Plastic Surgery Scar Removal and Treatment

ABOUT Plastic Surgery Scar Removal and Treatment
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A scar is a mark left on the skin after a wound has healed. Some scars can be very small and difficult to spot, while others may be much larger and more obvious. They can also appear on any part of the body at any time during our lives.

There are various types of scar that can occur. Some of the most common include:

Fine-line scars. These appear as red, raised lines that pale and become flatter over tithe course of a few years. If you have darker skin, the scar tissue may end up being lighter than your natural skin tone. Fine-line scars usually form following a wound or surgery and are painless.

Keloid scars. These are overgrowths of tissue that happen when too much collagen is produced at the site of the wound. These raised, red/purple scars grow in size even after the wound has healed and can be itchy or painful. If they occur near a joint, they may also limit your movement.

Hypertrophic scars. These are very similar to keloid scars, except they do not extend beyond the boundary of the original wound. They can also thicken more substantially than keloid scars.

Many people believe that scars tell a story. After all, they are a natural part of the healing process, and in most cases, they will pale and fade over time. Nevertheless, if your scar is particularly large or in an obvious location on your body, you may feel self-conscious and uncomfortable having it on show. Patients with particularly severe scars often report that they have low self-esteem, dress in a particular way to avoid drawing attention to their scar, and even push those closest to them away for fear of rejection.

Treating scars

Fortunately, there are some things that you can do to help improve the appearance of scars and improve your confidence in the way that you look. In the case of some keloid and hypertrophic scars, treatment can also help reduce any restriction that the scarring places upon your movement and any associated pain.

Some of the non-surgical treatment options available include:

- Pressure dressings. These work by flattening and softening the appearance of the scars.

- Silicone gel sheets. These can be used in addition to conventional dressings and they help by regulating fibroblast production that protects against normal tissue healing. Using silicone gel sheets can help prevent keloid and hypertrophic scars from developing as these are caused by excess collagen deposits that form from unregulated fibroblast production.

- Steroid ointment. Steroids won’t prevent scars from forming but they can improve their appearance.

- Topical silicone gel. Not only does silicone produce an environment that is perfect for healing, allowing the skin to breathe without drying out, it also helps control collagen production, ensuring that the wound can heal without excessive scar tissue production.

In some cases, a combination of different therapies may produce the best results. Your doctor or surgeon will be able to tell you which may be the most effective in your individual case.

Scar revision surgery

If your scars are particularly extensive or obvious, you may wish to consider scar revision surgery. This is a surgical way of improving the appearance of scar tissue by removing it and either closing the wound or replacing the area with smooth skin from another part of your body.

Many patients are confused about the reason for surgical scar removal – after all, surely surgery just creates another scar, right? Yes, it does, but it creates one that can be better positioned and managed so that it heals well and produces minimal scarring. This is in contrast to some previous surgeries, particularly emergency scenarios, where the doctor may not have had time to worry about post-operative scarring.

Types of scar revision surgery include:

Scar excision. Your surgeon will cut away the scarred tissue and close the skin neatly.

Z or W-plasty. Your surgeon will reposition the original scar along the natural lines of the skin so that it is slightly camoflaged and less obvious.

Skin graft. Most commonly seen in burn victims but can also be used in other types of scarring, your surgeon will remove the scarred tissue entirely and replace it with skin from another area of your body.

Skin flap. Similar to a skin graft, the skin and tissue below are moved from another part of the body to replace removed scar tissue.

All of the above are highly successful procedures that can transform the appearance of your scars.

If you are living with scars that leave you feeling self-conscious, scar treatments and removal may be the solution you are looking for. Our knowledgeable and experienced team would be happy to arrange for an assessment of your scarring and recommend a course of action that can minimize their appearance and help you feel confident and attractive once more. To schedule your consultation, please telephone our offices.