The skin is one of the most important assets anyone can have, and it can tell the story of someone’s life through scars, wounds, or just by simply being perfect. Although some of these “life stories” might look amazing, they are often unwanted, no one wants to have a constant reminder on their body of a needed surgery, an accident that happened, or any other type of bad thing that happened to them and got them scarred for life – literally.
Luckily, there are quite a few ways to take off scars and to just make them a lot less noticeable, if possible, to the point where people will only notice if they are really trying to. These include laser treatments, dermal fillers, skin needling, microdermabrasion, chemical peels and skin care. Scar removal has never been easier than it is today.
Laser treatments are usually quite expensive, but they are however quite effective and pretty much pain free. The only place that hurts after this type of treatment is the wallet. There are two main types of laser treatments: skin resurfacing and fractional laser treatment. The first, skin resurfacing, consists of removing skin layers, one at a time, with incredible precision, so that new skin cells form during the healing process, giving the skin a lighter, younger and healthier tone. This treatment can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the area that is going to be treated and on how things, it is important that nothing is rushed in these treatments. The second main type of laser treatment, fractional laser treatment, works by targeting the first two layers of skin (dermis and epidermis) with a laser beam divided into thousands of tiny columns that expel old pigmented cells, causing a reaction that ultimately leads to the formation of new collagen. This treatment gives intensive care to the affected area, while leaving surrounding healthy tissue intact and safe from harm, the treatment also has a faster healing process than other laser treatments.
Dermal fillers are usually the best treatment for wrinkles, crow’s feet, and stuff like that. However, depending on the type of scar, they can also be effective on scars (usually they are effective when it comes to acne scares). The amount of dermal fillers required to heal a scar will be a big variable, since it depends on the patient’s anatomy, on the scar itself, and on the type of results that the patient wants to see. This treatment has great immediate results, but it also keeps on improving for a few months after. This treatment consists of, basically, the doctor injecting the dermal fillers and filling the scars (that have previously been discussed between the doctor and the patient). And that’s it, that’s all there is to scar removal with dermal fillers. There are a few things to keep an eye on after treatment.
Skin needling treatment consists in the use of micro-needles to create controlled skin injury in the affected area. The needles puncture the skin, creating micro-wounds, wounds to which the body will react, healing these micro-wounds and ultimately reducing scars and rejuvenating skin, improving its texture and hydration. This treatment is minimally-invasive but it is, however, one of the safest procedures, that causes virtually no damage to the skin.
Microdermabrasion consists in the spraying of tiny crystals on the skin in order to gently remove the outer layer, in order to renew the skin itself and treat the scars. It is not an aggressive treatment, and as such, patients recover from this treatment in about 24 hours, and there is no need for surgery or anesthetics. After microdermabrasion, the only requirements to keep things in check, and avoid problems after the treatment, are only avoiding direct sun light a few days after the treatment, and using moisturizers and sunscreens. After a few days, everything will be all right again, since the treatment heals rather quickly.
When scars are very close to the surface of the skin, chemical peels are a great way to treat them, and if they are shallow, scar removal isn’t really a problem with this treatment. This is a rather safe procedure. In it, a chemical is applied to the skin, and then peeled away, when peeled away, the chemical will take the top skin layer with it, exposing healthy, smooth skin underneath this top layer (that has been exposed to all types of agents). If a scar is deeper than the top layer of the skin, the procedure can be done in phases, in order to dig deeper into the skin, attempting to reach the scar and remove it along with the chemical. As a side effect for this treatment, certain types of skin can have a slight change in their tone, which can be temporary or permanent. Recovery time for this treatment can range anywhere from four to ten days, depending on the type of skin treated and the depth that was peeled. After the treatment a dermatologist should be seen to advise proper care, however, as a general rule sun exposure should be avoided for a few days.
When it comes to skin care, products such as sunscreen and petroleum jelly can never be left behind, since they will hydrate skin and protect it from the sun’s UVB and UVA rays, aside from other malicious agents. Fancy creams, that claim they can do this based on that (claim they have ingredients that can help heal scars) should be avoided since they are obviously going to be overpriced, and although it is true that some of these creams might work, there is no real proof that they do, and their claims are valid, their claims are usually based on weak evidence that can easily be refuted. Finally, the most effective, but temporary, way to remove a scar from sight, is to conceal it. Whether with makeup or with some clothing on top of it, concealing always works best as a temporary solution.