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Latest scar removal treatments

Are you living with unsightly scars and want to improve their appearance?

In this guide, we delve into scars and the latest scar removal treatments available.

Regardless of whether you’re dealing with acne scars, surgical scars or stretch marks, there are a number of solutions available ranging from advanced in-clinic procedures to at-home products.

You don’t just have to live with unsightly scars any more.

Let’s dive in to see what can help.

Impact of scars

Scars can be visually unappealing but they also can be disfiguring, such as in the case of burns, and cause a large amount of skin contracture that decreases mobility.

They can have an enormous impact on your self-esteem and body image. For this reason, many people would rather improve their appearance than just live with them.

From silicone gel to chemical peels, microdermabrasion to dermal fillers, laser resurfacing to scar excision, there are a range of scar removal treatments that have been proven effective in reducing the visibility of scars.

Research in burns treatments and advances in medical technologies have made it possible to significantly improve the visibility of existing scars and prevent abnormal scar formation.

By treating your scars, you can reclaim your confidence.

Understanding scars

Scars form as part of the skin’s natural healing process.

When the skin sustains an injury, the mid layers of the skin, known as the dermis, are programmed to initiate four precise phases of wound healing: haemostasis, inflammation, proliferation and remodelling. As part of this wound-healing sequence, the production of collagen fibres is stimulated, as this makes it possible for wounds to be ‘stitched’ back together. The resultant tissue, though, can look different to surrounding skin, making the scar noticeable. And, in some cases, the body over-produces collagen, resulting in raised or hypertrophic scars, otherwise known as keloid scars.

Before looking at scratch removal treatments, it’s important to first understand the different types of scars.

Common types of scars

Scars can vary greatly in appearance and texture. No one’s skin is alike and no one’s skin heals in exactly the same way, which means that the exact same injury to the skin can result in very different scars in different people.

These are the types of scars typically seen:

Normal fine-line scars: A minor wound or surgical incision will usually heal and leave a red, raised line that will gradually get paler and flatter over time. This process can take up to two years. The scar may be more obvious on darker skin types or tanned skin as scar tissue does not tan.

Hypertrophic scars: These scars are raised and can be red or pink in colour. They usually occur as a result of excessive collagen production during the healing process.

Keloid scars: Similar to hypertrophic scars, keloid scars are raised and extend beyond the boundaries of the original wound. They can be itchy or painful and are more common in people with darker skin tones.

Atrophic scars: These scars are characterised by a loss of tissue, resulting in a sunken or depressed appearance. Acne scars and stretch marks often fall into this category.

Contracture scars: Contracture scars occur when the skin tightens and restricts movement due to burns or large wounds. These scars can be deep and may affect underlying muscles and tissues.

Understanding the type of scar you have is crucial in determining the most suitable scar treatment options.

What to consider

Before deciding what scar removal treatments to consider, it’s important to look at the factors that can influence the outcome and your satisfaction with the results.

  1. Scar type and severity: Different types of scars may respond differently to treatments. For example, hypertrophic scars may benefit from laser therapy, while atrophic scars may require dermal fillers to restore volume.
  2. Skin type: Your skin type plays an important role in determining the appropriate scar removal treatment. Certain treatments, such as chemical peels, may not be suitable for individuals with rosacea or a dark tone, such as Fitzpatrick 4-6.
  3. Downtime and recovery: Some scar removal treatments require downtime and may have associated side effects. Consider your lifestyle and schedule when choosing a treatment option.
  4. Budget: The cost of scar removal treatments can vary greatly. Not everyone can afford very expensive laser treatments, especially when multiple treatments are needed. Consider your budget and determine what you’re prepared to spend to achieve your desired result.

By taking these factors into account, you can make an informed decision about what scar removal treatments are best for you.

Topical scar removal

Topical scar removal involves non-invasive options that can be applied directly to the skin. These treatments are great because they are inexpensive and can be done in the comfort of your own home. Just as importantly, you can use start using a topical product as soon as the wound is fully healed, giving you the best chance of promoting normal healing and minimising the chances of excessive collagen deposition. These come in the form of creams, gels and silicone sheets.

This type of over-the-counter treatment is simple but powerfully effective. Taking steps early to treat your scar can make a significant difference to the appearance and texture of the scar. Keep in mind, though, that scarring is the body’s natural response and these products may not fully eliminate the visibility of the scar.

Scar creams and gels: Scar creams and gels often contain ingredients such as Hyaluronic Acid, Vitamin E, Centella Asiatica, Onion Extract or silicone. These ingredients help moisturise the skin, improve elasticity and reduce redness and discolouration. They can help with minor scars and bring about some improvement, but they may not fully eliminate the scar.

Silicone gel or sheets: Silicone gels and sheets create a protective barrier over the scar, allowing the skin to retain moisture and promote healing. They also can help flatten raised scars and reduce redness. Silicone gel has been used in scar therapy for over 30 years and has been proven in numerous clinical studies to be an effective treatment. Silicone gel sheeting specifically is internationally recognised as the first-line of treatment in preventing abnormal scar formation and improving the appearance of scars. Dermatologists, plastic surgeons and burns specialists alike all recommend its use.

Pressure therapy: Pressure therapy involves applying pressure to the scar using specialised bandages or garments. This technique helps flatten hypertrophic or keloid scars and may be used in combination with other treatments.

It’s best to act early to minimise the formation of a scar as this is more effective than trying to treat it later with more invasive and expensive scar removal treatments.

However, it’s also important to understand that topical treatments may not provide significant results for more severe or deeply rooted scars. In such cases, more advanced treatments may be necessary.

Laser scar removal

Laser scar removal is a popular and effective treatment for various types of scars. It involves using laser technology to target specific areas of the skin, stimulating collagen production and promoting skin rejuvenation. Laser scar removal can help improve the appearance of scars by reducing redness, texture irregularities and pigmentation.

Fractional laser resurfacing is a non-ablative laser treatment that targets the deeper layers of the skin, promoting collagen production and skin renewal. This treatment is effective for atrophic scars, acne scars and fine line scars.

Pulsed-dye laser targets the blood vessels in the scar tissue, reducing redness and promoting overall scar fading. It’s commonly used for hypertrophic scars and keloids.

CO2 laser resurfacing is a more aggressive laser treatment that removes the top layers of the skin. It’s effective for deep scars and can help improve texture and pigmentation irregularities.

Laser scar removal treatments are generally safe and require little to no downtime. However, multiple sessions may be needed to achieve optimal results, and it’s important to follow post-treatment care instructions to ensure proper healing.

Microdermabrasion scar removal

Microdermabrasion is a non-invasive exfoliation technique that uses a handheld device to gently remove the outer layer of dead skin cells. This treatment can help improve the appearance of scars by reducing their visibility and promoting cell turnover.

Crystal microdermabrasion: Crystal microdermabrasion involves spraying fine crystals onto the skin to exfoliate and remove dead skin cells. This treatment is effective for superficial scars and can help improve skin texture and tone.

Diamond-tip microdermabrasion: Diamond-tip microdermabrasion uses a diamond-tipped wand to exfoliate the skin and remove dead cells. It’s a gentler alternative to crystal microdermabrasion and is more suitable for individuals with sensitive skin.

Microdermabrasion is generally not painful and requires minimal downtime. However it may not be suitable for those with active acne, severe scarring or certain skin conditions. It can be used both on raised and sunken scarring, but is more beneficial for minor scarring.

Chemical peel scar removal

Chemical peels provide another treatment option for those with scars. They involve applying acids at a specific concentration and pH to the skin, which causes controlled exfoliation and promotes the growth of new, healthier skin cells. Chemical peels can help improve the appearance of scars by reducing pigmentation, stimulating collagen production and promoting overall skin rejuvenation.

Superficial peels, also known as light peels, use milder chemical solutions to exfoliate the topmost layers of the skin. They’re effective for superficial scars, acne marks and pigmentation irregularities. Superficial peels involve little to no downtime and result in minor peeling a few days after the procedure. A series of 3-6 treatments every 2-4 weeks is needed to get the best results.

Medium peels penetrate deeper into the skin, targeting moderate scars and more pronounced pigmentation issues. These peels often use trichloroacetic acid (TCA) or a combination of acids to achieve more intense peeling and resurfacing of the epidermal layers of the skin. One to two weeks of downtime is involved with total avoidance of the sun until the skin heals. These types of peels should only be performed every four to six months.

Deep peels are the most aggressive type of chemical peel and are used to treat severe scars and deep wrinkles. They typically involve the use of TCA or phenol and involve two to three weeks of recovery time. They penetrate the epidermis and dermis. The skin will be bandaged and you’ll experience pain, swelling, crusting and severe peeling. Total sun avoidance is required for three to six months afterwards. Deep peels should only be performed every two to three years.

Chemical peels can vary in intensity and downtime, depending on the depth and type of peel used. It’s important to consult with a qualified skincare professional to determine the most suitable chemical peel for your scar type and skin condition

Peels have many benefits but they can be quite expensive and may not be able to be performed on those with a dark skin tone.

Surgical scar removal

For more severe or prominent scars, surgical procedures may be required. Scar excision is often required for deep, wide or hypertrophic scars that have not responded to non-invasive treatments.

Scar excision involves surgically removing the scar tissue and closing the incision with fine sutures to create a more aesthetic result. This technique is effective for wide or long scars and can help create a thinner, less noticeable scar.

Z-plasty is a surgical technique that involves creating small triangular flaps of skin on either side of the scar. By repositioning the scar and changing its direction, this technique can help camouflage the scar and improve its appearance.

Dermaplanning, like dermabrasion, helps to refinish the skin’s top layers through controlled surgical scraping. This treatment softens the scar’s sharp edges and surface irregularities, giving the skin a smoother appearance.

Dermabrasion is a surgical procedure that involves removing the outer layers of the skin using a rotating brush or diamond wheel. This technique can help improve the texture and appearance of scars, especially those caused by acne or trauma.

Surgical scar removal treatments require careful consideration and should be performed by a qualified practitioner such as a plastic surgeon or dermatologist. It’s important to discuss the potential risks, benefits and recovery involved with a surgeon experienced in these procedures.

Natural remedies for scars

In addition to medical scar removal treatments, there are numerous natural remedies that can help promote scar healing and reduce their visibility. While these remedies may not completely remove scars, they can contribute to overall scar improvement.

Aloe Vera has soothing and moisturising properties that can help reduce inflammation and promote healing. Apply pure aloe vera gel to the scarred area and massage gently for a few minutes daily.

Hyaluronic Acid helps wounds heal faster and reduces scarring. Hyaluronic Acid is needed in various shapes and weights for each wound healing phase, playing a crucial role in the inflammatory, cell migration and collagen production processes. When used as a cream, gel or gauze, it reduces bacterial growth and creates a moist environment conducive to healing and normal scar formation. Learn more about How to choose the best hyaluronic acid serum.

Centella Asiatica has long been used in traditional medicine for its ability to reduce inflammation and promote the formation of new blood vessels. This botanical extract reduces redness, swelling and pain in wounds due to the lessening of PGE2 and other inflammatory factors. Studies indicate it can ameliorate hypertrophic scars and improve pigmentation.

Coconut Oil is rich in antioxidants and fatty acids that can help moisturise the skin and improve its elasticity. Apply a small amount of coconut oil to the scar and massage in circular motions for a few minutes daily.

Vitamin E Oil is known for its skin healing properties. Break open a vitamin E capsule and apply the oil directly to the scarred area. Gently massage the oil into the skin until fully absorbed. Vitamin E oil, however, is not suitable for everyone. It’s been found to cause redness and itching and even allergic contact dermatitis in some people.

Honey has antibacterial and moisturising properties that can help promote scar healing. Apply a thin layer of honey to the scar and cover with a clean bandage. Leave it on for a few hours or overnight, then rinse with warm water.

It’s important to note that natural remedies have limited effectiveness and there’s little clinical research to support their use on scars If you experience any adverse reactions or if the scar worsens, discontinue use and consult with a healthcare professional.

Best scar removal treatments

Scars can have a significant impact on your self-esteem and body image, and also can affect function. Fortunately, there are many scar removal treatments available that can help diminish their appearance and boost your confidence.

From topical scar gels to advanced laser therapies, microdermabrasion to chemical peels, and even surgical scar revision options, there’s a wide range of scar removal treatments to choose from.

Consulting with a qualified medical or skin care professional will give you a better understanding of the most suitable scar removal treatments available to you.

Remember that everyone’s skin and scars are different. While some will respond to at-home treatments, others will require clinical or surgical intervention.

It’s always best to act early using simple and easily methods to promote correct wound healing and prevent abnormal scar formation. In many cases, it’s possible to minimise scarring and avoid the need for invasive scar removal treatments later.

Scar removal products

Cerederm Silicone Scar Gel

Cerederm Silicone Scar Gel is available in Australia and New Zealand from Skin Clinica

 

Cerederm Silicone Scar Gel softens and flattens scars when used daily, while also helping to prevent the formation of hypertrophic and keloid scars. It also helps reduce redness, discolouration and discomfort associated with scars.

The gel dries to form an imperceptible gel sheet that protects the wound from irritants and microbes, while also keeping the area hydrated so that it can develop as a normal mature scar. It is waterproof yet is able to let oxygen pass through.

Cerederm Silicone Scar Gel can also be used in conjunction with other surgical scar treatments, helping to improve the result.

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Cerederm Silicone Scar Gel Sheets

Cerederm Silicone Scar Sheets are available in Australia and New Zealand from Skin Clinica

Cerederm Silicone Scar Sheets are the first line of defence when it comes to softening and flattening scars, as well as prevent the irregular formation of scars.

They’re a clinically recommended treatment for scars, having been used to treat scars and burns for about 40 years. Silicone scar gel sheets have undergone extensive clinical evaluation and have been found safe and effective in the management of scars and burns.

Cerederm Silicone Scar Sheets occlude the area, creating a moist environment and suppressing overactivity in scar-related cells so a normal scar can form.

These silicone gel sheets can be washed and dried so that they can be re-used.

Improvements in texture and colour can occur in as little as 4-8 weeks when applied to surgical wounds, however continued use is recommended for 8-12 weeks.

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Ialusetcare Skin Repair Cream

Ialusetcare Skin Repair Cream is available in Australia and New Zealand from Skin Clinica. Otherwise known as Ialusetcare Creme Cicatrisante in France.

Ialusetcare Skin Repair Cream has been specifically formulated to promote healing and lessen the chance of developing an irregular scar. It can be used on post-surgical wounds, as well as burns, uninfected wounds, pressure sores and contact dermatitis.

It contains bio-fermented Hyaluronic Acid to help accelerate  healing and re-epithelialise the skin. The cream maintains a humid environment that’s been shown in research to create a favourable environment for tissue regeneration.

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Ialuset Hyaluronic Acid Cream

Now you can buy Ialuset Hyaluronic Acid Cream from Skin Clinica in Australia

Ialuset Hyaluronic Acid Cream is ideal for applying to larger areas. It can be used to hydrate the skin, improve the skin barrier and accelerate wound healing.

The cream creates a film that protects skin against irritants and keeps the area moist. The Hyaluronic Acid has been combined with Glycerin to enhance hydration and speed healing and Oleic Acid to reduce inflammation and repair the skin barrier.

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Homeoplasmine

Boiron-Homeoplasmine-Pommade-Multipurpose-Repair-Balm

Homeoplasmine is a multi-purpose skin SOS. It combines combines various plant extracts in a base of Vaselinum Album.

The plants extracts fight infection and relieve inflammation, allowing the skin to repair and regenerate. And the Vaseline Album shields the area and keeps it moist, creating the ideal environment for healing to occur.

This balm was created as a homeopathic treatment for minor wounds, burns, grazes and skin irritations.

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Biafine

Biafine Emulsion Multipurpose Healing Cream is available from Skin Clinica in Australia

Biafine Emulsion is one of the most sold products in France. It hydrates, softens and protects, allowing skin to heal and regenerate. It was first developed to treat radiation burns and took years of extensive research and testing to commercialise.

Bafine Emulsion hydrates and protects the skin, helping to keep out irritants and bacteria. It also softens and creates a moist environment that promotes healing and reduces scarring.

The clinical benefits of this product in wound healing were studied in the US and it was granted FDA approval in 2006.

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Yours truly in better skin

Anna-Marie-from-Skin-Clinica


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