What can a doctor do for scar?

Stuart A. Linder, MD
Plastic Surgery
A doctor can prescribe either specific creams or perform surgical scar revisions. Creams or ointments can include silicone gel sprays, vitamine E, kenalog injections, or silicone gel sheets or strips. Surgical procedures may include scar revisions under local anesthesia. Prior to surgical revision, the surgeon must determine the specific type of scar. Remember, keloid scars may become Worsened after revision. 
Dr. Ellen Marmur, MD

The art of scar revision is complex, and most of the time the best we can do is improve its appearance. Rarely can we make a scar disappear completely. There are as many remedies as there are scars, and each variation requires a specific treatment. Raised keloid and hypertrophic scars can be treated with a series of hydrocortisone injections that help shrink the collagen. Keloids are often very red, so a Vbeam laser can knock out the vessels that are feeding the scar, diminishing redness and shrinking the bulk even more. This process requires three to five sessions. Dermabrasion, a technique to vaporize the skin by way of electrocautery or ablative lasers (such as CO2 or erbium: YAG lasers), can remove raised scars. Doctors use a numbing cream and inject a touch of lidocaine into the area. Then use an electric pen to literally burn off the scar with heat.

Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation is usually deep in the dermis, and for some reason lasers for pigment (ruby and Nd:YAG) aren't very successful because they work best on superficial pigment. Fractionated laser resurfacing works better on darker brown, white, or red scars. It essentially vaporizes the pigment and exfoliates the scar from the skin. The patient requires about four treatments and will see a 50 to 80 percent improvement.

Simple Skin Beauty: Every Woman's Guide to a Lifetime of Healthy, Gorgeous Skin

More About this Book

Simple Skin Beauty: Every Woman's Guide to a Lifetime of Healthy, Gorgeous Skin

What if a leading dermatologist just happened to be your best friend and you could ask her anything? DR. ELLEN MARMUR, a world-renowned New York City dermatologist, answers all your questions with...
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Doctors have several ways to treat a scar.
  • For surgical scars, your doctor may recommend a topical cream (prescription or over-the-counter) which you regularly rub into your skin.
  • Acne scars can be treated in a number of ways, including with steroid shots, surgery to inject fillers into depressed areas, laser skin resurfacing, and chemical peels or dermabrasion.
  • Steroid injections can be used for scars that are built up and protrude from your body.
  • Scars that are flush with the skin can be lightened with laser therapy.
  • Other options include surgical skin grafts, in which the scarred skin is cut away and an unblemished piece of skin is removed from another part of your body and stitched in place of the scar.

Continue Learning about Skin Injury

Can You Make Scars Go Away?
Can You Make Scars Go Away?
Whether it’s the result of a minor kitchen mishap or a more serious accident, almost everyone has at least a scar or two. But while some injuries seem...
Read More
Why does an incision heal faster than a laceration?
National Athletic Trainers' AssociationNational Athletic Trainers' Association
An incision heals faster than a laceration because straight edges create less surface area to re...
More Answers
What is a skin graft?
Brian Evans, MDBrian Evans, MD
A skin graft is a process in which donor skin is used to cover injured skin. They're typically used ...
More Answers
Are skin injuries serious?
Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)
In most cases, you can treat skin injuries at home using first aid basics. These types of skin injur...
More Answers

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.