I was involved in a motor accident two years ago which left me with several scars on my face and other parts. Can these scars be removed permanently?
Injury can be of various kinds like that by a blunt object, sharp penetrating object, burns, theram injury, e.t.c. Different kinds of injury cause different kinds of wounds and they heal differently, causing different kinds of scars. The healing depends on type of injury, type, size and site of wound, time gap between injury and treatment and response of body to treatment given. Atrophic scars are thin in form of pale, stretched out skin around the wound. The skin is thickened in hypertrophic scars. In keloids, the skin is thick and elevated. Healing of wounds around joints can cause contracture. Uncontrolled diabetes can delay wound healing and cause severe scarring.
The scars of a wound may fade with time or may become permanent. Prevention lies in prevention of injury and early and efficient wound management,
As such there is no medical treatment for scars. If possible, the scar can be camouflaged. Mostly steroid ointments or injections, injected chemotherapeutic agents like flurouracil, silicone gel sheeting, cryotherapy with liquid nitrogen, irradiation, are modalities used for this purpose.
A scar can also be treated by derm abrasion, laser therapy or plastic surgery. Plastic surgeons, dermatologists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and counsellors form part of the team treating scars post injury. The mode of treatment used can be one or more than one of these measures available.
Dr Rachna Pande is a specialist in internal medicine at Ruhengeri Hospital