Written by Alicia Lartey
Image via Pinterest
Whether it’s a scar from acne, surgery or something as simple as grazing your knee, knowing what type of scar you have and how to treat it, goes a long way! No one wants to remember something unpleasant, but it can be difficult to forget if you have the reminder of the event on your skin in the form of a scar. Scars form after trauma (injury) to the skin. There are three common types of scars that can occur, post inflammatory hyperpigmentation, hypotrophic scars or hypertrophic scars. If you’ve lived life, you are bound to have some scars and may be working how to treat them, keep reading to find out more.
1) Identifying the type of scar you have
Once you know what type of scar you have, it makes treating them a lot easier. Hyperpigmentation is commonly the brownish type of scar that occurs after skin trauma. Hyperpigmentation usually occurs due to inflammation, which is why we call it post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation also occurs after acne. The other type of of scaring that is common after acne is called hypotrophic scarring. This type of scarring usually creates indents in the skin which can further be categorised into ice pick or boxcar scarring. The final type of scarring that is mainly common post surgery is hypertrophic scarring, these scars are raised and also include keloids.
2) Don’t mix them up
The worst thing you could ever do for your scars is to miscategorise them. If you are not sure what types of scars you have, it is best to visit a dermatologist or other skin professional. Never rely solely on Google, as information may not also be accurate or relevant to your concerns.
3) Find the right treatment
Once you know what scars you have you can then start looking at products or procedures that you can have done to reduce your scars. With hypertrophic scaring the most effective thing you can do at home is use silicone compression sheets, to one serve a real difference in your scar it may be worth investing in steroid injections, cryotherapy, laser removal or surgical removal. For hypotrophic scarring a silicone based product, can act as a temporary filler to create a smooth surface. Topicals Sealed world to fill and also improve skin texture. Lasers, microneedling and other forms of resurfacing can be done in clinic to effectively manage indented scars. For hyperpigmentation, depending on the severity a using a 20% azelaic acid cream, in conjunction with a retinoids works wonders (but always wear sunscreen).
4) Start early
The sooner you start treating your scars the easier it is to see an improvement. Newer scars are generally easier to manage than older scars. Once your wound has safely healed this is the perfect time to address the scar. Always remember that scars take a long time to reduce and consistency is key.
5) Don’t DIY
Never try to do a professional treatment at home! I could sit here and tell you the insane story of how I tried to perform cryotherapy at home, but the important thing is to learn from my mistakes and realise that professionals know best and will have the correct knowledge and tools required to perform procedures.