Scars are part and parcel of our lives. Though some of us wear our scars proudly, others would prefer to get rid of them completely. You can find the right treatment to get rid of the old scars only after you have identified its type. Read on to know more.
What Is An Old Scar?
An old scar is a mark that has been present on the body for a long time. It may be a result of chicken pox, acne outbreak at puberty, an injury or an accident—but it is still visible on the body. Some treatments can now help you get rid of these old scars.
What Are The Different Types Of Old Scars?
Dermatologists classify old scars into different types based on various factors such as:
- The injury that caused the scars (such as old burn scars, surgery, acne, accident, etc.)
- The type, color, thickness, and texture of the skin
- The area of the body affected by the scar
The main types of scars are:
- Keloid or Hypertrophic scar
- Atrophic Scar
- Contracture Scar
How Does An Old Scar Differ From A New One?
Typically, old scars are marks or depressions that are left behind by past injuries. As new collagen fibers form and organize themselves in the process of healing, the skin shows the more uneven texture and tone that we associate with scars.
New scars, on the other hand, do not stimulate a response from the body to mature and organize the excessive collagen produced. These tend to fade away with time if managed in the earlier stages.
Also Read: Best Way To Remove To Old Acne Scars
How To Remove Old Scars?
If you have old scars and want to get rid of them, then the best course of action is to visit a dermatologist who can examine your scar, and evaluate its type, cause, texture and more before recommending the best treatment for it. Here are a few treatment options he may suggest for visibly reducing your scar:
- Laser Treatment:
Pixel is the laser-based resurfacing technology commonly used for the treatment of old scars. It uses the erbium YAG fractionated laser. A fractionated laser divides a single laser beam into multiple smaller beams. These create numerous micro-wounds on the skin, prompting a collagen-production response from the body. This helps heal the old, dark-colored scars, by progressively lightening them over time. It is a non-invasive and safe method for effectively treating old scars on various parts of the body. The procedure involves a downtime of four to five days.
- Microneedling Radiofrequency (MNRF):
Dermatologists use a micro-needling device during the procedure. The fine microneedles upon penetrating the skin at a suitable depth emit radiofrequency energy and stimulate the collagen remodeling that helps in lightening the scars gradually.
- Chemical Peels:
Chemical peeling is an effective way to lighten mild to superficial scars. A chemical peel helps by exfoliating the epidermal layer of the skin, which helps reduce the visibility of the scars. Your dermatologist will prescribe a suitable chemical peel based on your skin type and the severity of your scar. He may use chemical peels in conjunction with other forms of treatment. This method is most useful for reducing the pigmentation of scars on the face.
Surgical scar revision is a treatment option that involves the use of invasive methods to remove the scar tissue and then join the remaining skin together with fine sutures. Doctors usually recommend surgical options for severe cases or when the scarring impairs function.
- Scar Removal Creams:
Some topical scar removal creams may be effective, but they provide only temporary and limited results. In some cases, OTC creams may not work on old scars at all. These creams are usually safe, but you need to use them for the long term to see any result. It is advisable to consult a dermatologist before using them.
Self Care For Reducing Old Scars:
Home remedies are often the sought-after treatment; however, there is no scientific evidence proving their effectiveness. According to researchers, natural solutions may not help or may show minimal results in removing old scars or fading their appearance.
Now you know all about the various treatment options available for reducing your old scars effectively. Consult a qualified dermatologist to find out which option is suitable for you.