A scar is a patch of skin that usually appears after an injury or cut. Scars appear on the skin, whenever the deep dermis layer of the skin gets damaged. When a part of the skin or skin tissues are damaged, our body tries to heal the area. But in the process, normal skin tissues are replaced by the fibrous tissues, which leads to the development of scars. Acne scars are the most common type of scars that appear on the face. The majority of facial scars can be healed with appropriate treatment. However, a few can be permanent. Nevertheless, their visibility can be reduced with proper treatment.
Types of Scars
Generally, scars can be of three types - hypertrophic scars, atrophic scars, and keloid scars. A hypertrophic scar is usually thick, and it results when the body produces excess collagen. Atrophic scars, on the other hand, cause the skin to look pitted. Keloid scars can look like hypertrophic scars, but they continue to enlarge.
Apart from these, one can get ice pick scars, which are usually left behind by pimples and acne. These scars look like tiny deep pits on the skin. Sometimes, acne and pimples can cause the development of boxcar scars and rolling scars. Boxcar scars look similar to the scars caused by chickenpox, while rolling scars can give the skin the appearance of a rolling hillside.
Facial Scar Treatment
The treatment of a scar depends on its type, as what works for one type of scar may not work for the other. For small and minor scars left behind by acne or surgical procedures, dermabrasion can be used. This procedure involves the removal of the top layer of the skin, in order to make the scarred area smoother. The procedure often uses specialized instruments, like metal brush, wire brush, diamond wheel or fraise, and sterilized sandpaper.
Another similar procedure is microdermabrasion. Compared to dermabrasion, microdermabrasion is a milder procedure for removing facial scars. It removes only the superficial skin layer, known as the epidermis, for reducing the visibility of the scars.
Apart from these, some other options for scar removal are, surgery, laser surgery and resurfacing, steroid injections, chemical peels, and skin grafting. Surgery may not completely remove a scar, but can make it significantly less noticeable. Laser skin resurfacing uses laser beams to remove the top layer of the skin. The heat generated in the process helps tighten the inner layer of the skin. As a result, the scarred area looks much smoother than before.
Steroid injections are usually used for the treatment of keloid and hypertrophic scars. These injections can flatten the scarred area, and make the scars less noticeable. Chemical peels on the other hand, use strong chemicals to exfoliate the skin of the scarred area. Afterwards, when the skin regenerates, the scarred area looks much smoother than before.
Skin grafting, on the other hand, involves the transfer of skin from other parts of the body to the scarred area. These are the usual treatment options for removing scars. In addition to these, you can find several creams in the market, and many of them can prove quite effective in reducing the appearance of minor scars.
Sometimes, scars can also be removed with the help of some simple home remedies, especially if they are not deep. The following are some of the effective home remedies for scar removal:
- Lemon juice has natural bleaching properties, for which it can reduce the visibility of scars. The citric acid found in this fruit can exfoliate the old and dead skin cells to reveal the soft and smooth skin underneath.
- Apply aloe vera gel on the scarred area, and also on fresh wounds and acne to prevent the development of scars.
- Make a paste of sandalwood powder and rose water. Apply this paste on the scars and leave it overnight. The next day, wash it off with clean water.
- Tomato juice is very rich in vitamin A, and it can help repair damaged skin. The regular application of tomato juice can significantly reduce the visibility of scars.
- Oils like lavender oil, almond oil, olive oil, and rosehip oil can also be used for scar removal.
- Make a paste of fuller's earth or multani mitti by mixing it with rose water and lemon juice. Apply this paste on your face or on the affected area of the skin. Leave it for about 15 to 20 minutes, and then wash it off with clean water.
- Massage honey on the scarred area several times a day. Besides removing scars, it would make your skin radiant.
- Make a paste of sandalwood and black gram powder, and apply this on the scarred area. Keep it overnight and then wash it off the next day.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only, and should not be treated as a substitute for professional medical advice.