- Are the scars painful?
- Are you uncomfortable with how your scar(s) looks?
- Is bullying really getting you down on a day to day basis?
Do you fit the following criteria and are you contemplating having laser surgery to remove unwanted scars?
If you fit in with the previous criteria then maybe you should consider laser scar removal. Although the scars cannot be eliminated completely is can improve the appearance. Before setting you heart on surgery you should make an appointment with your GP. They will then refer you to a dermatologist or plastic surgeon for the actual treatment. Below are some options that are available.
This procedure targets keloid and hypertrophic scars. Injected directly into the scar it will reduce the swelling and flatten the scar. Depending how severe the scar is the injection may need to be repeated a certain number of times. A maximum of three injections will normally be given a month apart. However this type of treatment can continue for six months or possibly longer, this all depends on how the scar reacts to the injections.
It is possible to get local anaesthetic to reduce pain and discomfort; this will be combined with the corticosteroid.
Silicon Gel Sheets
To treat and prevent hypertrophic and keloid scars you don’t have to brave it under the knife. Silicon gel sheets can be used to heal the skin, and are available from most pharmacies. Be careful when using these sheets as they should not be applied to open wounds.
Silicon gel sheets are available from some pharmacies. They are used on healing skin (not open wounds) and can help to treat and prevent hypertrophic and keloid scars. To get best results they should be worn over the scar for 24 hours a day for up to three months. The sheets are reusable until they start to dissolve. Make sure that the scar and sheet is washed everyday with mild soap and water.
Silicon also comes in an ointment which can be applied directly onto your skin to treat the unwanted scar(s). Before using any type of silicon it is advisable to speak to a GP, dermatologist or pharmacist to seek further advice.
In some cases for best results surgery can improve the appearance of the scar(s). Surgery can do the following things:
- The overall position of the scar can be altered,
- The shape of the scar can be changed,
- A tight scar can be released which is close to a joint which will then improve the movement.
I decided that surgery was the best option for me and after researching Private Hospitals in my area and was booked in for the treatment. Before I went through with the procedure I was warned that a new scar would be produced which could take up to two years to heal. In addition to this there was a slight risk of further keloid and hypertrophic scarring after the surgery. With all things taken into account I still opted for the surgery.
Pressure dressings can make scars less visible by flattening and softening them. Made from stretchy, elastic material they are to be worn over the scar for 24 hours a day for up to a year. They can also be used alongside silicon gel to improve the appearance of scars over a long time.
Medication and make-up is an alternate option and it is best to have a consultation with your GP. Medication can break down the scar tissue and is often used to treat conditions such as scleroderma. This condition causes extensive scarring and hardens the skin. Make-up is available from some pharmacies which can act as camouflage and is specially designed.
Written by Sarah McDowell
Sarah is a Search Consultant at FDC