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How to Fade Scars

A scar is the skin’s way of healing and replacing lost or damaged tissue. When skin is injured, fibroblast cells react by producing extra collagen to fill the wound. When scars heal, they can take on a variety of appearances, such as: flat, raise, sunken, pigmented or flesh-toned. Acne is a major cause of facial scarring from deeply pitted “pock marks” to flat, discolored spots. For scars that don’t fade with time, the right skin treatments can make them less noticeable.


High-Tech Scar-Minimizing Treatments

Scars usually fade over time. In the interim, camouflage make-up can help conceal scars while they heal. Here are some common dermatological treatments used to minimize scars and refine the skin:


Dermabrasion or microdermabrasion

Either technique can be used to minimize small irregularities like surgical scars or acne scars. It involves removing the surface layers of the skin with an electrical implement that abrades the skin, resulting in smoother skin. Note that dermabrasion is a more invasive procedure and is only performed by a medical doctor. Microdermabrasion can have a similar effect, but requires a series of treatments to be effective. A trained esthetician or a dermatologist can perform microdermabrasion.


Chemical peels

The peels used to treat superficial facial scarring remove the top layer of the skin, causing it to regenerate and eventually take on a more uniform appearance. The most common chemical peels are TCA peels and glycolic glycolic peels. Depending upon the strength of the chemical solution, peels might need to be repopulated to see results. For serious scarring, chemical peels should be performed under medical supervision.



Injectable fillers are an option for plumping up sunken scars. The most common fillers for scarring are collagen (derived from purified bovine collagen) and restylin (derived from hyaluronic acid). Injections are temporary and must be performed by a board-certified physician.    


Laser resurfacing

This method refers to C02 and Erbium Yag lasers used to remove the skin’s surface layer(s) and burn off damaged skin. In addition to minimizing fine scars, lasers can lessen the look of wrinkles. Be sure to find a


DIY Scar Treatment

If you’d rather skip the doctor’s office, try one of these at-home treatments:

·    Silicone: For raised scars, try applying a silicone sheet (available at drug stores) to the effected area.

·    Retinoid or Retinal: A topical Retinoid requires a prescription but Retinals are available over-the-counter. Both are helpful for regenerating the skin and fading scars

·    AHAs: Alpha-hydroxy-acids are a cost-effective another scar-lightening option.

·    Vitamins and minerals: Don’t underestimate the importance that well-nourished, healthy skin plays in the way scars heal.


Prevent Future Damage

Many of the scar-minimizing techniques described above include removing surface layers of the skin. Any time you “injure” the skin with mechanical or chemical abrasion, you increase you dramatically increase its sensitivity to the sun. To prevent further damage, it’s vital that you commit to consistently using a broad-spectrum sunscreen and wearing sunglasses and a big hat whenever you’re in the sun.


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