Corticosteroid therapy has been commonly used for years to treat hypertrophic and keloid scars. Corticosteroids suppress inflammation, reduce collagen synthesis and inhibit cell proliferation; itch and thickness of scars is reduced. Corticosteroids can be given through injection, steroid tape or topically (by cream). Intralesional injections (injections into the scar) are common treatments for linear scars, hypertrophic scars and small keloids. Other treatments alongside corticosteroid therapy are often required for large keloids and thick hypertrophic scars.
The Pulsed Dye Laser (PDL) is a highly effective and low risk laser for the treatment of a wide range of vascular lesions. PDL releases brief pulses of selectively absorbed optical radiation which can cause selective damage to pigmented structures (blood vessels) and cells. The PDL is used to treat port-wine stains, facial telangiectasias and haemangioma. Newer PDLs with longer wavelengths and extended pulse durations have made deeper tissue penetration possible and improved clinical outcomes with reduced risk. PDL treatments are performed with a topical anaesthetic.
The Ablative Fractional Laser (AFL) is a wounding laser, which delivers micro fractional columns of laser light to the top layers of the skin. This treatment works by creating thousands of microscopic areas, through heat, where the top layer of the skin is ablated (removed). These tiny areas of damage are surrounded by untreated skin, this allows healing of the skin. Traditional ablative laser resurfacing can take on average up to three weeks to heal. Types of ablative treatments include the carbon dioxide (CO2) laser and the erbium laser. AFL is performed under local anaesthesia.