Scarring

Whenever the skin is damaged, the body’s natural wound repair process is activated. To minimise blood loss, the blood vessels under the skin will constrict, after which a scab will slowly form over the area to cover the wound. Once a scab has formed, collagen fibres are produced to reconnect and repair the skin.

Scarring is the result of excess collagen production and is one of the stages of the skin’s healing process. While most scars do fade over time, others can become problematic and remain visible for decades.

There are several different factors that determine how visible a scar will be after a skin injury, including:

  • Skin tone. Darker and fairer skins are more susceptible to highly-visible scars.
  • Age. Since older skin contains less collagen and isn’t as elastic, scars are more likely.
  • Injury location. An injury that occurs on a very mobile area of the body such as the knee has a higher chance of scarring.
  • Hormones. Hormone levels are another factor that can exacerbate the appearance of scars.

A Look at the Different Types of Scars

Acne Scars
If dealing with painful acne-related blemishes wasn’t enough, acne sufferers also have to deal with the possibility of scarring. Because these painful blemishes are rooted deep in the skin, they tend to damage the deeper layers and can cause a variety of different scars, including ice pick, rolling and boxcar scars.

Keloid/Hypertrophic Scars
Keloid and hypertrophic scars are raised, with keloid scars extending beyond the site of the injury. This type of scar is the result of an overproduction of tissue and collagen that creates a new layer on top of the skin.

Atrophic Scars
Atrophic scars are often described as small pockets or pitted scars and are generally the result of cystic acne or chickenpox.

Contracture Scars
These scars are the result of large areas of skin being lost, with burns being one of the most common causes.

Stretch Marks
Stretch marks are the indented or raised lines that occur as a result of the skin being continuously stretched over time. Pregnant women and people who have gained a significant amount of weight are no strangers to stretch marks.

Scarring Treatment Options

Fortunately, scars do not need to be a permanent feature of your appearance. These are the treatment options available to you:

– Pearl Fractional Resurfacing
Pearl fractional laser skin resurfacing is used to treat acne scars by delivering targeted pulses of energy into the deeper layers of the skin, creating a rejuvenating effect that reverses the effects of skin damage. The heat that is generated by the Pearl device will create a protective layer over your skin, which will enhance the restoration process. Treatments are quick but can be slightly uncomfortable, which is why a numbing agent is used. Patients may require several days of downtime following their treatment.
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– Chemical Peels
If you have mild scarring such as that caused by acne, chemical peels can be used to gently remove the outer layer of the skin, replacing it with a fresh layer that is smoother. Once a chemical peel is applied, it creates a slight tingling sensation as the ingredients take effect. Patients may experience some redness following their treatment but this will not prevent you from returning to work should you need to. Several peels may be necessary to achieve the desired result.
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– Dermal Fillers
Along with reducing the appearance of scarring, dermal fillers can also be used to improve the overall texture of your skin. Unfortunately, dermal fillers are not ideal for raised scars. Certain types of dermal fillers are better for treating scars than others and repeat treatments will be required to maintain your results. Treatments are only mildly uncomfortable and quick to administer, meaning you can schedule your treatment over your lunch break.
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– Laser Genesis
The Laser Genesis system is a popular treatment for a variety of different scars, including keloid scars. However, a combination of treatments may be required to completely remove hypertrophic scars. Laser Genesis treatments are gentle and deliver high-power microsecond pulses into the dermis to treat visible scars. Prominent scars will require several treatments in order for the desired result to be achieved.
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– PRP
Platelet-rich plasma therapy (PRP) uses platelets that are extracted from the patient’s own blood to encourage the production of collagen and production, which will accelerate the skin’s healing process. The growth factors that are present in the blood encourage healthy cellular activity that helps to combat the appearance of scars. PRP is best delivered in conjunction with micro-needling and will require several treatments for optimal results.
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– Steroid Injections
Steroid medication can be injected into the skin to treat hypertrophic and keloid scarring. This can cause the scar to shrink and flatten, but will usually require to be combined with other modalities.

Find out how we can help you reduce the appearance of scarring by scheduling a consultation today.

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