Keloids are bigger than hypertrophic scars and tend to be painful or itchy. Usually, they reach out beyond the perimeters of the former wound and typically appear on such areas as the ears, shoulder, neck, chest, or face.
Scars can also be defined as contractures, which frequently appear where a large amount of tissue has been lost due to a severe injury such as a burn. They can also appear when a wound has healed over a joint and, therefore, can prevent movement in such areas as the knees, neck, elbows, or fingers.
Types of Remedies
Depending on the type of scar you have, treatment options may vary, all of which can include the following:
- Topically treating the scar
- Using minimally invasive
- surgery to reduce the scar’s appearanceUsing advanced techniques, such as scar revision surgery
Are You a Good Candidate?
Scar revision surgery greatly helps in minimizing a scar’s appearance, especially those skin irregularities that cannot be totally erased. Therefore, if you are bothered by the appearance of a scar on any place on your body, are in good physical health, do not smoke, or are not currently undergoing treatment for another skin disease, you may benefit from the surgery.
Types of Scar Revision Therapies
Along with surgery, one of a number of techniques can be used to revise the looks of the scarred tissue.
Topical treatments, such as compression, tapes, and gels, are used to facilitate healing and treat the scar area after a revision procedure.
Injections are also used to fill in scars that are concave or recessed. Usually an injection can last from four months to a couple of years. Therefore, the therapy must be repeated to realize continued results.
Resurfacing Treatment Options
Resurfacing treatments are also employed to treat surface areas and cosmetically improve the look of a scar. These kinds of techniques even out skin irregularities and smooth the skin’s texture. Scar revision can include such surface treatments as the following:
- Chemical peels
- Skin bleaching (to lighten hyperpigmented skin)
- Dermabrasion, which is used to polish the skin
When surgery is employed for a deeper scar, an incision is required to remove or excise the lesion. Skin grafts are also used to revise scars as well. Generally, the grafts are produced from other sites on the body, such as the abdomen or thigh.
Z-plasty is another surgical option. Creating flaps on each side of a scar, the surgeon is able to alter the direction of the lesion or enhance the flexibility of the scarred skin.
Tissue Expansion: A Popular Choice
Tissue expansion, yet another procedure, is often chosen in place of skin grafts. During this procedure, a tissue expander or balloon device is placed beneath the skin close to the scar site to stretch or smooth out the healthy skin. The expander and scar, in turn, are removed so the healthy skin can be directed over the former scarring. Usually, more than one procedure must be performed to obtain good results.
After a surgical procedure, one of a number of closure techniques may be used. For example, the flap closure technique, which allows the surgeon to alter the position of a scar so it can’t be so easily seen, is also useful in treating contractures which restrict movement.
The Layered Closure Method
Layered closure, yet another method, is helpful in treating scars where a surgical excision reaches down to the tissue beneath the epidermis. The surgeon sutures the first layer sub-dermally (or beneath the skin’s surface) with absorbable stitches. Closures then proceed upward until the surgeon finally closes the surface area itself. Or, in cases where severe burn scars are revised, pharmaceutical tissue substitutes may be used if there isn’t a good supply of healthy tissue present to close an excision.
Prepping for Surgery
If you elect to have scar revision surgery, you’ll need to prep for the process by quitting smoking if you currently smoke, and adjusting your medications. A lab test or medical evaluation will be required as well. During the surgery, a local anesthesia, general anesthesia, or sedation by intravenous means will be administered to keep you comfortable.
Recovery: What to Expect
After a scar revision that involves surgical treatment, expect to experience some discomfort or swelling for a period of a couple of weeks. As the site heals, the new scar will slowly fade. If you opt for scar revision techniques such as a chemical peel, dermabrasion, or laser resurfacing, the after-effects will generally be about the same. Make sure you follow the postoperative instructions issued by your physician. Guard the surgical site from any excess motion or force during the healing process.
Surgical complications may include the following:
- Temporary or permanent harm to the blood vessels, nerves, or muscles
- Allergic reactions to injected agents, sutures, or tape
- Clotting or deep vein thrombosis
- Persistent pain
Talk to Dr. Slack about Scar Revision in Plano and McKinney, Texas
If you feel that scar revision may be appropriate for you, schedule a private consultation with Dr. Slack to discuss your goals and concerns. He looks forward to speaking with you.