What the best treatment for an old scar is depends on its physiology (how it looks). When that scar on your knee from falling off your bike years ago is still raised and/or discolored it can benefit from silicone gel treatment. Red, purple, or dark colored scars can be toned down. Bumpy, thick scars can be flattened.
The younger the scar the faster this type of over the counter treatment will catch on. But also older scars have shown to improve. If silicones don’t work ask your dermatologist or doctor about steroid injections. These are known to flatten scars as well but side effects may occur. Therefore it is recommended to indulge in non-invasive silicone treatment first.
Best Scar Treatments For Old Thick and/or Discolored Scars:
- silicone gel sheets and creams
- steroid injections
- cryosurgery (freezing of the upper skin layers which causes blistering of the skin to remove excess scar tissue
- interferon is a chemical that is injected into the scar and may help improve the hardness and cosmetic appearance of the scar.
- dermabrasion removes the top layers of the scar tissue which reduce its appearance.
Silicone sheeting is the only effective over-the-counter scar treatment without side effects. “silicone sheeting has certainly come out as one of the best ways to deal with fresh and chronic scars” (Aesthetic Plast Surg, 1994; 18: 307-13). One of the best brands available is ScarAway
Old White and Flat Scars
Silicone gel treatment isn’t particularly suitable for old scars that are already flat and white. For these scars exfoliation, laser and chemical resurfacing (to even out the tone), and other measures are more appropriate. One of these is a product (V-Tar) that’s also used for vitiligo treatment. Here’s more about white scar treatments.
- laser and chemical resurfacing
Old Indented Scars
Also depressed scars (commonly as a result of acne and often called ice pick scars) require another approach. You could indulge in home remedies but it is recommended to have a medical professional examine your scar in order to get personal advice. For home remedy user experiences and other useful info check out the acne.org forum.
If your scar requires an intrusive treatment such as; collagen fillers, grafts, dermabrasion, or surgical revision it is best to consult a dermatologist or possibly a cosmetic surgeon.
- collagen fillers
- chemical peels
- z plasty
- and more
Exfoliating, and/ or peeling are common home remedies. These treatments do involve side effects. Scar exfoliating is generally done with products containing alpha-hydroxy acids. This substance helps remove the dead skin cells on the surface of the skin. It is strongly recommended to use the lowest concentration of alpha-hydroxy acids available on scar tissue.
It really depends on what kind of old scar you are dealing with. Is it red and raised, white and flat, just discolored, or maybe depressed. Each scar type needs it’s own treatment. I will get back on these specific scars and the best way to treat them in future posts.
Something About Invasive Scar Treatments
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, even when these procedures are performed correctly by a qualified professional, complications are possible.