We all have scars. Whether they’re the result of an old injury, common skin conditions like acne, or a change in your body or weight, these imperfections can cause you to feel less confident in your skin. Men and women of all ages seek effective ways to minimize their scars and achieve their ideal image. At Vibrant Dermatology & Skinbar MD in Dedham, MA, we’re proud to offer a variety of treatments that can noticeably reduce the appearance of scars and restore smooth, even skin.
Want to Reduce Scarring? We’re Here to Help!
While it might be fun to tell the story of how you got a scar, living with this noticeable skin condition can affect your self-esteem, especially if it is located in a prominent place on your body. There are many different types of scars and, depending on the depth and size of the area, they can take remain visible for your entire lifetime. Our talented team evaluates your scar and suggests the best treatments to reduce scarring. Most of our patients see significant progress in just a few appointments and are able to drastically fade their scars over the course of treatment.
What Is a Scar?
Scarring is one of your body’s most important healing processes. After your skin is injured, your body begins working to repair the damage almost instantly. This includes rebuilding the structure of the skin with new collagen, elastin, and fresh skin cells. While this process revitalizes the affected skin, it can result in visible changes, especially on the surface of the skin. Scars are often formed with thicker, more fibrous tissue than the surrounding healthy skin. They can appear uneven, smooth and shiny, or lighter or darker than your natural skin tone and texture.
While you can take some helpful preventative steps as an injury heals to reduce your risk of scarring, such as closing a wound with stitches or wearing a compression bandage, your final scarring results can be noticeably different from the rest of your skin. Many patients choose to use one of our top-quality treatments to further fade their scars and restore a more uniform appearance in the affected area.
How Should I Care for My Scar to Prevent Scarring?
You can do a great deal to reduce your risk of significant scarring by caring for your wound correctly in the first six weeks of healing. We recommend that you try to keep the area as clean and moist as possible. Wash the wound often with soap and water, then apply a salve, cream, or jelly recommended by your doctor to keep the area moisturized.
The appearance of your scar could be improved by the use of a compression bandage or stitches, which pull the edges of the skin together and can reduce your risk of developing wide scars or uneven scars like keloids. Finally, you should protect the healing skin from the sun to aid in healing and prevent discoloration. We recommend using a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30+, which should be applied before you go outside and reapplied every 30-60 minutes for as long as you’re in the sun.
It’s estimated that harmful sun exposure causes over 90% of all common skin concerns, including fine lines and wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, discoloration, and skin cancer. It’s essential to take care of your skin in the sun to protect your scar as it heals and avoid additional skin-related issues in the future.
What Are the Different Types of Scars?
Your body heals differently from various injuries. That’s why one of our doctors will always help identify your specific scar and recommend the best treatment for your unique situation. Here are some of the most common scars we treat:
These scars can appear bright red due to the high number of blood vessels collected in the affected area. These vessels often cluster right below the surface of the skin and can improve over time. Most of our patients seek treatment 6-12 months after initial scar formation to improve the appearance of the scar and fade the red color.
Keloids and Hypertrophic Scars
These scars can form due to excessive collagen production during the healing process. Some patients are more prone to keloids and hypertrophic scars than others, but anyone can experience this type of scar. The final appearance of the scar is often raised and lumpy, and the scar area can expand beyond the damaged area in some cases. It can be difficult to reduce scarring in patients with keloids, but we have seen great success with our treatment options.
Acne is a notoriously challenging skin condition to treat. However, even when acne is successfully managed, the resulting scars can affect the texture and appearance of the skin. Acne scars can vary, but the most common are discolored areas of skin, keloids, or sunken pit scars. Many scars fade successfully over time, but patients who experience moderate to severe acne scarring can find great success in accelerating the healing process and achieving a brighter, more even skin tone with one of our treatment options.
This type of scarring affects the tone of your skin. It is most common in patients with darker skin and acne, but it can also be caused by sun damage or irritation. These scars are dark red or brown spots in the skin, which create an uneven tone. While they can fade naturally over time, specific treatments to restore an even tone can greatly improve this condition in just a few appointments.
Most of our patients are surprised to learn that their stretch marks are also classified as scars in the medical world. Stretch marks often develop during rapid bodily changes, such as weight gain, growth spurts, or pregnancy. They can affect the arms, thighs, abdominal area, hips, buttocks, and even the chest and breasts. We offer treatments that can tighten stretched skin and fade stretch marks to achieve a smoother texture and appearance.
Which Treatments Are Available?
We’re proud to offer a range of treatments and want to help every patient find the best possible option. We offer some treatments which involve zero downtime as well as more invasive procedures, such as surgery, which require some downtime. In general, we recommend that all of our patients practice good sun protection after any treatment and follow their doctor’s instructions for recovery closely to ensure the best results possible.
Laser treatment is an excellent scar reduction treatment due to its fast-acting nature and positive results. We often use this treatment for vascular scars, which can be significantly faded when laser treatment is combined with good sun protection habits. Laser treatment can also be the best treatment for some post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation scarring. In addition, laser resurfacing helps rejuvenate your skin by removing the outer layer of skin.
We offer a variety of skin resurfacing treatments that can improve the appearance of almost every type of scar. Some less intensive options, such as microdermabrasion, use exfoliation to help accelerate the process of scar fading. More intensive options include microneedling, which stimulates new collagen in the skin, and chemical peels, which remove the top layer of skin and reveal fresh new skin underneath to help fade scarring.
Some patients may be ideal candidates for silicone dressings, which can be applied to some wounds during the early healing process to reduce the risk of scarring. These clear, sticky dressings are considered less traumatic for the skin and are able to pull the edges of the skin together to create a more compact scar. Once the scar is healed, you can decide whether you want to pursue further scar reduction, and our team of experts can recommend the best treatment.
Dermal fillers–which are usually created with a natural substance such as hyaluronic acid–can raise sunken scars to the level of the rest of the skin. These fillers are often used to improve the appearance of acne scars on the cheeks, chin, and jawline. In addition to fading scars, this treatment can address signs of aging by restoring youthful volume to the face.
Many types of scars can be faded or blended into the skin with a simple topical treatment. By applying a cream to the scar once or twice per day, most of our patients see a dramatic improvement in the scar’s color. This treatment is most often used for flat, discolored scars such as hyperpigmented areas. However, our patients have experienced great success in treating mild to moderate keloid scars with topical medications. This option is one of our least-invasive treatments.
For some patients, surgery to improve the appearance of their scar is the best option. This is especially true for patients who have large scars or uneven scar tissue that can be improved with plastic surgery or Mohs Surgery, which is typically used to remove skin cancer. Our doctors can evaluate you for surgery and help you determine whether this option is right for you.
What Can I Expect?
When you choose to pursue treatment at our professional office, our staff is ready to answer any questions you may have at each stage of treatment. Every patient’s experience is different, but here is a brief idea of what you can expect when you choose to reduce scarring with one of our top-quality treatments:
We always begin with an initial consultation, which allows us to examine your scar and recommend one of our many treatments. Our recommendation for treatment is based on the scar type, your skin type and tone, and any other cosmetic goals you may express, such as reducing wrinkles or improving overall skin texture.
Some procedures, such as surgery, require only one appointment. Other treatments require 2-8 appointments to produce final results. Once you are approved for treatment, our doctor will give you a specific list of instructions to help you prepare for your appointment.
While we offer a variety of treatments, almost all of them take less than one hour to reduce the appearance of your scar successfully. Depending on the type of treatment and your skin’s sensitivity, you may be given a topical or local anesthetic to ensure your comfort during the appointment. Our doctor will explain the treatment process and give you detailed instructions to follow during recovery.
You may see some improvement in your skin immediately, especially if you chose a skin-resurfacing treatment such as microdermabrasion or microneedling. However, most results develop over time as the skin heals and the scar fades. Our doctors will recommend a treatment plan based on your cosmetic goals and ideal image. Once your treatment is complete, you will notice a visible difference in your scar, which should be smoother, less discolored, and less noticeable. Best of all, you should feel a new confidence in your appearance thanks to your scar reduction treatment.
Contact Us to Learn More!
Don’t wait to reduce scarring and see your skin transformed! We invite you to begin getting rid of your scars by contacting us at Vibrant Dermatology & Skinbar MD in Dedham, MA today!