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Sca(r)ry Situations: Types of Scars and Their Treatments

December 3, 2020

If scars aren’t your favourite skin accessory, consider wiping them out. Read on to know how.

If you’re a reluctant wearer of scars – of acne or chickenpox, or of accidental burns or injuries – you’re likely familiar with the feeling of consciousness when a stranger stares you down with the intensity of Darth Vader. If you’ve been looking for ways to banish yours from your life, this guide has you covered.

What Are the Various Types of Scars?

Yup, scars aren’t just scars. There are several kinds of them, with each meriting a unique treatment approach.

Keloid Scars

Keloid scars are scars caused by a long-winded healing process, and not necessarily by the original injury itself. They can limit skin movement and impact flexibility. Keloids can be prevented by applying pressure or gel pads with silicone to the affected area before the injury snowballs into something more.

Scar Contractures

Burns or injuries caused by heat can lead to a scar contracture. Like keloid scars, these scars contract skin and restrict movement. In rare cases, they penetrate deep into the skin, impairing nerve endings and muscles.

Hypertrophic Scars

These scars are raised and red, sometimes mistaken for keloid scars. However, unlike keloids, these scars do not cross the periphery of the injury, limiting themselves within its boundaries.

Acne Scars

Acne scars can leave permanent (unwanted) tokens on your skin. They can vary in appearance, ranging from deep, cratered pits to shallow, jagged marks. Treatments are typically tailored to the type of scar.

What Are the Treatments for Scars?

Scar removal treatments span a spectrum of techniques and applications. Some are highlighted below.

Topical Applications

Cosmetic scars caused by minor injuries or wounds may be best treated with a prescription or over-the-counter cream, ointment or gel. Cosmetic applications like these, however, are not universally applicable. If you have post-operative scarring after plastic surgery, for instance, a topical ointment may serve fruitless. Instead, your doctor may prescribe steroids or oral antihistamines to minimise your scars. Acne scars may be treated topically, orally or using pressure treatment or silicone gel, depending on their type and severity. If you’re wondering whether you’re suited for a topical application, ask your doctor for advice!

Surgery

Deeper scars usually show little improvement with creams and ointments, and may be best treated with surgery. Some surgical options include excision, dermabrasion, laser surgery and skin grafts. Skin grafts pertain to a surgical process of seamlessly overlaying blemished skin with skin from another part of the body; the method is preferred for the cosmetic treatment of burns. Surgery is usually recommended when scarring leads to compromised skin movement or function. Also, it’s important to remember to wait for the right time before going ahead with scar reduction surgery.

For instance, if you’re left with scars from a recent surgery, it’s wise to wait for at least a year before opting for scar reduction. This time will offer a precious window for your body to heal, and may also help fade your scars naturally.

Steroid Injections

Scars that have a 3D, raised or jagged appearance, like keloids and hypertrophic scars, can be minimised with steroid injections. Injections may be used as an independent line of treatment, or in conjunction with another treatment method.

It’s true what they say. Beauty isn’t only skin deep. But then, nor are blemishes. When scars mar more than just your skin, damaging your self-worth and self-confidence, it’s worth choosing a treatment that unveils your true beauty from within. Discover what lies beneath your blemishes, with scar reduction treatment on Cloudnine.

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