We all have at least one scar. Whether it is from a simple fall or scrape as a child, or something larger and more serious like a car accident or a dog bite. Scars are an unavoidable part of healing and how they will look when the final healing is complete can be unpredictable. If you have a larger more complex scar, or a scar in a very obvious place you may be interested in scar revision.
What is Scar Revision? Scar revision uses surgery, lasers, or chemicals to change the appearance of a scar for the better. Scar revision minimizes the size, and changes the texture and appearance of the scar. The goal of scar revision is to make the scar more consistent with surrounding skin and tissue. The technique used for the revision depends on the location and severity of the scar. The options for scar revision include:
Scar Revision Treatment Options Topical Treatment With the use of gel, specialized tapes, and external compression some scars can be revised and healed without the use of surgery.
Injectable Treatment Scars that are concave or depressed benefit most from this type of treatment. With this type of treatment an injectable filler is placed into the scar to decrease its indented appearance and improve the texture. Unfortunately the treatment needs to be repeated every few months to years in order to maintain the results.
Surface Treatment These types of treatments can soften scars and give them a more natural looking color. They change or remove the top layers of the skin to improve the look of the scar. Some options for surface treatments are dermabrasion, laser or light therapy, chemical peels, and skin bleaching.
Treatment with surgery Sometimes a scar is so deep or so severe and complicated that it will require a surgical revision. The old scar is removed in this type of surgery and conditions are made better for a new and better looking scar to form. Depending on the situation, scar revision surgery may require the use of tissue substitutes, such is the case with many burn scars. Some cases may even require skin expansion in order to use a patient’s real skin for a graft.
Get a Second Opinion Discuss your options in scar revision with your plastic surgeon. Cosmetic dermatologists are trained to decide on the best method of scar revision based upon each patient’s individual scar. This gives the best chance for healing and a less noticeable scar. You can even obtain a second or third opinion to make sure you are getting the best cosmetic treatment for your particular scar.
Follow Your Aftercare Instructions After your scar revision, it is imperative that you closely follow the instructions of your physician. Post scar revision instructions usually include not exposing the site to abrasion, unnecessary force, and motion. They also will include cleaning instructions and any continued treatment that needs to be continued at home. Carefully following the instructions of your cosmetic dermatologists will increase the chances of the success of your scar revision.