Scars Treatment Overview

A scar is a sign of skin repair from an injury. Superficial scrapes and cuts can dissapear in just weeks. Yet, some deeper body scars refuse to fade with time, including scars from acne, surgery, burns, or piercings.  
There are a number of treatments for scars; choosing the appropriate one often depends on the type of scarring you've experienced. 

Acne scarring

Acne scars treatment will depend on the depth of the acne scarring. 
  • Shallow acne scars - usually can be addressed by a filler injection
  • Deep ice-pick scars, especially large scars may need to be excised followed with dermabrasion or laser resurfacing. Deep acne scars are often treated by fractional lasers like Fraxel or Deep FX

Acne scar laser treatment before and after

Before and after laser acne scar treatment for Asian female

New scars

You may be able to prevent long-lasting scarring by being proactive about a skin injury. Doctors typically recommend keeping the injured skin area moist and suggest Aquaphor or a petroleum based ointment. This is followed by Vitamin E oil that is lightly massaged once the scar is about three weeks old.
A scar area should get smaller and may need a full 10-12 months before it is completely healed. During that time doctors stress that it's important to protect it from the sun and its damaging UV rays. Use a sunscreen of at least SPF 30 even if you're not in the direct sun.
Some doctors also suggest lightening agents or creams such as Tri-Luma or Mederma. Be cautious of lighteners sold on the Internet, since they may contain dangerous concentrations of bleaching agents or unsafe ingredients.

Raised scars

Raised (hypertrophic or keloid scars) are a type of scar that may remain visible for a lifetime. When a scar fails to fade from a home scar treatments you may need to visit a dermatologist. Professional scar treatments include dermabrasionlaser resurfacing, Fraxel, and steroid injection. 

White scars

White scars, depressed scars may be treated using one or several approaches including saline subcision, application of a strong chemical peel to that area to stimulate collagen growth, and fillers (e.g. Restylane, Collagen, Radiesse).

Old scars

Lasers and surgical revision should only be considered for an older scar-- that is a skin injury that has completely healed (typically 1 year later).

Accident scars

Accident scars, such as lacerations to the face that result in a scar may be treated using plastic surgery scar revision. Other techniques may be used depending on scar depth and type.
Before and after revision of a car accident scar
Before and after revision of a car accident scar

Piercing scar and scar tissue

Piercing scars, such as ear piercings or cheek piercings often create scar tissue, and they will leave a permanent mark. A piercing scar removal typically involves excision to remove the pierced area and replacing that scar with a fine line. The fine line can be further minimized by the use of lasers that make scars less visible or topical creams like Mederma.

Burn scars

Burn scars have a deeper injury characteristic and therefore leave more significant scar. Read more

More scar information on RealSelf

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