A distinction must be made between atrophic scars (which come in the form of sunken recesses in the skin), hypertrophic scars (which are thick scars raised above skin level) and keloids (which are scar overgrowths that have the tendency to grow). Atrophic scars are caused, for example, by acne (so-called “ice pick scars”), deep skin cuts or burns. Hypertrophic scars are the result of poor wound healing or wound infections.
There is not yet any conclusive research on the causes of keloids - bulbous scars that are not confined to the site of injury, but actually spread.
Atrophic scars can be treated with fillers or autologous fat to raise them up to skin level. Dermabrasion has proven effective in treating “ice pick scars”. A kind of mechanic peeling causes the edges of the scar to be ground down so that they are no longer able to cast harsh shadows and are therefore hardly noticeable.
There is currently is no single medical treatment for treating hypertrophic scars and keloids. A range of methods is therefore used, such as freezing and compression techniques, silicone plaster, drainage and radiation, which can be combined with one another as required.
The follow-up treatment for each procedure requires a lot of patience and perseverance on the part of the patient.
Dermabrasion is likely to cause redness of the skin which lasts for several months.
The surgeon will explain to the patient any risks and side effects involved with each of the treatments used.