Scars and scarring are one of the biggest skin concerns which plague many of us and they come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Many people try different over-the-counter creams, but to no effect, in an attempt to reduce the appearance of scars that bother them, but what if we had a better solution?
Scars can be caused by disease, surgical trauma or accident, leaving us with imperfections on the skin which can lead to self-consciousness, and in some cases, people search for means by which to camouflage their scars with make-up and concealers before even leaving the house.
Scars which can affect an individual’s self-confidence include acne scarring, stretch marks, or chicken pox scars, to name but a few. Some of these scars, particularly from acne or chicken pox may be on the face, and others like stretch marks on the thighs, back, breasts or stomach lead to the avoidance of wearing bathing suits and shorts in the summer time.
As well as different causes of scarring, each kind of scar can be regarded as a different type, examples include keloid scarring, which are raised and often red or purple in colour due to irregular healing. Some people, especially those with darker skin types, are more prone to keloid scarring. Stretch marks may be purple when newly formed, leading to whiter lines as they mature, atrophic scars are dipped or pitted such as chicken pox or acne scars, or there are those which are tethered to deeper layers of skin, such as ice-pick acne scars.
At Hilton Skin Clinics in Reading, we have the solution to address most scarring and improve the appearance of the skin. We use the iPixel erbium YAG laser which we have on the latest Harmony XL Pro laser platform from leading cosmetic laser manufacturer Alma Lasers.
The iPixel is a great laser which we use for skin resurfacing. It is a fractional, ablative laser light which means it creates small, pixel-sized zones of controlled damage to the skin when we deliver the laser energy. This means that unlike early resurfacing lasers, the laser does not ablate or remove the whole surface layer of the skin, the epidermis and upper dermis, it simply vaporises these layers in small, micro-dots which are then surrounded by undamaged skin. During treatment, these look like tiny dots of white on the skin, evenly spaced apart. By leaving areas of undamaged skin around each dot this speeds up the natural healing process as the healthy tissue is stimulated to repair the damaged area and send in an army of new skin cells, called fibroblasts, and new collagen and elastin is produced, along with the production of growth factors and other things needed to repair the damage caused by the laser. Although this may sound counter-intuitive, to make more damage to heal the scar, it isn’t, as by destroying the unhealthy scar tissue, we are encouraging the body to repair and make new healthy tissue in its place which will have an improved appearance.
Depending on the size and type of scar being treated, you will require several treatment sessions spaced a month or so apart to continue to trick the body into repairing and improving the scarred area. The area will continue to improve in the weeks and months after your final treatment session, due to the natural healing that your body is doing.
If you’d like more information about scar treatments, including using the iPixel laser, please contact Hilton Skin Clinics in Reading today to book a consultation.