Zocdoc Answers

Medical questions & health advice by licensed doctors

"How to remove old scars?"

ZocdocAnswersHow to remove old scars?


I got a pretty bad scar on my neck when I was in college that I've been self conscious about ever since. It was from an accident with some sharp glass. How difficult is it to get rid of this scarring?


There are several options available to you for removing or improving the appearance of old scar tissue. However, you will need to set up an appointment with a dermatologist to discuss which treatment options are best, as options vary depending on the type of scar and what you want to achieve. For example, if the scarred areas is very thick and piled up (called a keloid), there is often no good treatment aside from cutting out the scar surgically. On the other hand, thinner scars may be able to be smoothed out with dermal abrasion therapy or laser therapy. If there are pockmarked or dimpled areas within the scar, sometimes the injection of skin fillers into these areas is indicated to smooth out the depressions. Sometimes, the main issue is not the contour or texture of the scar but rather that the scar appears either dark (hyperpigmented) or light (hypopigmented) with respect to surrounding skin. In these cases, Excimer and other laser-based therapies are probably the best option, as they can gradually change the color of the scar to more closely match that of the surrounding skin over multiple treatment sessions. In summary, there are multiple options for you, but you will have to start by talking to a specialist!

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.