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While most people are familiar with what scars are, few are aware that they can be differentiated into two different types. These are depressed scars and pigmented scars, which each have different causes. Depressed scars are typically caused by either acne or trauma to the skin. Pigmented scars are also caused by acne and skin ailments but can also result from superficial burns.

Treating Depressed Scars

Depressed scars can often be immediately removed or reduced with treatments like microdermabrasion or a chemical peel. Both of these techniques work by exfoliating the top layer of the skin, reducing the scar’s appearance on the surface. If these protocols fail to sufficiently reduce the appearance of a scar, there are other methods that can be employed. 

Microneedling, for example, can address scars and is considered to be suitable for most skin types. Dermapen is a form of microneedling technology that can safely reduce scars over a course of several treatments. Patients who want a more aggressive treatment may find what they’re looking for in fractional laser resurfacing, a treatment that can greatly reduce the appearance of depressed scars after just one to two treatments. 

A more technologically advanced treatment option is known as radio frequency microneedling. This is a great option for older patients who are looking to achieve a skin tightening effect while also diminishing their scars. 

Treating Pigmented Scars

One of the best ways to treat pigmented scars is IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) photofacial therapy. A tried and true scar protocol, IPL photofacial therapy can address pigmented scars on various skin types over a course of several treatments.

Fractional laser resurfacing is also a great option for pigmented scars, though it’s most often recommended for patients with shallow scars. Beyond that, it’s best suited for lighter skin types, as laser technology relies on contrasting shades to hone in on the target areas. 

The other option for pigmented scars is micro-fractional laser therapy, a technologically recent innovation. While this approach will require more treatments to achieve the desired result, it stands out for its ability to treat a wider array of skin types than other treatments. 

How to know which treatment is right for you

In order to know which treatment is best for them, patients will need to consider the nature of their scars and the severity of them. For example, patients with more shallow scars will be able to reduce them with a fractional laser resurfacing procedure. This is a great option for both depressed and pigmented scars. That said, patients with darker skin may not be suitable candidates for this treatment, as the technology may not be able to differentiate between scarred areas and the surrounding tissue. 

What is the takeaway?

Regardless of what kind of scarring you are dealing with, it is always a good idea to reach out to a licensed practitioner before making any decisions on treatment. They will be able to assess the scars in question to determine what treatment will work best. With today’s technology, there’s no limit to scar-reversing possibilities. 


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