Skin is the largest and one of most important organ of the human body. It covers all the body like a fine and firm cloth, protecting all body organs, muscle and bones inside it. Skin protect our internal organs from external harmful microorganisms, environmental changes like cold, warm or water, dust and mild injuries. Skin gives us a unique appearance from other humans which makes our identity. Hence skin is a symbol of health, beauty and identity.
How and why SCARS forms?
A Scar is the result of the protective healing response of our skin to an injury, trauma or bacterial invasion. Scars are good which are the result of our skin’s own self protection mechanism to protect our body’s internal organs against bacterial invasion or traumatic injuries, blood loss but their appearance is not as good as they are. Scars are awful and unsightly in appearance. And this awful or unsightly appearance is what we hate most about them.
A scar is made up of fibrous connective tissues deposited in the skin by the fibroblasts to hold the wound or infected site closed.
Size of scar and type of scar depends on the type of injury or trauma or extent of infection at the wounded site. If it is small it’s ok to conceal but when it’s not, you may expect if there’s a way to get rid of it. Is there any treatment that will make it go away or at least change how it looks.
The Truth is that the scar will never completely go away.
But there are some methods that can help to reduce its size and change in its appearance.
Types of Scars?
Depending upon the cause and type of injury there are several types of scars including:
- Acne scars. Acne is a skin condition that occurs when your hair follicles become plugged with oil and dead skin cells. It causes whiteheads, blackheads or pimples. Acne is most common among teenagers, though it can affects people of all ages. Treatment options depend on the types of acne scars you have. Figure 1 shows different types of scars.
- HYPERTROPHIC (Keloid scars): A hypertrophic scar is a cutaneous condition characterized by deposits of excessive amounts of collagen which gives rise to a raised scar like Keloids.These scars are formed as a result of an aggressive healing process of a wound. The fibroblasts continue to multiply even after the wound is filled in. They generally extend beyond the original margins of injury site. Over the period of time, a keloid scar grows in size and it may hamper movement of adjacent body parts. Treatment of keloid scars include surgery to remove the scar, steroid injections, or silicone sheets to flatten the scar, cryotherapy, pressure therapy or laser therapy. Smaller keloids can be treated using cryotherapy (freezing therapy using liquid nitrogen). You can also prevent keloid formation by using pressure treatment or gel pads with silicone when you are injured. Keloid scars are most common among people with dark skin.
- Contracture scars. If your skin has been burnd, you may have a contracture scar. These scars tighten skin, which can impair your ability to move that part of body. Contracture scars may also go deeper, affecting muscles and nerves.
How to get rid of Scars?
Depending upon the cause and nature of the scars treatment follows. Scar treatments may include:
- Over-the-counter or prescription creams, ointments, or gels. A number of scars removal creams are available in the market. But they are not such promising as the creams or lotions prescribed by dermatologist. That’s because the over the counter drugs uses a very low percentage of the chemical used by doctors for the same scars in higher and controlled concentration. Hence creams and lotions prescribed by dermatologist are more effective as they have higher concentration of these working agents in the cream. These products can be used to treat scars that are caused by cuts or other injuries or wounds. Your doctor can also recommend or use pressure treatment or silicone gel sheeting to help treat scars or as preventive care.
- Microneedling: Microneedling is also an option which is non surgical,non invasive treatment modality for small scars. It rejuvenates your skin and increases collagen production below scar tissue.
- Surgical removal or treatment available. Surgical treatment include skin grafts, excision, dermabrasion, or laser surgery. In a skin graft, the surgeon uses skin from another area of your body. This is often used with people who’ve had burns. If you’ve got scarring that impairs function, surgery can help you in restoring the functional problems. If you’ve recently had surgery that has caused scars, it is good to wait for at least one year before making a decision about scar treatment. Many scars fade away and become less noticeable over time itself.
- Injections. You may get steroid injections to treat scars that’s stick out, such as keloids or hypertrophic scars. Ask your surgeon whether it’s useful to you or not.
Other types of injections, such as collagen or other “fillers,” may be useful for some types of pitted scarring, although these are not usually permanent solutions. Over the time they dissolve and get digested by the body.
Does Insurance Coverage Apply to Scar Treatments?
If your scar physically impairs you in any way, you may be able to get coverage from your health insurer. But if they are not associated with any physical impairment, scar treatment is considered as purely cosmetic treatment and it’s not covered under any insurance policy.