A study by the British Skin Foundation has revealed that seven in ten people have visible scars or visible skin conditions – and 72% of this group confessed it affects their confidence.
Scars can look different depending on the type of scar and our skin type. They may appear as a fine line or can be raised and thickened due to an abnormal overgrowth of tissue (hypertrophic and keloid), red in colour (erythematous) or dark (pigmented), thinned, sunken or hollow (atrophic), ice pick or crater, which are commonly caused by acne.
Acne is a common condition seen in up to 80 percent of young people, and in five percent of adults. For some people with acne, the severe inflammatory response results in structural change in the superficial and deep dermis layers of the skin, leading to post-acne scars. These are more often atrophic scars, but some patients develop hypertrophic and keloid scars.
Leading Dermatologist Dr Nick Lowe, of The Cranley Clinic in London treats many people using aesthetic treatments to reduce the appearance of scarring. He says: “Whilst some scars cannot be completely eradicated, a combination of treatments can greatly improve the appearance. Each scar is different, and each requires a different approach. The most important features to assess include anatomic locations, colour, vascularity, light reflection, texture, contour, pliability, depth, relation to skin tension lines and the health of the surrounding skin.”
New generation dermal fillers are increasingly popular treatment amongst experts for hollow, rolling atrophic scars. The most effective fillers for scarring stimulate the body to produce new, flexible dermal collagen. As skin specialist Dr Lowe explains: ‘We have been using different dermal fillers, including HA fillers and Ellansé, in our clinic to lift and restore lost volume for atrophic scars for many years. Ellansé, in particular, is used for aesthetic volume loss and improves skin quality by stimulating neocollagenesis (prompting new collagen growth) and helps reduce volume loss of the face, hands, as well as deep atrophic scars.”
He adds: “This particular filler provides immediate scar correction, plus increased volumisation over one to three years - in fact the results can last for up to four years in some patients. The filler does not cause delayed hypersensitivity reactions and, because Ellansé activates the patient’s own collagen production, it arguably offers a better aesthetic outcome over time.”
It is heartening that people no longer have put up with the anxiety or embarrassment of defacing scars and that there are medical skincare treatments which can help to erase them, along with the emotional scarring, helping to rebuild their confidence.
Meet the Expert
Dr Lowe is an internationally-renowned Consultant and Professor of Dermatology, with over 30 years’ experience at the cutting edge of new treatments, technology and research. He is a pioneer in botulinum toxin research and studies into skin problems and ageing.