Scarring results from how the skin heals after injury. The main skin scarring that we treat is scarring after Acne and scarring from trauma, be it accidental injury or scars from surgical operations. Stretchmarks can be regarded as a specific type of skin scarring and we treat these as well. Scarring from burns is a special type of scarring that is best treated in a dedicated Burns Centre that specialises in this area.
A scar reflects how injured skin heals and it is important to understand that scar formation is normal for any injury that extends into the deep dermis layer of the skin. Early scars are formed in 7 – 10 days after injury at which time they have only about 5 – 10% of the original skin strength. Over the next 6 – 12 months the wound continues to undergo remodelling to form a mature scar which eventually has about 80% of the original skin strength.
Skin wounds sometimes heal with excessive scarring to form Hypertrophic scars or Keloid scars. The reason for abnormal scarring is not fully known but factors involved are numerous and include skin type, genetics, site and size of wound, presence of tension on healing site, secondary infection, foreign material and hormonal status.
Types of Scars
A scar is devoid of skin markings and appendages such as hair follicles and sweat glands and there are various ways to describe scars:
Surgical Scars: Range of options depending on age and appearance of scar:
Acne Scarring: It is important that any active Acne is controlled so new scarring is still not developing. The treatment of choice for acne scars will depend on the type and severity of the acne scars as well as response to other treatments.
Multiple treatments are needed as Collagen remodelling takes time. The exact number will depend on the type of scar, the severity of scarring and the level of improvement required. Depressed Acne scars typically take a series of at least 6 treatments.
The aim is significant improvement but it is important to understand that the skin will never look 100% again after scarring has formed. With Acne scarring we have an expectation of at least a 50% improvement and obviously we aim for much better.
There has been an increasing trend to be proactive with surgical scars to try and prevent a large scar developing rather than wait until an unsightly scar has developed then have to treat a bad scar. This is particularly when a patient is having surgery with a greater risk of scarring or has a history of scarring in the past.
The use of LED light can commence immediately after any surgery. For scar reduction after general surgical procedures we wait until stitches are removed before Vascular laser treatments, so usually at about 2 weeks. After plastic surgical procedures performed by a plastic surgeon (eg. like a breast augmentation or facelift) we wait to start any laser treatment until the plastic surgeon has given post-operative clearance, which is usually at about 6 weeks after surgery.
Before and after images are presented purely as a reference point of the results that can be achieved. Everyone is unique and outcomes will vary and realistic expectations need to be discussed on a case by case basis.
Got questions? Or ready to book in? Contact our experienced and friendly team to start your journey to healthy skin with us.