**Scar reduction** The skin has an amazing ability to heal itself, but this healing process is not always perfect. Severe burns, major trauma, past surgical procedures, or even acne can leave people with marks they do not want and signs of memories best forgotten. **Types of scars** Regardless of what caused the trauma to the skin, scars generally fall into two categories: atrophic and hypertrophic. Atrophic scars are the scars that leave a pit, divot, or trough in the skin. Hypertrophic scars, such as keloids, are raised scars that look as if the skin has piled up around the former wound. The distinction between these two types of scars is important, because it dictates what type of treatment is used. **Scar treatments - Atrophic scars** Atrophic scars (e.g., acne scars) can be treated with dermabrasion, chemical peels, or ablative and non-ablative laser resurfacing. Dermabrasion involves the use of grinders and sandpaper to scrape away damaged skin. Chemical peels achieve the same effect by using chemicals to destroy superficial, intermediate, and/or deep layers of the skin, allowing healthy skin to form its place. Ablative and non-ablative laser resurfacing has become the premier treatment for atrophic scars. Laser treatment is a safe and effective way to minimize the appearance of atrophic scars and to give the skin a more vibrant, healthy look. **Scar treatments – Hypertrophic scars** Laser and light-based treatments have become increasingly popular for hypertrophic scars and keloids. The focused light energy provided by these laser systems can be used to destroy excess scar tissue, decrease scar volume, reduce erythema (redness), and increase skin pliability. Other treatment options for hypertrophic scars include silicone gel sheeting, intralesional corticosteroids, surgical removal (cold knife shaving), and pressure garments. If you have an unwanted scar and are interested in scar reduction, contact the professionals at Bella Sana Medical Spa for a consultation.
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