We get asked every week "what is the best treatment for scarring?". This could be traumatic scars, surgical or burn scars or, very commonly, acne scars. Of course there is no 'One Size Fits All' approach. The best treatment depends on the type and age of the scar, and will often be a combination of therapies.
Scars evolve over time, with different stages requiring different treatments. In the first phase, inflammation is present, collagen is remodelling and healing is occurring. In this stage, silicon gel or silicon dressing is recommended every day for at least 6 weeks. The earlier the better for this, for example within a few weeks of injury or surgery. Massage (Bio-oil is great) is beneficial when possible, particularly with surgical scars.
As the scar matures it will be red, and often develop some thickening and lumpiness. In some skin types brown pigmentation (hyper-pigmentation) will develop at this stage. Sun exposure will make this worse and should be avoided. IPL is useful for reducing the redness in scars. YAG laser can help in removing capillaries which develop nearby.
In the last stage, redness or hyper-pigmentation will settle, leaving a whitened area which may be raised or depressed. (Acne scars are commonly depressed.) Fraxel or Fractional Erbium will help contract and flatten the skin in scar tissue. Both have been very beneficial in treating all types of scarring, including burns, surgical and acne scarring. Hypertrophic scarring (raised, thickened scar tissue) or keloid scarring may require injection of cortisone solution prior to laser treatment, which can assist greatly in softening and flattening. There is a medicare rebate available for Erbium Laser treatment (to the face or neck) for acne, burns and other scarring, which can make quite a difference to the overall cost.
In most cases, great improvement in scar appearance can be made with a combined approach, which is best started as early as possible. Book a free consultation with one of our Registered Nurses, and they will map out a treatment plan for you and advise you of all the costs.