The body is a wondrous entity with each organ working together to keep the organization healthy by maintaining the ability to mend itself after trauma. The skin protects the inner organs and has the fortitude to repair itself by creating scar tissue after an injury such as a cut, scrape, burn, surgery, infection, acne or insect bite. The appearance of scar tissue depends on several factors including the size of the wound, direction of the laceration, type of scar and where it is located on the body. The main types of scars include keloid, hypertrophic, contracture and atrophic or “ice pick” scars. There are several different ways patients can treat their scars and they include both home remedies and in-office treatments.
Treating Scars At Home
- Aloe Vera – A natural scar removal remedy that is helpful thanks to its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Aloe Vera repairs the skin damage and promotes healthy skin growth for the patient.
- Coconut Oil – Vitamin E in coconut oil speeds up healing and also prevents the formation of new scars. Also, acids found in coconut oil stimulate the production of collagen to heal damaged skin.
- Lemon – The alpha hydroxy acids in lemons have healing properties that treat any type of scar. Lemon also promotes the growth of new skin cells and helps to improve the elasticity of skin. Also, the bleaching properties of lemons lighten scars.
- Cocoa Butter – A natural moisturizer that heals all types of scars through deep skin penetration to keep the area with scars moisturized for a longer period of time. It also aids in skin repair and promotes new skin tissue growth.
- Injectable Fillers – If a scar is concave, which means it curves inward, fillers can be used to fill-in the depressed area and improve the contour of the surface. It should be noted that is normally a temporary solution and will need to be repeated on a regular basis.
- Laser Resurfacing – An option which uses a high-powered laser to remove the scarred top layer of skin and also promote smoother and tighter skin. Examples of laser resurfacing options include:
- Co2 lasers that penetrate deeply into the skin to treat deeper and thicker scars
- YAG lasers to treat shallow scars
- Fractionated lasers that use tiny beams of light to deeply penetrate the skin and stimulate collagen production in the deeper skin layers
- Non-Ablative laser which uses infrared skin lasers to heat the inner skin layer while leaving the surface untouched in order to promote collagen production and new skin cells
- Dermabrasion – A procedure that uses a wire brush or a diamond wheel with rough edges to remove the scar tissue through scraping. This treatment is especially effective for acne scars and scars that were the result of diseases or accidents.
- Chemical Peels – A chemical is applied to the skin in order to remove the top layer of skin and reveal skin that is healthier and smoother.
- Scar Removal Surgery – In cases of deeper scarring, surgery might be the best option to remove the scar. The incision is closed by the use of a tissue substitute or skin graft. There are even cases where a tissue expander is placed below the surface of the scar and filled with a sterile solution to stretch the skin. Once the skin is stretched sufficiently, the scar and expander are removed and the remaining skin is stretched in order to cover the open area.