location and type of wound, the way that it is treated in the healing phase, as well your body’s own reaction to the injury, will determine the final appearance of the scar.
Scars can be recognised by their inconsistency with the surrounding skin.
All scars are different in their nature and therefore require a different treatment approach. Although it may not be possible to entirely remove a scar, it may be possible to significantly improve its appearance.
What types of scars can be treated? Am I a candidate for scar reduction treatment?
Flat brown scars
Brown pigmented scars are known as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIHP). They can form following any type of injury, but are most common after heat related injuries. They represent an over production of melanin pigment. These scars can resolve in time, but in a lot of cases they linger on for many years.
Red or Pink scars from acne
New or fresh scars will always be red or pink for a short period of time, as the blood supplies the area with growth factors to repair itself.
However, if your scars remain pink for more than two or three months, Laser Genesis may be an appropriate treatment. Laser Genesis applies a therapeutic heat to the dermis (lower layer of the skin) which stimulates healing, production of new collagen and can assist is reducing the redness or pinkness.
Atrophic or Indentation scars
These are commonly seen in individuals that have struggled with acne. Loss of collagen in the skin may cause the surface of the scar to be “pulled down” to the basement membrane (the lowest level of the skin) leaving an impression or indentation.
A typical form of atrophic scarring is “ice-pick scarring”, which you may see following severe acne. The skin appears to have small, deep “pits”.
Atrophic scars are improved with the production of new collagen. This is normally induced by creating a series of controlled “micro-injuries”. These micro-injuries induce the skin to rebuild itself up from the basement membrane, forming new, helathy, collagen in the process, and levelling out to the surrounding tissue.
Dermapen skin-needling and Laser Genesis are both methods that induce a micro-injury, and can improve atrophic scars. Ice-pick scarring may also be treated with a very strong “pin-point” chemical peel, giving the scar a strong but precise injury which induces the growth of new, healthy collagen.
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In severe cases, dermal filler can be injected into the site below the scar, to push the skin outward to match the surrounding tissue.
Raised scars – keloid scar treatment and hypertrophic scars
Sometimes wounds heal abnormally and produce much more tissue than is required to heal the wound. This excessive, disorganised growth not only leads to ugly, raised scars, but can also entrap blood vessels and nerves, making them itchy and uncomfortable.
Keloid and hypertrophic scars are examples of two types of scars that have grown outside the border of the initial injury.
What kind of treatments are used to reduce the appearance of scars?
At Evolve Advanced Cosmetic Medicine we specialise in the treatment of old and new scars, and we have a number of treatment modalities available to us. Your Dermal Clinician and doctor will assess your scar type and location, and formulate a personalised treatment plan.
Scar treatment plans are normally reassessed monthly and photographs are taken to monitor progress.
If you have a scar which is concerning you, please feel free to schedule your complimentary initial consultation with our Dermal Therapists or Doctor to discuss your options.
How long must I wait after surgery or trauma to treat my scar?
It is important to remember that scar formation is a natural bodily process following trauma or surgery that heals and strengthens the skin. It is therefore vital that this process and the scar itself not be weakened by intervention, and as a general rule scar reduction treatment with lasers, DermaPen(R) and “invasive” treatments should not take place until at least two to three months following trauma or surgery.
If you are considering treatment for a recent surgical scar, we recommend that you discuss with your surgeon when they would be happy with you commencing scar reduction treatment. Treatment with photo-LED therapy is non-invasive, and can therefore begin immediately after your surgical dressings are removed.
How successful is scar reduction treatment?
The success of scar reduction treatment depends on a number of factors, including your skin type, the type, location, size and age of the scar and the treatments modalities used.
The main aim of scar reduction treatment is not to completely remove the scar, but rather to reduce the appearance of the scar, and to help it blend in with the surrounding skin. Some skin types and scar types may be able to achieve a better appearance than others, but reduction of scar visibility is usually possible.
How much does scar reduction treatment cost?
The cost of scar reduction treatment depends on a number of factors, including your skin type, the type, location, size and age of the scar and the treatment modalities used.