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.
Micro-needling is a semi-invasive technique that can be used on the face and body to achieve collagen induction (production). In this technique the skin or scar is pricked with needles to cause percutaneous collagen induction, this builds up connective tissue underneath retracted (contracted/stuck) or hypertrophic scars and wrinkles.
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.
Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) is not the same as a laser. IPL releases pulses of energy through light in a broad wavelength range which produces heat on the skin. A laser projects energy in a very narrow wavelength range which is more focused and therefore produces bleeding (purpura). Thanks to the broad wavelength range, IPL gives less focused heat which reduces the amount of bleeding. The light targets haemoglobin in red blood cells which aims to close the local vessels and reduce the blood supply to the growth of the scar tissue.