Accidents or surgery often leave unsightly scarring. The final disposition of scar tissue depends on the original injury as well as size and depth of the wound, circulation to the area, individual skin texture, skin color, and direction of the scar. Scars that are large and unattractive at first may become much less conspicuous in time. Plastic surgeons can improve the appearance of scar tissue through injection and application of medications or through surgery known as scar revision. There are several types of scars. During your initial visit your plastic surgeon will determine what type of scarring you have and what procedure might improve the appearance of your particular scar. Keloids are thick clusters of scar tissue that grow out beyond the wound. They occur when the body continues to produce scar tissue even after the wound is healed. Keloids occur more often in dark-skinned people than people with fair skin. One method of treatment is to inject the keloid with steroid medication to reduce the size of the scar as well as the redness, itching and burning that may accompany it. If this proves ineffective, the scar tissue can be surgically removed and closed with stitches. Both methods may be used together in conjunction with the application of a pressure garment for a period of time. Hypertrophic scars may be red and thick like keloids, but they stay within the boundary of the original wound. They may improve over time or may be treated with steroid injection. If this is not the case, however, the surgeon will remove scar tissue and reposition the scar to heal inside a more natural skin contour. This may be done under local or general anesthesia depending on size and area of scar. Dermabrasion is a surgical procedure that may also help smooth out the skin’s top layers. It is used to improve facial skin scarred by accidents or surgery and smooth out wrinkles.
This is often used in conjunction with other scar revision procedures. Dermabrasion scrapes away the outer layer of skin until the physician determines the safest level at which the scar or wrinkle can be made less visible. There may be redness and swelling which will subside in several days to a week. Return to work is within two weeks; however, restriction of activity may continue for four to six weeks. Proper healing is essential to attain the desired final result of scar revision. Physician instruction and followup should be followed to the letter. A degree of improvement in your scar will depend on the quality of wound care after repair. Results are not immediately apparent, and it may take months to see the final disposition of the scar. The surgeons and staff at The Face & Body Center are available to discuss any questions you may have by calling 866-939-4999 or 939-9999 in the Jackson Metro Area.