What Is Scar Revision?
Having a scar is seen by some as a ‘battle wound’ of which to be proud. For others though, a scar can be an embarrassing aberration or even something which compromises their ability to function.
Fortunately for the latter group, there are multiple scar revision procedures available to improve cosmetic appearance and/or restore function.
And while no scar can be completely removed, many of these procedures truly go the distance.
Different Types of Scars
The type of treatment for your scar revision will be based on the severity, location, size, and even type of scar. Yep. That’s right. Not all scars are created equal.
We’ll take a look at three of the most common types of scars addressed in scar revision:
A keloid scar is a rounded, thick, and irregular cluster of tissue that occurs when the skin is wounded. In the case of keloid scars, they extend beyond the border of the wound and are often red or darker than the regular skin surrounding it.
Like keloid scars, a hypertrophic scar is often red in color and is thick and elevated. (Atrophic scars, by contrast, are below the surface of the skin.)
Unlike keloid scars, a hypertrophic scar does not extend beyond the borders of the skin injury.
Contractures depart from keloid and hypertrophic scars in that they occur when an area of skin is damaged or even lost. Rather than a raised appearance, a contracture scar pulls the edges of skin together resulting in tightness of the area. This pulling can also affect the ability of tendons, muscles and joints in the area to move effectively.
Treatment Options for Scar Revision
In cases where scarring is not severe, there are multiple options for surface treatments to soften irregularities and reduce uneven pigmentation. These are typically done by changing the surface of the skin.
For example, hydrafacial and/or chemical peel solutions soften irregularities in texture and color by penetrating the skin’s surface. Laser or light therapy procedures alter the surface of the skin to enable healthy new skin to form at the scar site. And dermabrasion mechanically polishes the skin.
In some cases, steroid injections may be utilized to decrease itching and redness as well as shrink the size of the scar. Pressure therapy – where an appliance is worn over the scar for a prescribed amount of time – may also be recommended.
It’s important to understand that in many cases, the patient will have a combination of these procedures to achieve the desired result.
When the scar is more severe and/or is affecting the patient’s ability to function, then surgery is the usual recommendation.
In the most basic procedure, a board-certified plastic surgeon removes the scar formation with an incision. He or she then places stitches to help close the wound.
More complicated scarring may call for the following:
- Skin Graft or Flap
In situations where skin is damaged or lost, skin grafts may be chosen. With this procedure, the surgeon removes the scar tissue, takes a piece of healthy skin from another area of the body, and attaches it to the wounded area.
Skin flaps are the next level and address situations where there is damage to the blood vessels as well as the skin. Similar to skin grafts, with a skin flap, the section of skin that’s harvested includes its underlying blood vessels, fat, and muscles.
- Tissue expansion
Some patients who wish to avoid a skin graft may opt for tissue expansion instead. In this procedure, an inflatable balloon is placed under the skin near the wound site.
Slowly and over time, the balloon is filled with a sterile solution so as to stretch the area of healthy skin around the wound. Once the skin is sufficiently expanded, the scar is removed and the newly stretched skin replaces the tissue.
Obviously, this procedure involves multiple visits and procedures which can take some time.
Are You In Need of Scar Revision?
Even though a scar cannot be completely eliminated, scar revision procedures can greatly reduce its appearance or address your inability to function normally because of it.
So if you have a troublesome scar, then contact us today to discuss the options available to you.
The long-lasting results will leave you feeling more confident in your appearance and comfortable in your body.