A scar is a permanent textural change to the skin that is often associated with colour and contour changes. Scars develop from an injury to the dermal and subcutaneous layers of the skin, whether from external trauma or inflammatory skin conditions such as acne. Many types of scars can occur including keloidal and hypertrophic, which are often red and raised from the skin. Atrophic scars appear as a depression in the skin. Acne scars can be classified further by their appearance with each type of acne scar requiring a specific method of treatment.
Keloid scars are often red with itchy lumps that can get larger if ongoing inflammation and trauma to the skin occurs. Various treatments are available for keloid scars including silicon tapes and compression dressings, creams, liquid nitrogen, cortisone and immune modifying creams, as well as cortisone injections and other specialised solutions. Radiotherapy is sometimes a consideration in select cases. Careful and planned surgical intervention with appropriate post procedure care may be a treatment option in certain cases. Laser treatments can help flatten and improve the colour of keloid scars, and early intervention during the formation of keloid scars leads to better results.
Routine surgical and traumatic scars on cosmetically sensitive areas can also be modified with various dermatological techniques and lasers.
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