Dealing with Scars
Everyone has at least a few scars. After all, every time the skin is wounded it creates some sort of scar. If the wound was minimal, the scar may be barely visible. In other cases, such as traumatic injury or surgery, the scars can be very visible. Acne scarring is also often a source of irritation for many of our patients.
Dr. Carter and the team at Deschutes have various methods of dealing with your scars decreasing their appearance.
Types of scars
Our treatment to minimize your scars begins by identifying the type of scar. This may surprise you, as most people don’t know there are different types of scars.
These are the three basic types of scars:
- Atrophic scars
- Hypertrophic scars
- Keloid scars
Typically the result of acne, atrophic scars are concave, meaning they are depressed downward below the level of the surface skin. Their depth varies with the type of acne and its severity. Stretch marks are also atrophic.
Keloid and hypertrophic scars are similar. They show themselves as raised bulges, usually red in color, that rise above the surface of the skin. Both of these types of scars can become larger than the original wound size. Keloid scars occur much more frequently in people with darker pigmented skin. Hypertrophic scars don’t get as big as keloids and occur on all racial groups and skin pigmentations. Both keloid and hypertrophic scars form when the body overproduces collagen to heal the wound.
How we treat scars at Deschutes
Every scar is unique to the individual, but there are some common treatments we use to minimize their appearance.
- Topical creams — Cortisone creams can be an effective first step to lessening the appearance of your scar. These creams can reduce the redness inherent in many scars.
- Steroid injections — Steroids can be injected to soften and loosen scar tissue. For keloid and hypertrophic scars, this will lower their height.
- Dermal filler injections — Whereas steroids lower scars, dermal fillers help with acne scars and stretch marks, where the scar is depressed. Fillers push up the skin and lessen the depth of the scar.
- Skin resurfacing — We can lessen scars with various skin resurfacing options: dermabrasion (aggressive), chemical peels (varying degrees of aggressiveness), laser treatments (varying degrees), and microneedling (less aggressive). These usually work to remove various depths of the surface skin to encourage the growth of new skin to replace the scarred skin.
- Surgical revision — Sometimes the only way to truly minimize a scar is to cut it out and change the incision shape or its angles, closing it with the smallest sutures possible. Dr. Carter performs these minor procedures with great effect.
Have some scarring that bugs you? Call us at Deschutes, (541) 330-0900 and let’s see how we can make it far less visible.