Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"How can one minimize a scar on the upper lip?"
What's the best way to minimize a scar on the upper lip? I've heard about both laser treatments and silicone gel treatments, and I'm willing to do whatever it takes to get people to stop noticing. (I've had the scar since I tripped at age 8. Now I'm 28.)
Treatment for scars depends on what feature of the scar is most concerning to you. After damage to the skin and scar formation, it is possible for the area to become sunken and 'pock marked', very lightly colored (hypopigmentation), or extremely distorted and piled up (keloid formation). These three things require different treatment options. If the problem is that there are sunken areas, then injection of collagen or other skin fillers may be an option for you. This is commonly used in treating the pock marks of acne, but it is used in other settings. You would need to discuss this with a dermatologist to determine if this option is appropriate. Keloid formation (piled up or distorted scar) often requires surgical treatment (cutting out the thick scar). Sometimes silicone gel treatment can work; this smooths out the scar and applies some downward pressure to keep the piling up of scar tissue from progressing. A cosmetic surgeon would be the best doctor to talk to about this problem. If the problem is that the scar is very light colored or hypopigmented, then Excimer laser treatment is the right solution. This works by stimulating the return of pigment cells to the scar area, resulting in a return of color toward normal. Specialized dermatologists offer Excimer laser treatments.
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