Fade your scars with a little help from your friends at LJCSC

Whether from childhood case of chicken pox, teenage acne, skin trauma, or the result of a surgical procedure, scars come in all shapes and sizes—and sometimes they can be problematic.

Whether you’re self-conscious about the way your scars look or they cause you pain or discomfort, there are treatments and techniques for improving their appearance.

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5 facts about scars:

  1. Scarring is a normal part of your skin’s natural healing process. Collagen is released to mend a wound or trauma so it can reattach the skin.
  2. There are people that have a hereditary or family tendency to heal poorly and develop what is called a hypertrophic scar or keloid. Keloid scars can become very red, swollen, tender and may even worsen with time instead of healing.
  3. Some areas of the body are more prone to poor healing and produce problematic scars with greater frequency. These areas commonly include the jawline, ears, chest and breasts, shoulders, upper back, and legs.
  4. Scars can take awhile to fade and soften, and in many cases will naturally become near invisible. Your genes, lifestyle habits, what caused the scar (i.e., a complex wound, surgery, or acne), and subsequent care can all impact how well scars heal.
  5. There are three main types of scars: normal scars (flat, slightly discolored), hypertrophic scars (slightly raised and discolored), and keloid scars (very overgrown, often larger than original injury).

Scar Treatment Options

Our plastic surgeons and laser specialists at LJCSC are experienced in a variety of safe, effective scar treatments. Which treatment is right for you will depend on the size, cause, location and nature of your scar, your natural skin tone, and your personal needs and goals.

VBeam laser treatments for pigmented scars

For scars that are unsightly due to color (i.e., they appear red or pink), we recommend the pulsed-dye laser treatment VBeam Perfecta. The VBeam is a non-ablative, gentle laser that works by sending energy wavelengths through the skin that absorb the excess pigment. The VBeam requires little to no downtime, and can be very effective for treating port wine stains, birth marks, and rosacea in addition to pigmented red scars.

BBL (broadband light) therapy is often a great choice for treating brown pigmentation irregularities. Scars that appear white because they lack pigmentation (called hypopigmentation) can be more difficult to treat, and may require a combination of treatments ranging from medication to tattooing to scar excision.

ProFractional laser treatments for raised (hypertrophic) and keloid scars

Elevated or “ropey” scars that have formed into a raised or bumpy appearance often respond very well to ProFractional laser resurfacing. The ProFractional laser is a fractionated ablative laser, meaning it removes a fraction of the skin in the treatment area to induce deep collagen remodeling and help the skin heal into a more uniform, flat and normal appearance. Downtime after each ProFractional laser treatment is about 3 to 5 days, and patients typically need 4 to 6 treatments depending on the size, depth and severity of their scar.

Depending on your needs, we may also prescribe or inject a medication such as Kenalog or 5-fluorouracil (5-FU), which “turns off” scar-forming cells and helps to flatten hypertrophic or keloid scars, as well as reduce pain or itching.  Sometimes pressure dressings or topical medications may play a role as well in the scar treatment.

Treatments for indented scars

Mild to moderate indented or “crater” like scars can be treated with fillers, such as Restylane® or Juvéderm®, to temporarily fill in the indentation and restore a smoother, more regular appearance.  Another benefit of fillers is that they can help to stimulate natural collagen production, which will help your skin naturally build up and reduce the scar depth over time. Sharply defined craters and ice pick scars may be revised by performing a small excision of the scar.

Surgical scar removal

In some cases, surgical excision by one of our board certified plastic surgeons may be the most appropriate option to remove an unsightly scar. While surgery will leave its own scar, the resultant scar from an incision made by a skilled, experienced plastic surgeon should be much thinner and less conspicuous than the original scar and, with proper care, will usually fade very well.

Since 1988, more than 30,000 patients have had safe, successful procedures at La Jolla Cosmetic Surgery Centre.

Learn more at a free consultation

Finding the right scar treatment requires the expertise of an experienced skin care professional. Contact us today to request your complimentary consultation with one of our board certified plastic surgeons or certified laser and skincare specialists at LJCSC.