Recently I have had a lot of inquiries about scar treatments from patients, friends and family members. This has been such a hot topic over the past few weeks that I decided I would dedicate a blog to explain the various treatments.
First of all, there is no way to eliminate a scar 100%. There are some things that can help improve the appearance of a scar, but there is nothing on the market that will eliminate a scar completely. The skin is an amazing organ because it has the ability to generate new cells and repair itself when it is damaged or injured. It does not have the ability to do this without leaving a visible mark. Scars can come from acne, surgery or traumatic accidents. A scar can be darker or lighter than the surrounding skin and it can have a raised or shiny texture.
Here are a few options for scar treatments:
1. Mederma-Mederma is an over the counter topical medication that has been shown to help minimize the appearance of very mild scars. It can help helpful after an insect bite or a small scrape to help minimize the mark on the skin. It is inexpensive and found in any neighborhood pharmacy.
2. Silicone pads or gels-There are many brands of silicone pads and gels. You can find some over the counter near the bandaid aisle. These silicone treatments have shown to help soften the appearance of Keloid (red and thickened) scars. If you had a recent injury to the skin and when the area healed it became itchy, red and raised, this may be a keloid. They are very common on the chest and upper back. These silicone pads are a little pricey and are sometimes behind the pharmacy counter. I like Kelocote gel.
3. Cortisone Injections-If the silicone was not enough to soften your keloid scar, you may want to discuss the benefits of a cortisone injection with your dermatology provider. Cortisone is anti-inflammatory and can really help with itchy, burning and raised keloid scars.
4. Laser– There is only one laser that is FDA approved to treat scars. It will not help much with keloid scars, but it will help with most other types of scars. I am fortunate that I’ve had this laser in my office for over 2 years and I have seen great benefit for acne scars, surgical scars, traumatic scars and stretch marks. The laser uses fractionated energy to deliver heat into the skin causing the skin to tighten, contract and shrink the scar. These treatments can be expensive and usually require 4-5 treatments, but there is little discomfort and almost no recovery time.
Hopefully you do not have any reason to seek a scar treatment, but if you do, the list above explains your treatment options. Most scars will improve with the tincture of time so be patient.
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I am always looking for new blog topics or interesting products. Send your ideas to email@example.com.
I have been asked if I receive any financial incentive to mention products in my newsletter/blog and the answer is no. I only comment on products that I have used myself or that I recommend to patients because they have unique benefits. However, I am a clinical trainer for both Medicis (Dysport/Restylane) and Allergan (Botox/Juvederm).