Scars usually fade on their own over time, and dermabrasion, chemical peels, laser treatments and creams can help the process, notes MedlinePlus. Whether scars fade depends on their depth, location and a person's genetics.
Over-the-counter and prescription medication can fade scars from bruises, mild injuries and surgery, explains NYU Langone Medical Center. Over-the-counter and prescription medications include creams, ointments and gels. Prescription corticosteroids, which help with itching, and silicon-based products are also used to fade scars. Dermabrasion removes the top layer of skin using a tool, while chemical peels do so using certain chemicals. Both procedures can fade minor scarring and make the skin appear smoother, so they are used for minor acne and surgical scars. Various sizes of lasers are used to lighten pink and purple scars in addition to flattening scars.
Fading scars that penetrate deep into the skin often require more than just topical treatment. Discolored and depressed scars can be faded using collagen or silicone fillers, while burns often require skin grafts or surgery, according to NYU Langone Medical Center. Keloid scars typically occur in people with dark skin, and these raised, aggressively healing scars can be faded using steroid injections, silicone sheets and cryotherapy, states WebMD. Hypertrophic scars are similar to keloids, and silicone sheets and steroid injections are used to treat them as well.