Types of scars
An atrophic scar can occur anywhere on the body, although most of my patients decide to have facial or more noticeable atrophic scars treated. The characteristics of atrophic scars are irregular with jagged edges and a pitted, sunken, chicken-pox-like appearance. They are generally caused by damage to the underlying tissue of the skin. This tissue damage is caused by a loss of muscle or fat and the lack of sufficient collagen production in the area resulting in a sunken, depressed structure. A few examples of causes include: severe acne, chicken-pox, surgery or accidents that cause trauma to these underlying structures. Atrophic scars can be treated in a number of ways, with one of the most common being fractional laser or selective waveband technology (SWT), Fractional Radiofrequency ( Morpheus 8) and other medical options available include subcision, hyaluronic acid fillers to raise the scar, chemical peels, microneedling or medical micropigmentation.
Hypertrophic scars are usually raised and darker in colour than the surrounding skin and, unlike a keloid scar, they remain within the boundaries of the wound and can continue to thicken for up to six months. A hypertrophic scar is inflexible and can restrict movement.
Hypertrophic scarring occurs after thermal and/or traumatic injury concerning the reticular dermis. Hypertrophic scar can take up to approximately two years to improve in appearance/heal fully. If there is no improvement within a year, the scar could potentially be a keloid scar. Treatments include: micropigmentation, silicone sheeting gel, scar revision surgery, steroid injections and electrosurgical excision.
Keloids are benign, dermal, fibroproliferative tumours characterised by excess collagen at the site of previous skin injury. Common causes include surgical procedures, piercings, vaccinations, lacerations, and burn injuries. Please see detail in Keloid treatment page.