Scarring begins shortly after a wound or injury to the skin. The body reacts by producing collagen to heal the area, and after the dermis recovers from the damage, that collagen forms a protective new tissue. This newly born scar has a different color, texture, and composition than the skin around it. The degree of scarring depends on everything from genetics and ethnicity to the type of injury. For example, bubble-like keloid scars—that form when your body overproduces collagen—are often associated with certain ethnicities, whereas rough, textured contracture scars occur after a burn.
For more superficial scars (such as those caused by acne), lasering can be very effective. “If someone comes in with [these scars], we can laser away in five minutes what light chemical peels required years to change,” says Dr. Francesca Fusco.
Thicker, large scar removal (for keloid or hypertrophic scars) requires a more invasive approach: steroid injections can flatten certain raised scars, while filler injections can help return volume to areas that have been depressed after a serious injury. Fractional lasers and radiofrequency devices can also have a smoothing effect on the appearance of scars, leaving skin with a more even appearance.
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