Scars are the end result of a healing process. As a result, any treatment offered for scars, other than surgery, will have less than a dramatic effect on them. Not all scars are suitable for surgical treatment
1. Surgical treatment
A scar can be excised and stitched. This type of treatment is suitable where a scar might have stretched following earlier excision, or for an irregular scar that has developed following eg. an accident. Excision must be avoided where a keloid has formed, as a larger keloid may develop following surgery. Some acne scars may be excised by using a punch technique.
2. Laser surgery.
The CO2 laser is suitable for some types of scars. Red scars and thickened scars (hypertrophic scars and keloids) respond to the vascular laser (pulse dye laser). Light coloured scars may be treated with the excimer laser to restore its pigment. This applies to stretch marks as well.
Excision followed by intralesional injections of steroids may be suitable for some hypertrophic scars.
3. Non - surgical treatment
Intralesional injections of steroids are particularly useful for keloidal scars. Injections need to be administered once a month for about 3 - 4 moths or until the scar has softened and flattened.
Intralesional injections of interferon. Although this treatment has been reported as partially successful, the results cannot be universally duplicated.
Application of Imiquimod (Aldara 3M) onto thickened scars. Again, the results are not always reproducible.
A microscopic layer of the skin is removed with this technique, using an abrasive substance called corundum (aluminium oxide). The treatment is administered once a month for a minimum of 8 sessions. It is particularly useful for acne scars, fine lines, sun damage and thickened scars. The procedure takes about 15 minutes to perform and is completed by the application of a moisturising sunblock.
5. Chemical peeling
Alpha hydroxy acids are used to remove a thin layer of skin. This technique promotes the deposition of collagen in the skin, as is the case with microdermabrasion. The indications are the same as microdermabrasion, the only difference being that a chemical is used instead of an abrasive physical substance to achieve the peeling.
A silicone based substance.
7. Scar Smooth
This is a soft, pliable, silicone pad that is applied on a thickened scar and left on for 8 hours every night, until the scar softens
To determine which treatment is the correct one for you, see your dermatologist.