Can scars be 'erased' from the skin?

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 20 2015 12:43 AM | Updated as of Aug 20 2015 09:42 AM

MANILA -- Is it really possible to "erase" scars from the skin?

In an interview on "Magandang Gabi Dok" on DZMM, Dr. Oscar Tagulinao, a plastic surgeon, explained that it is impossible to totally remove scars from the skin.

"Ang peklat, permanente 'yan. Kaya nga lang, ang gusto ng karamihan, hindi masyadong obvious 'yung kanilang peklat. Kaya ang ginagawang paraan ngayon ng mga doktor, ay papaano maaalagaan ang isang sugat para maganda ang kalalabasan na peklat. Or, kung peklat na, paano babaguhin ang peklat para hindi kapansin-pansin," he explained.

The size and quality of the scar also depends on the size of the wound, as well as on the length of the healing process.

"Mas maganda ang peklat kapag mas mabilis ang healing process, kung nagtagal ang paggaling ng sugat, mas maraming scar ang gagawin niyan," Tagulinao said, adding that scars will form as long as the wound is not yet completely healed.

There are three kinds of scars, namely keloids, hypertrophic and stretch marks. For Tagulinao, keloid scars are the worst kind of scars as they tend to grow in size and thickness.

"Ang pinakaprominente o kitang-kitang scar is yung keloid. Minsan sinasabi na buhay daw yung kanilang peklat. Bakit sinabing buhay kasi lumalaki, at lumalapad at tumatambok," the doctor explained.

Unlike keloid scars, hypertrophic scars decrease in size and fade over time.

"Yung hypertrophic scar, kusang nawawala at nagfa-flat," Tagulinao added.

He also explained that "stretch marks" are also permanent, as they are caused by tissue damage underneath the skin.

"Stretch mark is not a scar. Ang ibig sabihin lang nun, 'yung nasa ilalim ng balat mo na mga tissue na dati rati ay elastic, parang goma, ay napapatid at naghihiwalay. 'Yung ibabaw, buo pero ang ilalim, naghihiwalay," Tagulinao said.

The best thing a person can do to avoid scarring is to keep the wound clean and minimize the size of the wound. For bigger wounds, Tagulinao suggests going to the doctor to have them stitched to facilitate better healing and scarring.