Scars, either from injury or from previous surgery, vary between patients depending on the specific healing process of your body. Often a different color or texture from the surrounding skin, scars tend to stand out which can be bothersome for many individuals. While no scar can be removed completely, board-certified plastics surgeons are able to improve the appearance of preexisting scars and make them better blend with the surrounding skin.
Depending on the severity of your scarring, different treatment methods may be utilized. A small degree of scarring can often be treated with topical treatments, injectable treatments, or surface treatments.
- Topical: Gels and creams work to reduce the ability of the skin to produce irregular pigment. Topical products can aid in healing of small preexisting scars.
- Injectables: Steroidal-based compounds that reduce collage formation can alter the appearance and size of raised scar tissues. Dermal fillers are utilized to fill in concave scars. The results from fillers may last from several months to several years. In order to maintain the results from injectable treatments, you will have to continue this therapy.
- Surface Treatment: This treatment technique includes dermabrasion, laser or light therapy, chemical peels, or skin bleaching agents. These methods can reduce pigmentation and soften surface irregularities through the removal of top layers of skin or alternations in the nature of your tissue.
Larger, more severe scarring, may require surgical intervention. Your plastic surgeon can performed layered closure, where they excise the tissue below the skin surface. Absorbable or non-removable sutures will be used for a sub-dermal closure. Layers of closure continue to build, ending with the surface wound.
Tissue expansion is a technique used when there is a deficiency of healthy tissue available. A small inflatable balloon is placed under the skin near the scar site, and is slowly filled with sterile solution overtime, which allows for the expansion of the healthy skin. Once the skin is stretched and the expander is removed, this skin is moved to replace scar tissue.
If you are someone who has a large, obvious scar that bothers you, scar revision surgery may be your solution. Schedule your free consultation with Dr. Kim at the Northwestern Plastic Surgery Clinic to discuss your scar revision options!