Scars may be a natural part of the healing process, but they can rub against clothes, causing irritation or leave you feeling self-conscious about baring your skin. If this sounds familiar, you may wonder if there’s any way to make your scars disappear.
The compassionate providers at HK Dermatology in Elk Grove, California understand. Many patients come to our office hoping to say goodbye to their scars for good, which is why Dr. Klein and the team offer several innovative scar removal treatments.
Keep reading to learn more about how scars develop and the options we have for making them disappear.
While not all wounds and injuries lead to scars, scarring is part of your skin’s natural healing process. Scars vary in appearance, from very faint to thick and raised (hypertrophic scars). Whether you develop a scar depends on multiple factors, including:
Any skin injury causes your skin to regenerate by creating a new network of collagen fibers. These strong protein fibers develop into new skin cells. If your body tries to close the injury quickly, extra collagen fibers may develop and create a visible scar.
Over time, your scar may become less visible since your skin regenerates about once a month. However, the new skin cells follow the same collagen fiber patterns as the skin cells they’re replacing. In other words, most scars create more scar tissue.
Sometimes this aggressive collagen production creates an overgrowth of scar tissue, called a keloid. Keloids vary in appearance, but most of the time they’re larger than your original injury and may be:
If you have a family history of keloids, you’re probably more prone to developing them, and studies have revealed that people with darker skin tones are more likely to get keloids than fair-skinned people.
The good news is that scars and keloids aren’t a health concern. However, at HK Dermatology, we understand that scars and keloids can make you feel self-conscious about your appearance or be located where they snag or rub on your clothes, causing irritation.
That’s why our practice offers multiple solutions for reducing the size and appearance of scars, including:
Laser scar treatment can help reduce the appearance of many types of scars, including keloids. Our practice uses pulses of concentrated light and heat energy to minimize the size of scars and keloids, giving your skin a smoother, more even appearance.
Laser treatment of scars and keloids isn’t right for everyone or every type of scar or keloid, however. This type of treatment is usually most effective on newer or smaller keloids. Your HK Dermatology provider reviews your history and examines your skin before recommending any treatment.
While frequently used to treat skin cancer, superficial radiation therapy (SRT) is also a safe and effective way to address scar tissue and keloids. SRT works by directing low levels of radiation at the scar tissue, which destroys these cells without harming the nearby healthy skin tissue.
At HK Dermatology, our providers use one of the most effective SRT instruments available: the SRT-100TM. Treatment with the SRT-100 doesn’t require any anesthesia or incisions, and with this pain-free treatment, you won’t have to worry about side effects, a lengthy recovery, or taking downtime.
By injecting a corticosteroid solution directly into hypertrophic scar tissue or a keloid, we can break apart the bonds between the collagen fibers, softening the tissue and reducing the amount of scarring below the surface of your skin.
As a result, when new skin cells replace the old scar tissue, they don’t follow the same pattern of scarring. You can speed the effectiveness of your injections by gently massaging the scar tissue after treatment.
While injections may sound painful, Dr. Klein and the team at HK Dermatology use a novel approach to intralesional steroids, keeping the treatment mostly pain-free and producing more effective results than the traditional techniques.
At HK Dermatology, our providers also address irritating or especially large or unsightly surgical scars through surgical scar revision. Using special surgical techniques, this treatment minimizes the appearance of a scar you developed after surgery, making it less noticeable so it blends in better with your surrounding skin.
Learn more about our innovative scar removal treatments by scheduling an appointment online or over the phone with a provider at HK Dermatology.