There actually are ways to lesson the appearance of scar tissue, including laser therapy and some topicals, if used early.
Posted May 5,2019 in Lifestyle.
Fascinating fact: Stretch marks are a type of scar. When skin is stretched or wounded, new collagen ﬁbres form at the stressed spots as part of the healing process, leaving stretch marks behind. There’s no sure-ﬁre way to prevent stretch marks and other scars, and they’re difficult to get rid of entirely, says dermatologist Dr Rebecca Baxt. Some remedies, however, promise to reduce their size or appearance, or to erase them altogether. We’ve ﬂeshed out how well these treatments actually work.
WHAT THEY ARE: Available in pharmacies, these creams, body oils, serums and silicone gel sheets claim that their active ingredients will shrink scars or even prevent and fade stretch marks.
WHAT WE KNOW: So far, the study results are mixed. “Research has failed to support the claim that products containing cocoa butter, vitamin E or olive oil improve stretch marks,” says dermatologist Dr Meghan Feely. But those products that contain retinoids or hyaluronic acid may repair damaged collagen or stimulate the production of new collagen, Dr Feely reveals, adding that the extract of a medicinal herb, centella asiatica, is also showing promise.
SHOULD YOU TRY THEM? Topical treatments are generally safe, but it’s likely they won’t deliver huge results. Try them when marks are still pink or red, since making them fade is even harder once they mature, Dr Feely says.
WHAT THEY ARE: A dermatologist can administer laser therapy, microneedling and dermal ﬁllers. Laser therapy shines beams of light on skin to target inﬂammation and collagen. Microneedling delivers tiny punctures, the healing of which is said to rejuvenate skin. Dermal ﬁller injections aim to even out indented scars or bumpy skin.
WHAT WE KNOW: These treatments work. With laser therapy, the light is absorbed by the skin, prompting remodelling of collagen and reducing inﬂammation that can make blemishes more apparent. Dr Feely says microneedling works because the “wound healing cascade” prompts collagen and elastin generation. Injections containing hyaluronic acid ﬁll in pitted scars, while raised scars can be shrunk with corticosteroid injections, Dr Baxt adds.
SHOULD YOU TRY THEM? Yes, but they’re pricey. You’ll need a course of three to six treatments, so expect to pay between $500 and $2000 for a course.
WHAT IT IS: A plastic surgeon cuts out an old scar, leaving a new, neater scar that can be faded with a treatment like laser therapy, Dr Baxt explains.
WHAT WE KNOW: There’s no surgical option for removing stretch marks, but people with large, raised or jagged scars may prefer the smaller scars that remain after surgery.
SHOULD YOU TRY IT? Only if your scars are severe and you’re certain that this is likely to provide you with a perfect result.