Scars happen. Sometimes we proudly show them off as a testament to our bravery or to accompany some crazy story. Other times, they make us uncomfortable, and we’d rather they went unnoticed. When this is the case, scar revision may be something to talk over with a plastic surgeon.
Even when we don’t like them, it is important to remember, scars serve an important function, and we are lucky to have them. Scar tissue grows to knit us back together when we are cut, and the strength of this tissue protects us from further injury.
Scars are an inevitable result of surgery, but plastic surgeons use special surgical techniques and have steps you can take after surgery to help minimize the appearance of scars. But scars can be unpredictable and on rare occasions, despite all efforts, a scar may have a less than optimal appearance.
Whether caused by an accident, a bad case of acne, or a surgical procedure, the appearance of scars can often be improved, and surgery is not always necessary. Here are a few of the many scar revision treatment options.
Scar Revision Techniques:
Corticosteroid injections or silicone based products in gel or tape form have been shown to reduce the appearance of scars. Compression garments can also be used effectively.
The surface of the skin can be smoothed out and scars minimized by removing layers of skin cells. This can be done using high-tech lasers like Venus Viva® and Venus Versa®, which deliver short bursts of light. It is also done with chemical peels and dermabrasion. These procedures are best used against skin irregularities caused by sun damage and acne.
A series of tiny needles can be used to poke near-microscopic holes in the scar. This triggers tissue healing and an increase in collagen fibers.
Filler materials can be injected to fill depressions in scars. This is not usually a permanent fix and may need to be repeated.
For deeper scars that are not too large, surgical removal under local anesthesia is sometimes an option. Here, a plastic surgeon can use special wound closing techniques to minimize the resulting scar. This kind of procedure can often be done in an office visit and will require following your doctor’s instructions as the new incision heals.
When a scar is too large or deep, major surgery may be required to revise it. This may require a hospital stay and sometimes even more than one procedure. Skin grafts and tissue expansion can be used to cover the scar with newly grown skin. Dr. Slack employs a number of advanced wound closure methods to help improve a scar’s appearance.
The best treatment depends on you, your particular scar, and a consultation with a good plastic surgeon. No matter which procedure you end up using, keeping yourself in the best possible health by eating well, exercising, and not smoking will go a long way toward getting the best results.
If you are considering a plastic surgery procedure and have questions about scarring, or if you have a scar you don’t like, we’d be happy to answer your questions. Call today for a consultation with Dr. Slack right here in Collin County.