Scar treatments available at LJCSC
Scars may be problematic either because they are unsightly or because they cause symptoms of pain or discomfort. Scars come in all shapes and sizes and may be the result of:
- chicken pox
- trauma to the skin
Some areas of the body are just prone to poor healing and produce problematic scars with greater frequency. These areas commonly include the:
- upper back
There are people that have a hereditary or family tendency to heal poorly and develop what is called a hypertrophic scar or keloid. These scars become very red, swollen, tender and may even worsen with time instead of healing.
Scar Treatment Options
Painful or itching scars will usually respond to intra-lesional injections of medications such as 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) or lasers that interact with capillaries. Sometimes pressure dressings or topical medications may play a role as well in the scar treatment.
When scars are unsightly it is either because of color (red or brown coloring or loss of color) or due to healing that leaves an indentation, crater, pit, or an elevated lump or ridge. Some surgical scars are fine lines and virtually invisible initially, but stretch out with time to become thinned out, flat or wide that look much like “stretch marks” that develop from rapid growth.
Depending upon the type and cause of scars, they can often be minimized with one of the following non-surgical treatments:
When scars are elevated and cause a bump or a ridge , a combination of treatments is needed. To remove the ridge or bump, a laser may be used to vaporize the unwanted tissue and flatten it. Medications can be used that turn off the cells that make scar tissue. 5-FU is usually injected to help flatten scars.
When a scar causes an indentation or crater, then stimulation of new collagen to build up the indentation is needed. Fillers, such as Restylane®, Juvéderm®, or Radiesse® are also used to fill in the indentation. Sharply defined craters and ice pick scars may be revised by performing a small excision of the scar.