Our skin, being a seamless organ is a valuable asset for any person. Scar tissues can be formed over skin as a result of trauma, surgery, burn or injuries and can make the skin look ugly.
Skin is like a treasured piece of silk. Even a smallest tear or mark over this piece makes it look ugly. We, as humans, experience many such tears and marks over our skin that can make a lot of difference to the way the skin looks. In turn, it also affects the overall appearance and personality of the person. Some of thesemarks are self inflicted while some are beyond our control. We can cope up with these marks or scars if they are small in size or are not over prominent visible parts of body like face. Some of the scars are easy to hide. But, the scars that cannot be hidden and are cosmetically disapproving, need to be treated in order to diminish their appearance or for completely removing them.
How are the Scars Formed?
Formation of scars is a natural process of body for healing. Several factors can affect the formation of scars. Size and depth of the injury and location of wound are the main deciding factors for the development of scars. Age of person, hereditary factors, sex and also ethnic origin of person can affect the response of body to the formation of scars.
Types of Scars:
There are several types of scars that are mentioned below:
Keloid scars: Keloid scars are formed as a result of aggressive process of healing. The scar formation in this case extends beyond the part that is injured. Keloid scars can also affect the movements of body especially if they are large and are located over joints. Treatment of keloid scars includes injections of steroids over the scars or surgical removal of them. Use of cryotherapy is beneficial for treating small sized keloids. Cryotherapy consists of freezing techniques by using liquid nitrogen. Prevention of formation of keloid can be done with the help of gel pads containing silicon or by pressure treatment after any injury. Keloids are more common in people with darker skin.
Contracture scars: These types of scars occur over burnt skin. There is tightening of skin in this that impairs the mobility of joints. These scars can also go deep and affect nerves and muscles.
Hypertrophic scars: These are raised, red colored scars that look very similar to keloid scars. However, these scars do not encroach over the normal skin tissue. Treatment of these scars can be done by local injections of corticosteroids for reducing inflammation at the site.
Acne scars: Patients suffering for severe acne are prone to developing acne scars. Acne scars can be of different types like deep scars, angular scars or wavelike scars. The treatment of acne scars depends upon the types of acne.
Treatment of scars can be done in several ways, which are mentioned below:
Prescription or non-prescription creams, gels and ointments: Scars caused by surgical incisions, trauma or injuries can be treated with these products. If the patient has undergone cosmetic surgery and the scarring has occurred as an effect of this procedure, then the cosmetic surgeon can advice about the suitability of these products. Use of local or systemic steroids along with anti-histaminic agents can be helpful in reducing the itching and sensitiveness of these scars.
If the scarring has occurred due to acne, your dermatologist can advice you about the proper treatment of acne that can help in reducing the scarring. Use of pressure techniques and sheetings of silicon gel can also help in treating acne scars. These techniques are useful as preventive measures as well, in patients suffering from acne.
Surgical methods: Many options are available for the treatment of deep scars and wounds. Selection of effective treatment for each patient depends upon the location and depth of scar. Excision of scars, dermabrasion, skin grafting and laser treatment are some of the modes of treatment that can be used for removing scars. In skin grafting, removal of skin is done from one part of the body that is grafted over the scarred skin. This procedure is performed in scars caused by burns. Surgical excision can help in treating scars that cause impairment of mobility and function. These procedures can be done under local anesthesia. However, use of general anesthesia or oral sedatives drugs can also be done in some cases. Patients suffering from scars due to plastic surgery, cosmetic procedure or after any other surgical procedure should wait for atleast a year before they make a decision to undergo any treatment for scars, as many such scars tend to disappear spontaneously over a period of time.
Injections: Protruding scars like hypertrophic scars or keloids can be treated with local injection of medications. Steroidal injections over the scar tissue can help in reducing the scars to a great extent. These injections can be used as an only therapy for patients or can be used in combination with other therapies. Some other types of injections like collagen injections or fillers are also used for pitted scars. But, they do not offer a permanent solution to the problem.