Treatment can only improve the appearance of a scar; it cannot completely erase it.
The following are some of the more common scar-minimizing procedures:
Dermabrasion may be used to minimize small scars, minor skin surface irregularities, surgical scars, and acne scars. As the name implies, dermabrasion involves removing the top layers of skin with an electrical machine that abrades the skin. As the skin heals from the procedure, the surface appears smoother and fresher.
Chemical peels are often used to minimize sun-damaged skin, irregular color (pigment), and superficial scars. The top layer of skin is removed with a chemical application to the skin. By removing the top layer, the skin regenerates, often improving the skin’s appearance.
One type of collagen (made from purified cow collagen) is injected beneath the skin. It replaces the body’s natural collagen that has been lost. Injectable collagen is generally used to treat wrinkles, scars, and facial lines. There are several other types of injectable materials that can be used also.
These types of injections can help soften and then shrink hard scars. Keloids and hypertrophic scars often soften after intralesional steroid injections.
Cryosurgery can help reduce the size of scars by freezing the top skin layers. The freezing causes the skin to blister.
Laser resurfacing uses high-energy light to burn away damaged skin. Laser resurfacing may be used to minimize wrinkles and refine hypertrophic scars.
Punch grafts are small skin grafts to replace scarred skin. A hole is punched in the skin to remove the scar. Then the scar is replaced with unscarred skin (often from the back of the earlobe). Punch grafts can help treat deep acne scars.
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