If you have scars on your legs, wearing shorts or a skirt can make you feel self-conscious. The University of Chicago Medical Center explains that all scars are permanent, but treatments can help reduce the appearance of scars 1. With treatment, you can fade your leg scars so that they are barely noticeable.
Dermabrasion therapies are useful for leg scars. Leg scars are often caused by accidental shaving cuts. These shallow, superficial scars are removable with a few dermabrasion treatments. During a dermabrasion procedure, your doctor removes layers of scarred skin using a rotating wire brush. When these skin layers regrow, they will be clearer and smoother, with less visible scarring. While the procedure sounds painful, it only produces a slight burning sensation. Only a few thin layers of skin are removed, so the treatment does not cause intense pain or bleeding.
Chemical peels soften hard scar tissue on your legs. Much like dermabrasion, chemical peels remove the topmost layers of scarred skin. A chemical peel is a quick procedure. Glycolic acid or a similar substance is applied to the scar for about two minutes, then the acid is neutralized and washed off. Chemical peels produce an intense burning sensation, but the pain stops immediately after the acid is neutralized, according to the Johns Hopkins Cosmetic Center.
Deeper cuts caused by severe shaving cuts or a similar injury may leave an impression in the skin. Indented scars usually can't be removed with dermabrasion or chemical peeling. Collagen injections can smooth out indented skin for healthier-looking legs. The result is immediate and relatively painless, but it is only a temporary fix. The injected collagen breaks down over time. You will need new injections every three to 12 months, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center 12.
CO2 Laser Therapy
Carbon dioxide laser therapy can reduce the appearance of deep leg scars. Most other treatments will be ineffective against deep scarring from traumatic injury. CO2 lasers work much like dermabrasion and chemical peel therapies. The laser targets scar tissue and burns it away, letting new skin grow in its place. CO2 laser therapy, however, can target more precisely and penetrate more thoroughly.
Vascular Laser Therapy
Vascular laser treatments do not affect scar tissue directly. Vascular lasers pinpoint inflamed blood vessels, shrinking them back to their original size, according to the University of Michigan Department of Plastic Surgery 3. When blood vessels near scar tissue become inflamed, the scar turns reddish, making it noticeable. Once these blood vessels are treated, your skin will return to its normal pigmentation at the scar site. Vascular therapy is a good complement to other therapies, because it specifically targets discoloration, whereas other therapies often fail to correct scar pigmentation.
Carbon dioxide laser therapy can reduce the appearance of deep leg scars. These shallow, superficial scars are removable with a few dermabrasion treatments. During a dermabrasion procedure, your doctor removes layers of scarred skin using a rotating wire brush.
- legs image by Leticia Wilson from Fotolia.com