scars on patient's face

Types of Scars and Treatment Options

Are there scar therapy methods that will significantly reduce the appearance of scars? 

People who have scars that are the least bit noticeable tend to have the exact same experience when they look in the mirror: their eyes are immediately drawn to the scar. Doesn’t matter if it runs from one side of the body to the other or is so small that others are barely aware of its existence, it beckons the attention like a neon sign. 

While looking in that mirror and obsessing about your scar, it likely does not occur to you that scars are a good thing. They are an essential part of your body’s healing processes and a sign that your immune system is on the job.  

Your skin is part of your body’s first line of defense, keeping out germs and other harmful substances that could do great damage if allowed inside your body. Whenever that defensive layer is compromised with a cut or some other form of injury, the alarms go off in your immune system and collagen is rushed to the injury site to begin the process of building replacement tissue and resealing the barrier. 

This resealing process is effective but does not always return the skin to exactly the way it was prior to the breach. Sooner or later, nearly everyone will end up with a scar of some sort, whether from an injury, surgical procedure, acne or illness, with chickenpox being a prime example of one that often leaves telltale signs of its presence. 

Types of Scars

Scars come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. They affect different people in different ways. Some scars are barely visible and others really stand out and can even be large enough to affect your ability to move that area of the body. Probably the most visible and difficult scars to deal with are keloid scars and they tend to be more prevalent in those with dark skin and in those with red hair.

Some of the more common types of scars include:

  • cicatrix – these may be raised in the beginning but flatten out
  • keloid scars – as mentioned, keloid scars can be difficult because they can grow beyond the area of the original wound and even become large enough to affect movement
  • contracture scars – contracture scars are the result of burns and can tighten the skin to the point where muscles and nerves are affected
  • hypertrophic scars – these are raised, but not to the extent of keloids, and are usually an abnormal response of the healing process that results in an overabundance of collagen
  • acne scars – most acne scars tend to be in the form of pitting but some can be angular or wavelike
  • Stretch marks – these are caused by rapid expansion and shrinking, like pregnancy or weight loss surgery 

Scar Treatment or Therapy

In time, many scars will just fade away. For those that don’t, there are a variety of non-surgical treatment methods that can significantly reduce the appearance of scarring. Some of the most effective of those include: 

  • laser therapy
  • dermabrasion
  • soft tissue fillers
  • punch Grafts
  • chemical Peels
  • cortisone injections
  • interferon injections
  • microneedling

Dr. Brian D. Cohen is a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon with extensive training in cosmetic/reconstructive plastic surgery and has had years of experience performing a wide array of cosmetic surgery procedures, specializing in procedures of the face, eyes, nose, breast, and body and is known for his exemplary and compassionate care by his patients. Knowing that Dr. Cohen has been selected by his peers in Super Doctors for 9 years in a row in 2021 gives you the confidence that he is highly respected for his performance in his specialty.Information on locations and office hours for Cohen Plastic Surgery can be found by clicking here.