Scar Revision

Scars are a part of life. We all have some scars to show for our adventures through life but sometimes those scars can be painful, restrictive, or emotionally burdensome, particularly when the scars are visible on the face. Although nothing can completely erase a scar, there are treatment options for making them lighter and more inconspicuous.

Types of Scar Revision

Hypertrophic Scars

These scars occur within the boundaries of surgical or wound scars. They cause the scar tissue to become red, raised, and sometimes itchy or painful.

Keloid Scars

Keloid scars are similar to hypertrophic scars except that they generally continue to develop and become much larger over time beyond the confines of the original injury and scar.

Contracture Scars

Contracture scars are typically the result of burn injuries or injuries in which the individual has lost a large section of skin and/or soft tissue. These are the most debilitating scars and they are often the most difficult to treat. Contracture scars occur when there has been a large loss of skin and the edges of the wound are attempting to grow toward the middle. This causes the scar tissue to contract, become tight and painful, often restricting normal movement.

Scar Revision Treatments Available

Your surgeon will meet with you and determine what type of scar you have. The appropriate treatment will depend on several factors including:

  • Location of the scar
  • Critical structures involved
  • Type of scar tissue
  • Patient goals and expectations
  • Skin type and quality

Some scars can be successfully treated using topical creams or even special types of dressings. These treatments can reduce unnatural pigment, aid in wound healing, and compress swollen scar tissue to produce a flatter scar.

Injectable medications can be used to treat some more severe scars. Depressed scars can sometimes be treated with dermal fillers to produce a smoother and more natural appearance. Steroids and other medications can be injected directly into the scar to halt collagen production, reduce swelling, and relieve itching or burning sensations.

Surface treatments such as dermabrasion, laser or light therapy, chemical peels, and skin bleaching can all be used to diminish the color, size, and discomfort associated with some scars.

In some cases, surgical revision is needed to give the best possible outcome in scar revision. Surgeons can use tissue expanders to create more useable skin for scar revision, scars can be reoriented such that the scars lie within areas that are normally hidden in body creases or hairlines, or grafts and donor tissue can be used to replace scar tissue with healthy skin.

Most often a surgeon will use a combination of procedures to get the absolute best results in scar revision. We cannot ever completely eradicate a scar but we can significantly improve the look and function of scar tissue and make a scar more inconspicuous in most cases.

If you are tired of trying to hide your scar and are ready to do something about it, give us a call to schedule a consultation with a board certified surgeon.