Although there are many products that promise complete removal of herpes scars through skin lightening, proper removal of these scars usually requires a chemical treatment such as dermabrasion or laser therapy. Both methods work by removing the top layer of skin through scraping or concentrated light. Scar removal should be performed by a licensed dermatologist, followed by post-surgery care.
Find a dermatologist. It is crucial to find a trusted, experienced dermatologist who can provide optimal care. Visit the American Medical Association's website, where member doctors promise to abide by the ethical standards of medicine. Your dermatologist will determine whether dermabrasion or laser surgery is necessary, go over your expectations of the procedure, and provide guidelines to follow before the surgery, such as dietary changes.
Schedule the procedure. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), dermabrasion can take between a few minutes to an hour and a half, depending on the size and location of the scar. The procedure involves scraping the dermis, the top layer of skin, using a rough wire brush. If the scar is deep, multiple sessions may be required for complete removal. Once the scraping is finished, the wound will be cleaned and covered with ointment and a bandage.
Laser therapy takes as much time as dermabrasion and requires burning the scar tissue in order to stimulate cell repair. As the scar is burned off, new cells will grow to heal it and flatten the skin. According to "Laser Dermatology," side effects after surgery may include swelling, irritation, redness and bruising. These side effects usually subside within a week after treatment.
Limit your activity after surgery. After a dermabrasion treatment, the scar area will be sore, red and swollen. According to the ASPS, you may have difficulty eating if the scar is near the mouth, but side effects should subside shortly after surgery. While the dermabrasion scar is healing, do not shave. Gently clean the area with warm water and a mild soap. Dab the scar with a clean, damp washcloth, then blot it dry with a clean towel. Do not engage in activity that could cause injury to the face, as it can disrupt the healing process and possibly cause an infection. If symptoms persist or worsen, call your physician immediately.