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Scars by Mr Ioannis Goutos

Pale Scars

Pale Scars

Scarring occurs as a natural and inevitable result of any injury to the skin. As the body repairs itself, additional connective tissue components, such as collagen, and new skin cells grow to restore integrity to the skin surface. In ideal healing, the scar tissue will match the original skin tone, texture and surface as much as possible, however it is common for scars to appear slightly paler than the surrounding skin. This is known as ‘hypopigmented’ scarring. Stretch marks may also produce marks that are paler than the original skin tone

This is typically due to there being less skin pigment, known as ‘melanin’, within the scar tissue compared to normal skin. Although this is normally not noticeable in smaller scars, sometimes pale scars can appear more prominent if they are large, or on visible areas of the body such as the face, neck, hands or arms. Sometimes scar tissue can become paler with time as the scar undergoes a process known as ‘maturation’. Pale scars can become less obvious overtime as the scar tissue darkens in response to the sun. The progress and nature of scarring is something that will be different for each individual and skin tone.

Mr Ioannis Goutos is an expert plastic surgeon with London-based clinics. He has a special interest in managing burns and scars, and is well placed to provide assessments, advice and treatments for a wide range of cosmetic complaints, including difficult-to-treat scarring. Mr Goutos takes pride in creating tailor-made treatment plans for each individual, incorporating all relevant aspects for each patient, including medical and psychological factors.

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About this condition

Some individuals may feel particularly conscious of pale scarring, especially if occurring in naturally darker skin tones, and this can have knock on effects on someone’s self-confidence and choice of clothing or activities. There are a number of treatment options available, which aim to reduce the appearance of pale scars. Sometimes these scars may also have other adverse features, such as being stretched or tight, or being either protuberant or depressed from the level of the surrounding skin. The best treatment option for you will depend on all the other scar characteristics present and your own cosmetic goals.

Some individuals will find that use of camouflage or make-up products on the skin is sufficient to improve the appearance of pale scars. Those who have other adverse features associated with their scarring or are seeking more permanent cosmetic results may consider:

  • Topical management
  • Certain laser-based treatments
  • Needling
  • Scar revision surgery

Injections, lasers and needling all work by aiming to promote rejuvenation in the surface of the skin and restore its original tone and texture. Surgery will involve removal of the problem area of scarring, however will cause subsequent scarring itself. Additional adjuncts can be used following scar revision surgery to promote good quality scarring that would be less noticeable than the original scar tissue.

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Goutos London - Burns


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