Scar tissue is a normal response after trauma to the body has occurred. It is a way for the body to heal or replace lost or damaged skin. Scars can form anywhere on the body as a result of surgery, injury, infection, acne or a burn. They can become itchy or painful during the healing process and it can take up to a year for a scar to settle into its final results. Scars can appear lumpy or flat or display a different color than your natural skin tone. The appearance of the scar depends on several aspects including the type of injury, location, the direction and size of the wound, genetics, age and ethnicity of the injured person.
Injections can help to minimize scars and reduce the bright red coloration which some scars get due to inflammation. There are several different types of scars including keloid, contracture, hypertrophic and acne scars. It’s important to know their differences and which injections can help the appearance of these scars.
• Keloid scars occur due to an overly forceful healing process and are frequently seen among people of ethnicity. This scar usually extends beyond the injury and can hinder natural movements. These scars usually appear red in color.
• Contracture scars usually occur due to a burn. The scar tends to pull the skin together and causes a constriction of the skin. These scars may extend below the skin impacting muscle and nerve function.
• Hypertrophic scars appear red in color as well as thick and elevated. They are comparable to keloid scars but don’t extend beyond the initial injury.
• Acne scars can vary in appearance and they range from deep indentions to angular looking scars.
What type of injection can be used to treat the right scar?
• Cortisone injections can help decrease itching, burning and redness from inflammation in the scar. Cortisone is a type of steroid which can soften the scar tissue and shrink the size of a scar which has become hard. These injections can be beneficial to hypertrophic scars and keloid scars. Possible side effects include dark red blotches, hyperpigmentation and tissue atrophy.
• Triamcinolone is another type of steroid injection which responds well to hypertrophic and keloid scars. It can help to fade and flatten the appearance of the scar. These injections can be given every 2-6 weeks until the scar has improved. However, triamcinolone has been known to cause surface veins, skin lightening or thinning in the injection area.
• Cytotoxic medicines are primarily used as anti-cancer treatments which slow down tissue growth but they can also be used to treat scars. Bleomycin and 5-fluorouracil are two types of cytotoxin which can be injected into a keloid scar. These injections can be used alone or in combination with other scar treatments. Side effects may include pain in the scar after the injection and a breakdown of the skin in the region of the injection.
• Collagen is used to treat wrinkles and facial lines but can be also used to treat a variety of scars. Collagen is naturally found in the body but the amount of collagen the body produces depletes with age. However, collagen treatments can be derived from cow collagen. It is then purified and injected beneath the skin in order to replace the natural collagen of the body. Thickening of the skin at the injection site and inflammation are two drawbacks to collagen injections.
• Autologous fat transfer can be used to elevate depressed scars. With this procedure, the fat is taken from another site on the patient’s body and injected beneath the surface of the skin. It can be used to treat deep contours caused by acne scarring. However, repeated procedures may be necessary due to the fact that the fat may be reabsorbed into the skin over a period of several months.