It is hard to conceal a scar on your face. No matter how much makeup you put on to keep it hidden, it will never go out of sight and you will keep feeling miserable. An ugly scar on the face can turn out to be a nightmare, indeed! But how to get rid of it? Well, there are various facial scar revision treatment options that can help you lighten your scar over time as well as erase it eventually. Let’s dig deeper:
A Brief Overview Of Scars
A scar is the patch of tissue that replaces the skin that has undergone any form of injury. Scarring is basically the natural healing process that our skin goes right after a trauma. This could be the result of a surgery, burn, acne, chicken pox, or anything similar. The appearance of scars vary depending on the causes lying behind them. Scars caused by acne and chicken pox may be pitted or sunken. The ones left by an injury or a surgery are lumpy in texture and different in color than the healthy skin around it. Stretch marks are also considered to be scars. Following are different types of scars that you can get:
- Keloid Scars: Scars that result from an overly aggressive process of healing and extend even beyond the actual wound.
- Contracture Scars: Caused by burns, these scars make the skin tighter and affects natural movement. They can also end up damaging our muscles and nerves.
- Hypertrophic Scars: These scars are much similar to keloids. They are red in color and raised in nature.
- Acne Scars: Severe acne can leave you ugly scars , which can again be of many types including deep pits, angular, wavelike, and so on.
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Facial Scar Revision Treatment Options
You have a number of options to lighten the appearance of scars, which include topical treatments, minimally invasive procedures, and surgical treatments. All these make scars less obvious and reduce changes that were caused in the skin texture. The possible extent of revision depends on how sunken or raised your scar is and what kind of treatment you choose. Here are different facial scar revision treatment options that you could choose from:
1. Over-The-Counter Treatments
There are many over-the-counter (OTC) scar revision treatments available in local drugstores, which promise to reduce the appearance of facial scars drastically. Products, such as topical creams, gels, silicone gel sheets, etc. help lighten scars and make them appear homogeneous to the surrounding skin. Topical scar removal treatments with vitamin A help in improving the aesthetic properties of scars since Retinoic Acid present in it works as a resurfacing agent. There are also products with vitamin E oils and onion extract, which speed up healing and make the scars thinner, softer, and less painful.
The OTC treatments are all about keeping the wound moist by preventing water evaporation from the skin. This promotes the healing process, prevents the formation of scabs, minimizes scarring, and lets the skin grow back evenly.
2. Laser Therapy
Laser therapy is very effective in treating scars. Based on the severity of you scar, skin laser technology can either lessen it significantly or erase it completely over time. The laser beam, when applied to the skin, helps in removing the affected outer layer and promoting new tissue growth. The procedure takes about 1-2 hours (each session) and is suitable for all kinds of scars. Typically, CO2 laser is used for thicker and deeper scars while YAG laser is used for shallow scars.
Laser therapy can be of three different types i.e. ‘Fractionated’ (tiny beams of light penetrating into the skin deeply), ‘Non-Ablative’ (infra-red lasers that leaves the surface untouched), ‘Ablative’ (high-powered laser beam to work on both surface and inner layers). The best one is chosen based on the nature of the scar.
3. Chemical Peels
Chemical peels are certain acid solutions that help exfoliate and peel off the damaged outer layers of the skin. The body produces fresh tissue to repair the controlled wounds caused by peels, which smoothens out the scars and enhances skin texture. Different acid solutions used for chemical peels are alpha hydroxy acid (AHA), or beta hydroxy acid (BHA), trichloroacetic acid (TCA), phenol, and so on. Superficial scars can be treated with a gentle acid, such as glycolic acid peel, which does not penetrate beyond the epidermal layer of the skin. Medium peels work on both the outermost and middle layers and deeper scars need a deep tissue peel like phenol peel.
Microdermabrasion works almost similarly to chemical peels, however, it does not use any chemical. Instead, tiny sterile crystals are used, which are irregular in shape and abrasive on the skin. They not only peel off imperfections directly from the outermost layer of the skin but also makes it significantly smoother. This results in the rejuvenation of the entire top layer of the skin, there giving you a more even skin tone. It works well for eight-week or older scars.
5. Dermal Soft-Tissue Fillers
When a scar is significantly depressed (atrophic scar), dermal fillers are injected under that depression in order to lift it up and create a more even skin tone. These soft-tissue fillers are basically hyaluronic acid or other collagen-stimulating chemical injections that are commercially known as ‘Juvederm’, ‘Radiesse’, ‘Restylane’, ‘Sculptra’, etc. They give immediate results, which last only a few months and need repeated filling to repair the scar contour. However, being a cosmetic procedure, filler injections come with certain potential risks.
6. Scar Revision Surgery
Most of the above treatments are temporary, which needing repeated visits to the clinic for more sittings. But if you are looking for a permanent option, a scar revision surgery is what you should go for. During the surgery, your scar is cut out and replaced with a healthy skin graft taken from any other part of your body. It will take you a couple of weeks to recover from the surgery, but once you do, then it is a permanent ‘goodbye’ to the scar.
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