The types of scars that can be improved:
- Acne scars
- Traumatic scars after injury, accident
- Keloid scars
- Surgical incisions
- Burn scars
- Discolored scars: redness or hyperpigmented
- Raised or hypertrophic scars
- Pitted or depressed scars
- Post infection such as chicken pox
Scars are a permanent change in skin texture (bumpy or depressed), and is sometimes accompanied by a discoloration that is lighter or darker than the normal surrounding skin. The goal of any scar therapy is to help blend the scar tissue with the surrounding skin, so it becomes less visible. Sometimes a scar can be eliminated so it is virtually like normal skin again.
Topical therapies for at-home use are a good place to start because scars sometimes improve even without laser treatment. Retinoids and other topicals are helpful in softening depressed or hyperpigmented scars by stimulating collagen growth and normalizing pigment. Silicone adhesive patches (Mepiform) are sometimes prescribed as well, which can help to flatten a bumpy scar or fill in a depressed scar. Redness in a scar can also fade more quickly with Mepiform patches. If a scar is persistently red in color, laser treatment can clear the redness caused by the dilated blood vessels. The Dermatologist may use injectable steroids or chemotherapy drugs for keloid scars, as these can be rapidly growing and very painful.
Surgical scarring following cancer treatments can be treated with a variety of lasers to treat limitation of movement, redness or spider veins, and hypertrophy/atrophy. Some scars may be eligible for treatment covered under OHIP.
Acne scarring is one of the most prevalent complaints among patients of all ages. If there is active acne outbreaks, it is important to manage the condition with appropriate skincare and medical management if necessary. The Dermatologist will prescribe the appropriate regimen and/or prescription therapy so any scar improvement will be maintained, and new scars can be prevented by treating on-going acne.