Medical dictionaries generally defined a scar as a mark that remains after the healing of a wound caused by an illness, skin condition, injury, accident or surgery. Generally, scars do not pose a serious threat; however, they could affect your confidence and may cause self-esteem issues.
Thankfully, there are various scar removal options available – from creams to surgical procedures – to help you minimize, if not get rid of scars.
The question now is this: are these scar treatment options safe? Here is a detailed guide of everything you should know about how to have your scar removed:
1. Get to Know the Different Types of Scars that Could Form on Your Skin
You know that scars are marks left on your skin after skin trauma, which is also part of your body’s natural healing process. Apparently, scars come in variety of forms, which requires specific treatments.
Here are the different types of scars:
- Acne – The appearance could range from angular, wavelike, and deep pits as a result of moderate to severe acne.
- Atrophic – This is a result of damage to the fat, collagen, or other tissues below your skin, hence the sunken appearance.
- Contracture – This type of scar is a result of burns that tighten your skin and could impair movement.
- Hypertrophic – This is a type of raised scar, but doesn’t expand beyond the wound.
- Keloid – It is another type of raised scar as a result of overly aggressive healing process or when too many cells grow at the site of the injury.
Keep in mind that these scars require specific treatments. The first step in scar removal process is to identify what type of scar you have before subjecting yourself to any scar revision procedures.
2. Chemical Peel: A Solution Worth Trying in Eliminating Scars
A chemical peel is a type of procedure where a chemical is applied on your skin to remove the top layer. As a result, it exposes your skin below to reveal smoother and healthier skin.
Depending on the severity of your scars, this procedure uses four types of chemicals:
Alpha Hydroxy Acid – The mildest chemical used for this procedure.
- Glycolic Acid – This one is used in case of sub damage.
- Trichloroacetic Acid – This chemical is ideal for medium chemical peel and for those who have darker skin.
- Phenol – This chemical is the strongest chemical used in this procedure.
Chemical peel is only effective on superficial scars. Also, there is a higher risk if slight changes in your skin tone If you have something deeper such as surgical scars, consider the succeeding options.
3. Dermabrasion: Another Scar Removal Option You Should Include in Your List
In case of acne scars, surgical scars, and other minor irregularities, dermabrasion might just help. Dermabrasion is a procedure wherein your doctor uses a high-speed instrument with an abrasive brush to remove the outer layer of your skin that contains damaged and scarred skin. This improves irregularities in your skin by reducing the appearance of scars in your skin’s surface.
Here’s the catch: you might experience side effects like burning sensation, temporary darkening of the skin, uneven changes in your skin color, and perhaps even an infection.
4. The Pros and Cons of Filling Your Soft, Indented Scars
Do you want to put your fat to good use? Then consider using it to fill your indented scars.
Also known as dermal fillers, this type of procedure uses absorbable materials, which will be injected on the scarred area to create a smoother or fuller appearance. Aside from fat, other materials used are:
- Collagen – This is the shortest lasting injectable material, which could last for up to four month.
- Hyaluronic Acid – This type of natural sugar is modified to last longer inside your body, usually six to 12 months.
- Calcium Hydroxylapatite – Found in human bones and teeth, this material could last for more than a year, usually up to 18 months.
- Poly-L-lactic Acid – This material is widely used in absorbable stitches and bone crews, thereby giving you up to two years before getting another injection.
- Polymethylmethacrylate Beads – Also known as PMMA, this man-made polymer is a permanent filler for your scar.
The issue with this technique is that the results are temporary. After a given period, you need to get injected again to minimize the appearance of your scars. Rashes, itching, bruising, swelling and pain are also normal side effects for this type of procedure.
5. Understanding the Mechanism of Scar Revision Surgery
One of the popular methods to treat scars is scar revision surgery.
Scar revision surgery is a type of procedure designed to minimize the appearance of your scars to make it more consistent with the surrounding skin tone.
There are four phases: anesthesia, actual treatment, incision, and closing the incision. In the treatment phase, your surgeon will also use variety of treatments, such as a chemical peel and dermabrasion to reduce the size and appearance of scars. For deeper scars, your doctor could create an incision to make the scars less visible.
This procedure can be costly, so make sure you discuss this option with your doctor before you break the piggy bank.
6. Laser Scar Removal: A Long-Term Solution to Your Long-Term Skin Enemy
If you are looking for long-term and permanent solution to those marks that won’t go away, then consider laser scar removal technique.
There are three main types laser treatment:
- Fractionated Laser Resurfacing – It is a precise laser therapy that uses tiny beams of light to penetrate deeply into your skin. Consequently, it breaks down old skin cells while stimulating the production of collagen in your skin, particularly in deeper layers. This is also less invasive, thereby reducing your recovery time.
Laser Resurfacing – This type of laser treatment uses high-powered laser to remove scarred and damaged layers on your skin. For shallow scars, Erbium: YAG laser is recommended. Consequently, you can consider CO2 laser treatment to remove deep and thick scars because of its ability to penetrate deeply into your skin. This type of procedure is also invasive, which means longer recovery time.
- Non-Ablative Laser Resurfacing – Infrared skin laser is used to heat the inner layers of your skin without affecting the surface. It also promoted healthy collagen production to create new cells and replace the old and damaged ones. This treatment is an ideal treatment during lunch break, although pain is a common complaint on this procedure.
Make sure you discuss your options with your dermatologist to find out the best solution for your scarring condition. You can also check out scar removal surgery before and after pictures to help you decide if this is the right treatment for you.
7. The Benefits of Scar Removal Surgery: More Ways to Get Your Scar Removed
Many people will tell you to leave your scars alone. After all, these marks are permanent and there is nothing else you can do about them.
The good news is depending on the type of scar, there are many ways you can try to reduce the appearance of your marks. In fact, minimizing, if not completely eliminating their appearance is the biggest benefit of scar removal surgery and other procedures.
Keep in mind that scars may fade, but it will take some time, usually two years, before you see an improvement. Beyond the two-year period, scars will forever remain on your skin. Scar removal procedures such as scar revision treatment is your best option to get your scar removed.
This leads to the next benefit.
8. A Confidence Booster: How Scar Removal Surgery Could Bring Back the Old You
Scars do not pose any medical condition and will not bring harm to your health. Unfortunately, this could take a toll in your confidence and self-esteem. Even if you don’t want to be affected by it, scars will always be a reminder of what happened in the past that led to your scars.
You don’t have to dwell on this anymore. There are scar removal cream and cosmetic procedures available to help you remove unwanted marks on your face. It may take some time, but you will eventually see results with consistent use.
Whatever your choice may be, it will help you bring back the confidence once lost. You won’t feel embarrassed and will stop hiding your face or any areas in your body affected by scars. You can stand up, be proud of yourself once again, and present yourself in a confident manner.
Despite the good intentions, scar removal options come with side effects too. Read the succeeding section to find out what these side effects are.
9. The Not-So-Good Side: Side Effects of Scar Removal Process
Generally, scar removal procedures are safe and will not pose serious risks on your health. If you chose the right surgeon, which you will learn more about below, you can worry less about anything and go home one layer scar-free at a time.
Nonetheless, this doesn’t mean you are safe and have nothing to worry about. There is still a possibility of developing complications during or after the procedure. This includes:
- Pain, which may persist
- Bleeding or hematoma
- Adverse reaction to anesthesia, suture materials, or injected agents among others
- Burning sensations
- Permanent darkening of the skin
- Recurrence of unsightly scars
- Changes in your skin sensation
- Scar tissue pain
Believe it or not, these side effects are still considered mild. Read the next section and find out the other possible complications that pose a serious threat to your health.
10. On a More Serious Note: Possible Complications of Common Scar Removal Techniques
You are lucky if you experienced the less serious side effects of scar removal, such as redness or itching. Generally, these adverse effects will get better in just a few days. Unfortunately, there are cases, although rare, where the effects of going through scar removal procedures, including acne scar removal could lead to something serious.
- Blood clots
- Damage to deeper structures of your skin such as muscles, blood vessels, nerves, and even lungs.
- Skin contour irregularities
- Increased skin sensitivity
- Deep vein thrombosis and other cardiac and pulmonary complications
- Higher possibility of revisional surgery or staged procedures
Keep in mind that these side effects are not automatic. You can reduce your risks with the help of a qualified surgeon. How do you choose a surgeon? Read the next section to find out.
11. Choosing the Right Surgeon to Minimize Side Effects and Adverse Reactions
They say that a particular procedure is successful depending on the skill level of the person performing it. That’s true. A skilled surgeon has years of experience, which means he knows what he is talking about. This is why it is important to choose the best and most qualified for the job to minimize side effects.
The best surgeon to treat your scars will be:
- A graduate of an accredited medical school.
- Someone who passed all the comprehensive and written exams.
- A member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons or ASPS.
- Board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery or ABPS.
- A person who completed at least six years of surgical training and at least three years of plastic surgery residency training.
- Performing the procedure in accredited, Medicare-certified or state-certified surgical facilities.
It may not mean a lot, but choosing the right surgeon could help in not only reducing your risk of complications, but also in ensuring that you are giving the right kind of treatment to reduce the appearance of your scars.
12. Natural Home Remedies in the War Against Scars
In case of accidents and wounds, your first line of defense is to check the kitchen cabinet and look for an ingredient that could help clean the wound. As your wound gets better, you also resort to natural methods to minimize scarring. ‘
The question is this: are scar removal home remedies effective?
The Benefits of Going Homemade and Natural
- Home remedies use ingredients that are easily accessible and readily available.
- The side effects are minimized because of its natural contents.
- The costs of buying natural products to remove scars are more affordable and budget-friendly.
- Easy to do and use, since you simply apply the mixture on the affected area and you are good.
The Not-So-Good Side of Natural Remedies
Despite the label with “natural” in it, this doesn’t automatically follow that you are safe from any side effects. The truth is there is still a possibility that you might experience not-so-good reactions when you go natural.
These effects include:
- A possibility that it might not work.
- A shorter shelf life.
- Preparation of homemade blends can be time consuming.
- The results are not instant, which means you have to religiously apply the homemade technique on the affected area to notice any differences in your skin.
In relation to homemade, using Dermefface FX7 every day could also help in visibly reducing the appearance of your scars after a few months, too.
13. The Price Tag: An Important Consideration for Choosing the Most Appropriate Scar Solution
You know that there are various procedures available so you can finally say goodbye to scars. Here is the tricky part: the scar removal cost of your chosen procedure.
If you opt for scar removal home remedies or scar removal cream, you will only spend $5 to $50, depending on the brand of the cream or the ingredients you will use. Apparently, the cosmetic procedures can be costly and heavy on the pocket.
Below are the average costs for scar tissue removal procedures you can opt for:
- Chemical Peel – Light chemical peel costs $100 to $300 per session. If your dermatologist recommended medium chemical peel using tricholoroacetic acid, this could cost you $1,000 to $2,000 per session. For severe scarring, deep chemical peel with phenol is recommended, which will cost you $2,500 to $6,000.
- Scar Revision – A single session could costs up to $3,000.
- Dermabrasion – This will cost you anywhere from $1,500 to $4,000.
- Dermal Filler – Depending on the material used to fill the gaps, this procedure costs $263 to $2,000.
- Cryotherapy – You have to prepare $80 to $150 for this procedure every session.
- Laser Skin Resurfacing – This, by far, is the most effective and most sought after treatment to remove marks on your skin. Nonetheless, the laser scar removal could cost you an average of $2,300.
Aside from the cost of procedure, these figures do not include other expenses, such as the cost of the hospital or surgical facility, medical tests, consultation fee before and after the procedure, price of anesthesia, and even transportation costs.
In other words, you will need at least a thousand dollars to say goodbye to your scars – permanently.
14. The Role of Your Insurance Company in Removing Scars on Your Skin
You are paying for a specific premium every month for your insurance policy. You might wonder: does this include scar removal procedures?
The answer is no.
Unfortunately, insurance companies won’t cover the cost of your chosen procedure, since these treatment options are considered cosmetic in nature. They will only do so if the procedure is medically necessary such as removing pre-cancerous growths in your skin. This must be proven with a corresponding medical certificate to prove such claims.
Otherwise, you have to pay for your own expenses. You can also ask your doctor’s office if they offer financing options or special packages to help cover the expenses. Discuss your options and see the best arrangement for you.
15. The Most Important Tip to Remember When It Comes to Scar Removal
You know what scar removal techniques can do and what works specifically for each type of scar. You also know the pros and cons behind the procedures and how much a procedure costs. Still, this doesn’t mean you are good to go.
When it comes to how to remove scars, the most important thing you should remember is to keep your expectations realistic.
Despite their good intentions, there is a possibility that your chosen treatment may not work for you. Don’t feel bad and don’t give up easily. There are various treatment options available that could work specifically on your scar. Once you found what works for you, make sure you stick to it. It might take some time before you see the results, so be patient.
Here’s the good news: you can prevent scars from happening even before they decide to appear on your skin. How will you do this? Read the next section to find out.
Preventive Techniques to Stop Scars from Showing Up
Someone told you that scars are permanent. That’s true. Thankfully, there are ways you can prevent them from forming.
You can try the following techniques:
- Keep the injured area moist by applying petroleum jelly and covering it with a non-stick bandage.
- In case the cuts or wounds are open, get stitches as soon as possible.
- Do not pick and remove scabs. These are your skin’s biologic dressing and part of the healing process.
- Follow the after-care techniques prescribed by your doctor.
- Avoid applying hydrogen peroxide on your wound. Peroxide products slow down the healing process and make you more prone to irritation.
- Contrary to popular belief, vitamin E increases your risk of contact dermatitis, so avoid applying one on your skin to minimize scarring.
- Avoid sunlight and cover your wound when heading out to prevent discoloration.
- Massage the area once the wound or injury is closed.
Scars may be a burden or reminder of your past, but this doesn’t mean you cannot do anything about it. Take a cue from these 15 techniques on scar removal and you know that there is hope.
More importantly, don’t hesitate to schedule that trip to the doctor or dermatologist. Putting scar treatment in your own hands could do more harm than good. Ask your doctor about the best solutions according to your scar type and you will say goodbye to them in no time.