Our bodies carry us through the world, and they are meant to experience the world. But our experiences can leave their mark, and scars may not be something we care to carry forever. Scars may result from poor healing and become noticeable, unsightly, or disfiguring.
Why do my scars look the way they do?
Can plastic surgery help with scars?
Some people are more prone to developing noticeable scars based on genetics, wound care, or the type of injury. Discoloration or surface irregularities can be cosmetically improved by surgery or other treatments. Hypertrophic scars are thick clusters of scar tissue that develop directly at a wound site. They are often raised, red, and uncomfortable and can be lighter or darker than the surrounding skin.
Keloids are more prominent than hypertrophic scars and can be painful or itchy and continue to grow over time. They may also pucker, looking like a giant cystic pimple. Keloids develop more commonly where there is little underlying fatty tissue, such as on the face, neck, ears, chest, or shoulders, but can occur anywhere on the body. Contracture refers to scars from tightening the skin and underlying tissue, which can occur after tissue loss. Contractures also can form where a wound crosses a joint, restricting movement of the fingers, elbows, knees, or neck.
Scar revision encompasses various methods, alone or in combination. The chosen technique depends on the scar’s severity, location, and depth, also taking into account the health of the surrounding tissue. Different methods of skin resurfacing can treat acne scars. Dermabrasion resurfaces the top layers of skin and softens the appearance of scars. Laser resurfacing can stimulate collagen and elastic fibers, promoting healing and new skin growth.
Punch excision is a more focused procedure to address individual acne scars, repairing the wound with stitches or a skin graft. Another is a subcision technique that involves your doctor inserting needles under the skin to loosen fibers below a scar to help improve its appearance.
Injection therapies are a minimally invasive option that offers precision and control. Dermal Fillers like Juvederm, Radiesse, and Restylane are popular treatments for acne scars. Fillers can reduce the uneven appearance of certain scars by filling depressed or concave scars. Results may last from three months to several years. Therapy must be repeated to maintain results. Steroid injections can reduce collagen formation and alter the size and texture of raised scar tissue.