Hello. I’m Dr. Neal Schultz and welcome to DermTV.
In other episodes, I discussed what scars are. And in the acne scar episode, I discussed how to treat the pushed in or what we call ‘Atrophic Scars’ that you get from acne such as ice pick scars or even the crater shape scars. By the way, chickenpox scars are not a good example of pushed in or atrophic scars.
But what happens if you get a raised scar, the type that you get from deep cuts and injuries or even from having head stitches or surgical procedure? Those scars are what we usually call hyperthropic scars and they usually are raised, firm and they start out pink or red and then they finally become white.
Now, if you get a cut along your hand, a straight cut and you get a raised scar from that cut, the raised scar is going to be right over the area of the cut. It’s over the footprint of the injury and that’s to distinguish this hypertrophic scars or raised scars which is what we’re talking about today from keloid scars which once you have an injury, they grow on all different directions and become much bigger than the footprint of the injury.
So for at home treatments for raised scars, there are silicon sheets and even scar gels like Mederma and the scar gel from Duane Reade. The scar gels have chemicals called polyethylene glycols or even methacolates. Usually these products work over a period of weeks to months to fix the scar but I’ll give you a tip for another home treatment.
Take some Vaseline or any other lubricant and very firmly rub the scar for 15 to 30 seconds, three to four times a day for a few weeks and that may well actually make the scar go away. It’s the rubbing and the pressure that makes the scar better and the Vaseline or whatever lubricant you’re using is just to prevent a skin irritation.
But what happens of these treatments don’t work, then you see your dermatologist who will shrink the scar and normalize it with tiny injections of cortisone or if the scar is young enough so that it’s still pink while it’s raised, it can be fixed with painless laser treatments.
So you have a raised scar, what’s the big deal? Why bother treating it? The reason is if you don’t treat a raised scar over a period of time, it becomes fixed and hard and when that happens then even the pressure of clothing touching the scar is very painful and at that point the scars are very difficult to treat. So the bottom line is if you get a raised scar after an injury get it treated sooner rather than later because it’s much easier to fix it sooner.
Please join me again at DermTV.com. If you have a question, please send it to me by visiting DermTV.com/question. I’m Dr. Neal Schultz and thank you for watching today.