The short answer when it comes to scars it that it is impossible to remove them. However, there are many treatments available to improve the appearance of a scar, making it less noticeable (and sometimes almost invisible).
What is a scar? A scar is the fibrous connective tissue that develops as the body repairs itself from injury or surgery. Scars from surgery and those caused by an accident or trauma are treated differently. Scars caused from surgery are usually from precise, controlled incisions that have little trauma to the tissues. Because of this, the wound tends to heal better leaving behind a smaller, smoother scar. Scars caused by injuries can suffer a significant amount of damage to the tissues, making them more jagged, thicker and wider.
It’s best to give scars time to heal and mature before doing any sort of aggressive scar treatment or revision. Most scars do get better with time. If the scar is from a recent procedure or injury, the first thing to do is to give it time to fully heal, at least six months to a year. There are special topical scar treatments that can be used early in the healing process to help improve the appearance of a scar, including creams and gel and silicone gel sheets.
For mature scars, there are many non-surgical treatment options available. If the scar is thick and/or raised, treatments like micro-needling can help breakdown the scar tissue, making it smoother and less noticeable. Fractionated laser treatments are also an option to help “thin” out thick scars. For more extensive scars, a surgical revision may be the best option. This is done by a plastic surgeon usually as an in-office procedure under local anesthesia.
For scars that are discolored (typically red or brown) there are several different treatments to improve their appearance. These types of scars will lighten over time, but when a patient would like to speed up the process, intense pulsed light (IPL) treatments are a great choice. Depending on the circumstances, other laser treatments or a skin peel may be an option. However, there are some patients whose skin tone or texture don’t do well with laser treatments or chemical peels. It is important that your skin and your scar is treated by an experienced skin care expert to ensure the best results.
If you have scars or discolorations you’d like to improve, schedule a free consultation with one of our skin care experts at The Skin Care Center at Gulf Coast Plastic Surgery.