What Causes Scars?
Scarring occurs after a deep, thick layer of skin, called the dermis, is damaged. In order to heal the wound, the body produces new skin tissue that is slightly different from normal, undamaged tissue. When this new tissue covers the wound, a scar forms. The skin looks different from the surrounding, undamaged skin because the tissue’s cellular is different.
Wounds that create scarring can have many causes, such as surgery, an injury from an accident, a skin condition (i.e. acne), rapid skin growth (i.e. stretch marks) or a disease.
A scar will have a different quality, texture, and appearance than the surrounding, undamaged, skin. Scars form and look very different depending on the extent of damage done to the skin. Most scars are flat and pale. However, some scars are raised and will feel like a bump on the skin. Others will appear sunken or pitted. The way the scar was created, as well as a number of environmental factors, will play a role in how the scar looks.
Basic Formula for Recovery, Healing, and Improvement
Scar treatment will depend on the size, thickness, origin, and location of the scar. Options typically include topical creams or silicone products, steroid injections, chemical peels, dermabrasion, and laser therapies. Most of these treatments include an exfoliating element, which is often necessary for effective scar treatment.
During a scar removal treatment, the therapy chosen – either chemical, laser, or physical – will carefully remove the outermost layer of the skin’s surface. This stimulates the production of new skin cells, which will cover the damaged cells to reduce their appearance. By contrast, pitted or sunken scars, such as those created by acne or chickenpox, will respond best to silicone products and/or steroid injections, both of which work to even the skin’s surface by raising the depression.
The treatment your dermatologist recommends will be one that is tailored to your skin, scar, and lifestyle. We do not recommend using over-the-counter scar removal treatments, as there is rarely a one-size-fits-all option for scars. Only a dermatologist can assess the blemish and recommend the procedure necessary.