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Removing Facial Scars, Keloids, and Stretch Marks

After 22 years as an RN, I now write about medical issues and new medical advances. Diet, exercise, treatment, and lifestyle are important.

removing-face-scars-keloid-and-stretch-marks

Scars

People have scars for a variety of reasons, which often makes them very conscious of their appearance, especially with facial scars. Scars may occur due to burns, surgeries, small injuries, acne or major accidents.

For many decades those that suffered from scars had little recourse to remove them, other than over the counter creams or expensive surgeries. The three types of common scars are keloids, hypertrophic scars and contractures.

removing-face-scars-keloid-and-stretch-marks

Anatomy of the Skin

The skin is the largest body organ and consists of 5 layers. The top layer of skin (epidermis) is the first line of defense against pathogens. The top layer of skin also contains dead skin cells, which are shed continually. Damage to this layer heals by rebuilding skin cells and scarring is light. The thickest skin is on the soles of the feet and the palms of the hands.

The skin has layers of cells:

  • stratum basale
  • stratum spinosum
  • stratum granulosum
  • stratum corneum

The dermis is the second layer of skin, which contains tough connective tissue, sweat glands and hair follicles.

Scars are formed as part of the natural healing process for more serious injuries. The way a scar develops depends on the nature of the injury and the body’s ability to heal itself.

Acne Treatment

Types of Scars

Keloid: They occur due to tough, fibrous protein (collagen), which forms after a wound heals around its edges. They look puckered, thick and they are itchy. They may occur anywhere on the body.

Hypertrophic: These scars are similar to keloids, but they remain within the body of the scar.

Contractures: Contractures occur when large areas of skin are injured and the formation of a scar pulls the surrounding skin together forming a contracture.

Facial scars: They can affect facial expressions and are of concern to most patients. Severe acne can also cause some facial scarring. The acne scars can be deep pits to a wavelike appearance.

removing-face-scars-keloid-and-stretch-marks

Types of Treatment for Scars

There are several types of treatments for scars, which will depend on the nature of the scar.

Facial scars can sometimes be treated with dermabrasion. This is effective for acne scarring. Steroid injections and silicone sheets to flatten the scar may be used.

Laser surgery is very effective for several types of scar removal, including keloids, hypertrophic and atrophic scarring. The physician moves the laser along the scar, which exposes the healthy skin that will minimize the scar.

Z-plasty surgery is performed by a plastic surgeon for more extensive scars. The purpose of this surgery is to reposition a scar to conform to the natural lines or creases on your face or other areas of the body. The old scar is removed, and then flaps of skin are created, arranged and closed up with tiny stitches.

Skin graphs are also used for large scarred areas and are commonly used to treat burns. This procedure removes healthy skin from one area of the body to use on the injured area.

My Facial Scar Revision Looks Great

Following Surgery

As with any surgery, expect some swelling, bruising and redness. Use a cold compress to reduce swelling. Follow your physician’s instructions carefully. Depending on the severity of the surgery more rest would be appropriate. The surgeon will require follow-up appointments to evaluate healing.

Methods of scar removal are very effective, plus there are over-the-counter bandages and creams that help prevent scarring.

Your insurance may not pay for scar removal, and it can be expensive. It might be wise to get more than one opinion from a plastic surgeon.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

Comments

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on April 20, 2020:

Hi Peggy,

I haven't seen a pogo stick in a long time. Thanks so much for your comments.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on April 20, 2020:

I have a couple of keloid scars that date back to my childhood days. It was a pogo stick accident. Ha!

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on December 23, 2018:

Liselle, I don't have a great answer for that. Cosmetic surgery is an option but it is expensive. There are lazer treatments and microabrasion may work. Some people use creams to reduce the size, which includes cocoa butter, but they only treat the outer layer of skin so they still show.

Liselle Sloan on December 23, 2018:

Right, but which treatments are good for stretch marks, especially the older, whitish kind?

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on December 22, 2018:

Leselle, I didnot discuss stretch marks and perhaps should have, but I list all the ways various ways skin problems are treated, including skin graphs.

Liselle Sloan on December 21, 2018:

What is the treatment for stretch marks? It's "skin grafts," by the way, not "graphs."

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on July 03, 2013:

torrilynn, I'm glad this hub was helpful for you. Thanks for your comments.

torrilynn on July 03, 2013:

I really do like how you break down what the skin is and how many layers there are. Very informative hub that you have here. Voted up.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on September 20, 2012:

tillsontitan, I am glad you found the information useful. Thank you so much for your comments.

Mary Craig from New York on September 20, 2012:

Some very good basic information. Its always good to know the difference between types of scars to help decide what to do with them.

Voted up and interesting.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on September 19, 2012:

Eddy, I'm glad you found the hub useful and I appreciate your comments.

Eiddwen from Wales on September 19, 2012:

A great hub Pamela ;interesting and so useful.

Enjoy your day.

Eddy.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on September 16, 2012:

Rolly, That is true for so many. Thanks for your comments.. Hugs from FL.

Rolly A Chabot from Alberta Canada on September 15, 2012:

Hi Pam... this is all great information... I could be a tester of some of this information... It seems like I have a fair number to contend with... that wages of not being carful over the years...

Hugs from Canada

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on September 10, 2012:

sassyk, I believe adult acne can be treated very well now and dermabrasion is another type of treatment. Thank you for your comments.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on September 10, 2012:

Nell, I also think a good Vitamin E cream helps. I have a lot of surgical scars also (hope to have none in the future), but none of my face either. I appreciate your comments.

Karen Anne Harris from Jacksonville, FL on September 10, 2012:

I am currently going through some things with my skin due to adult acne. I am going to talk to my Dermatologist about the laser surgery.

Thanks for sharing...very informative.

Nell Rose from England on September 10, 2012:

I have so many scars on my body from various operations, but lucky enough not to have any on my face. I think I would go for the laser treatment if I had, as I hear that its really successful. for my body scars I use a high vitamin E cream, great information, voted up and shared, nell

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on September 08, 2012:

Dianna, It is good to know that there have been great advances in removing scars. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

Dianna Mendez on September 07, 2012:

I didn't know scars could be removed. I have one on my knee, but it is not that big or noticeable. If it were any place else, I would think about this procedure. Thanks for the share.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on September 07, 2012:

locknloaded, I agree, no one wants a scar, especially on your face. I appreciate your comments.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on September 07, 2012:

vibesites, I hope the tips will help people identity the type of scar they have and understand their options. Thank you so much for your comments.

locknloaded81 on September 07, 2012:

I really like your hub Pamela, everyone will really like to have a clean and smooth skin.. no one wish to have that indication of damage thing, specially on face, grrr. Scars should be removed. Thanks there are ways now to remove it.

vibesites from United States on September 07, 2012:

Great and informative hub. Probably your tips will help some problems of mine. :)

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on September 07, 2012:

Ruby, I am glad you found the hub interesting and I appreciate your comments.

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on September 07, 2012:

The video was interesting to watch. Thank you for sharing information that is useful and will help those needing this type of surgery.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on September 06, 2012:

JayeWisdom, While the techniques to remove scars has improved, it is not perfect. Of course, I'm glad the cancer is gone and I would have done exactly what you did. I imagine most people don't notice it anyway. I appreciate you sharing your experience.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on September 06, 2012:

Alphagirl, I have heard that Mederma is good and I use vitamin E for a variety of problems. Thanks for your comments.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on September 06, 2012:

POP, I'm glad you liked the hub. Thanks so much for your comments.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on September 06, 2012:

Cardisa, I know that is probably true worldwide. Some people develop keloids more easily following surgery than others. Thanks for your comments.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on September 06, 2012:

Maria, Being a nurse certainly impacts my choice of topics. I think you are right about Bill and my hubby. I appreciate your comments. Hugs back to you.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on September 06, 2012:

pringoooals, I'm glad you found the hub informative. Thank you for your comments.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on September 06, 2012:

Jim, Sorry about the scars of the heart. I guess most of us have those. Wish I could give you a big hug. :) Thanks for your comments.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on September 06, 2012:

drbj, I was impressed with the work the surgeon did in the video also. I appreciate your comments.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on September 06, 2012:

jainismus, I appreciate your comments and the share.

Jaye Denman from Deep South, USA on September 06, 2012:

This is a very interesting hub. I have an "upside down question mark" scar on my nose following surgery to remove basal cell skin cancer (performed by a plastic surgeon). It's not glaringly evident, and I probably notice it more than anyone else, but the surgeon "re-did" the bottom part on the end of my nose TWICE trying to get rid of a small "divot", but it's still there. I finally accepted that there will be a light scar due to where it is and the flap method required to eradicate all of the cancer cells. That, of course, takes precedence over the scar.

Alphagirl on September 06, 2012:

Great helpful hub! I use topical creams to fade scars. Mederma works as dies vitamin e

breakfastpop on September 06, 2012:

Terrific informative hub. I needed this after I gave birth to my daughters! Up, useful and awesome.

Carolee Samuda from Jamaica on September 06, 2012:

Hi Pamela, nice hub. I know a few people with the keloid scarring but are too poor to do anything about it.

Maria Jordan from Jeffersonville PA on September 06, 2012:

Dear Pam,

This was presented in a most comprehensive and understandable manner. It takes a nurse to organize such a finely detailed piece.

I admit a giggle as I join ranks with your hubby and dear Bill. I call them my 'glad to be here' scars.

Voted UP and UI. Hugs, Maria

Karina from Edinburgh on September 06, 2012:

Great advice on face scars. Very informative and useful.

The Frog Prince from Arlington, TX on September 06, 2012:

Excellent Hub Pamela. Most of my scars are on my heart where only I can see them and deal with them :)

TFP

drbj and sherry from south Florida on September 06, 2012:

Another well-written, explanatory hub, Pamela. You may be becoming one of the go-to experts on matters medical. What an excellent job that reconstruction surgeon did on that young woman's scar in the video.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on September 06, 2012:

Jackie, I should have included avoiding the sun as that is important. The physicians will usually prescribe or recommend a cream to use for quite a long period of time following a scar removal. At least that is my experience. I appreciate your comments.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on September 06, 2012:

Billy, That sounds like a comment my husband would make. He has several also. Thanks for your comments.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on September 06, 2012:

Lord, I think facial scars or very unsightly scars would certainly cause psychological trauma and that could be a toic for another hub. I appreciate your comments.

Mahaveer Sanglikar from Pune, India on September 06, 2012:

Great information, thank you for sharing it. Shared with followers.

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on September 06, 2012:

Great advice. Scaring can be prevented or lessoned to a great degree if people us something right after surgery in time. Avoiding the sun on scars is a must too to keep the scar from darkening; this showing it up more. There are some great over the counter things very affordable now. I prefer the lotion, the gel does not absorb very well.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on September 06, 2012:

Very interesting and informative Pamela! I have several dandies on my body, but I like to think of them as badges of honor! :)

Joseph De Cross from New York on September 06, 2012:

Excellent information about face scars, keloid and stretch marks. This last one is what women fear after having a baby. Seen after breast augmentation scars and have a couple of them on my arms, small enough though. Is true that scars cause psychological traumas and social issues. Great explanation that breaks down technicalities into plain english. Sharing and voting this up Pam!

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