Scar revision is performed to reduce the appearance of scars caused by injury or
previous surgery. While many scars fade over time and eventually transform to
become barely noticeable, many patients experience disruptions to the healing
process that cause scars to become red, raised, indented or otherwise deformed.
Many patients are unhappy and embarrassed by the appearance of these scars,
especially when they are located in prominent areas, and seek treatment to improve
them. We provide comprehensive scar revision services to help patients achieve
smooth, clear skin that they no longer have to be ashamed of.
Types of Scars
There are several different types of scars that may be sustained, depending on the
type and severity of the injury, as well as the patient’s age, overall health and
individual healing properties.
- Hypertrophic scars are red, raised scars filled with excessive amounts of collagen that
may be itchy or slightly painful, although they are considered harmless and do not grow
beyond the boundaries of the initial wound.
- Keloids are overgrown areas of scar tissue that appear as irregularly-shaped, raised,
pink or red areas that may continue to grow over time. While they can occur anywhere
on the body, they are most common on the face, neck, ears, chest or shoulders.
- Contractures are more severe scars that restrict movement as a result of the tissue in
the area pulling together during the healing process. This type of scar most commonly
occurs after large amounts of tissue loss or in wounds that occur on a joint.
Scars are by definition permanent, but certain treatments can narrow, fade and otherwise make them less noticeable, which is especially helpful when they form on conspicuous areas such as the face and hands. Although there are many surgical scar-revision methods, including surgical excision, skin grafts and flap surgery, not all are appropriate for treating all types of scars. The best procedure for scar revision varies depending on the location and severity of the scar, the age and overall health of the patient, and the extent of revision the patient wants.
Subcision is a procedure for treating scars that are indented. A needle is directed into the skin to break up the fibers that attach the scar to below-the-surface tissue, raising it back to the elevation of surrounding skin. It also promotes healing by creating new connective tissue that repairs and smooths the skin.
Surgical excision is most often used for severe contracture (skin-tightening) scars, and involves using a scalpel to surgically cut away the scar and surrounding damaged tissue. A skin flap or graft may be used to restore the appearance of the skin in the treated area, and also improve movement and flexibility that may have been affected by the contracture.
Particularly effective for certain types of acne scars, punch elevation uses a punch tool rather than a typical scalpel to precisely remove small quantities of tissue without affecting nearby skin. The punch tool is used to elevate the base of the scar, making it appear much less recessed or pronounced.
Many cosmetic procedures, such as microdermabrasion, chemical peels and skin bleaching, effectively treat discolorations and mild surface irregularities by gently removing the top layers of skin and rejuvenating the underlying layers. Multiple treatments may be needed, however, to achieve noticeable results.
Similar to surface treatments, laser treatments gently remove damaged layers of skin to reveal new unblemished skin underneath, while stimulating collagen production for further gradual improvements. The precision of laser treatments ensures that only damaged tissue is treated, while healthy surrounding tissue remains intact.
Dermal fillers are quite successful at “filling in” depressed scars and creating a smoother skin surface. Fillers are U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved, and safe for most patients. Many fillers are made from substances found naturally in the body, or are synthetically made to mimic natural substances or stimulate collagen production. Fillers are injected directly into the skin of the targeted area to restore volume to the scar. However, results from fillers are not permanent, and followup injections are necessary to maintain the improvement they provide.
Results And Recovery From Scar Revision
Most scar-revision treatments are minimally invasive, and do not require any downtime, although there may be mild swelling, discoloration and discomfort in the treated area for 1 to 2 weeks. Results are often immediate and noticeable, although it may take several months for maximum results to be achieved.
The effectiveness of scar revision depends on a number of factors, including the nature of the injury, the body’s healing ability, the size and depth of the wound, and the thickness and color of the skin.
Contact us for more information or to schedule a Scar Revision consultation.