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What are the Main Types of Scars, and How to Get Rid of Them

Scars are marks left on the skin after a wound has healed, and they can form for a number of different reasons. Scars may form from cuts, scratches, burns, surgery, insect bites and other injuries. Plus, they can form after acne flare-ups, chicken pox and other types of skin damage. When the top layer of skin is harmed, the deeper layers begin to repair the damage, but it’s not always possible for this to be repaired completely. This is when scars begin to appear, some of which could last a lifetime if they are not professionally removed.

There are several ways to get rid of scars, and the treatment process will depend on your scar type. Some scars can be removed using laser treatment, whilst the appearance of others can be improved using dermal fillers. There are also topical treatments available, such as TCA Cross for ice-pick scars. If you’re unhappy with scarring and want to get rid of it, you have come to the right place. We will assess your scars and create a treatment plan for you.

Different Types of Scarring

If you have ever paid any attention to scars, you will know that they can vary hugely. Some scars are very subtle and hard to see, whereas others are large and textured. They can also come in a whole host of different colours, ranging from those that blend in with your skin tone to those that stand out and are more obvious. The differences in scarring mean that we can split them into various categories, which we have detailed below.

  • Red Scars or Post-Inflammatory Erythema – Red or post-inflammatory erythema (PIE) scars are common in lighter skin tones and are something that many people deal with. Most scars are red in colour during the healing process, but this redness usually fades eventually. With PIE scars, the redness does not go away or fade, making the scar visible against lighter skin. At Cambridge Laser Clinic, we remove this type of scar using a VBeam 595 nm PDL laser.
  • Keloid Scars and Hypertrophic Scars – When a wound is healing, and a scar is beginning to form, the body produces collagen in the surrounding area. When too much collagen is produced, the scar becomes raised above the surrounding skin. This is called a keloid scar or hypertrophic scar, and treatment is available. It’s possible to get rid of this type of scar using a range of treatments, including silicone gel sheets, steroid injections or freezing the scar. Surgery is also a possibility, depending on the severity of the scar.
  • Brown Scars or Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH) – Brown scars or post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation scars are common in darker skin tones, in the same way that red or PIE scars are common in lighter skin tones. These scars are caused due to excess melanin building up within the scar tissue. A lot of the time, this hyperpigmentation will fade, but treatment is available if it persists for longer than nine months. We can treat PIH scars using Q-switched Ruby 694 nm / KTP 532 nm or Nd Yag 1064 nm lasers.
  • Atrophic Scars – Atrophic scars often look like dimpled or pitted skin, and they are formed in sunken skin. This is different to a lot of other types of scars, which tend to sit on the surface. There is a loss of volume with atrophic scars, which is why the affected area can appear indented. Dermal filler treatment is the easiest way to get rid of atrophic scars.
  • Boxcar Scars – Similarly to atrophic scars, boxcar scars are sunken into the skin and round in appearance. They are a type of acne scar, but they can be removed using laser treatment. At Cambridge Laser Clinic, we use Er Yag 2940nm and CO2 10,600nm lasers.
  • Ice-Pick Scars – If you have seen a scar that looks like the skin has been punctured, it’s called an ice-pick scar. These scars are deep and narrow and often found on the face. This can cause a lot of self-esteem issues, especially among those who are self-conscious of the visibility and appearance of the skin. Luckily, ice-pick scars can be removed using a treatment called TCA Cross. This includes placing droplets of TCA onto the scar, which encourages fibroblasts to travel to the scarred area. This stimulates collagen production, which eventually reduces the appearance of scarring.
  • Rolling Scars – When skin becomes tethered, rolling scars form, and this can create the appearance of an uneven surface. These indents tend to be caused by acne, which results in sections of scar tissue forming under the skin. Rolling scars can be removed using both Er Yag 2940nm and CO2 10,600nm lasers.

Often, you might have different types of scars showing up at once, and it’s not uncommon for various scars to exist together. This could mean that multiple treatments are needed in one area, which is why a consultation is vital before a treatment plan is put into place. During your consultation, a member of the Cambridge Laser Clinic team will take a look at your skin and suggest the most suitable treatment options.

Scar Removal Treatment at Cambridge Laser Clinic

Scars are generally harmless, but they alter your skin’s appearance. If you have scarring in a visible place or are unhappy with how a scar looks, you can have it removed using a range of treatment options. One of the most effective ways to remove scars is via laser treatment. At Cambridge Laser Clinic, our experts can reduce the appearance of scars using impressive laser technology.

To find out more about the different types of scars or for information on having them removed, speak to a specialist.