Scars develop after trauma to the skin, and the body’s natural reaction is to replace the damaged skin with fibrous tissue. It’s for this reason that scars are noticeable and that their pigmentation contrasts with the natural skin tone. There are many options that claim to successfully remove a scar, including lasers, chemical peels, dermabrasions or microdermabrasions, punch excisions, and skin grafting.
Nonsurgical options tend to work best on scars that are less severe, and they usually work by removing layers of the skin so that the scar will become less noticeable. Most of these options severely irritate the skin, leaving it raw and sensitive.
Nonablative lasers, however, work to target the damaged skin cells that make up the scar. They create microscopic wounds to destroy the damaged cells, allowing the body to reproduce new and healthy skin cells. Fractional lasers are able to do this without damaging the outer layer of the skin and with little or no down time after each treatment. Several treatments might be required depending on the severity of the scar.
The most popular surgical options are punch excisions and skin grafting. Punch excisions are when a scar is surgically cut from the skin and stitched properly so that a less noticeable scar takes its place. This is best for scars left behind by old piercings or puncture wounds. Meanwhile, skin grafting is a procedure where a piece of skin is taken from a part of the body not seen very often, such as the leg or the rear end, then used to cover up the scar.