Scars typically form after an injury or disease or in other circumstances such as the result of severe acne. A scar is defined as a line or a patch of tissue that replaces normal skin after the injury or disease.
Scars can, of course, appear on any part of the body, especially if they result from accidents. However, the majority of scar revision procedures and surgeries take place on a patient’s face, since that is the area most noticeable and the place where most people are most self-conscious of their scars.
It’s important to realize that complete removal of scars is seldom possible. That is not to say that vast improvements cannot be achieved. Your doctors at Jefferson Facial Plastics in Philadelphia strive to improve your appearance by either minimizing or disguising the appearance of your scar.
By their very nature, scars are highly personalized, and no two cases are ever the same. Factors such as the cause of the scar, how long you’ve had it, previous treatment and other factors will play a part in not only the success of treatment but they will also guide your doctor in his choice of scar revision treatment.
Doctors classify scars to help them in their identification and possible treatment protocol for scar revision.
Some of the major types and typical treatment include:
Contracture scars. Severe burns are a perfect example of this type of scar. Burns, in destroying large sections of skin, cause the skin to heal in a “puckered” way. Often, when the skin heals, tendons and muscles in the affected area may heal in this sort of contracted movement.
Surgery will often be the treatment of choice for contracture scars. The aim is to remove the scar tissue entirely. Your doctor will then lift adjacent healthy and unscarred skin and use it as a flap to cover up the scarred area, closing the area with a very fine suture and closure. When a skin flap is not a workable solution, he may choose to use a skin graft.
Keloid or hypertropic scars are usually tough growths that rise above the skin. They often result from a burn, surgery or injury and have a smooth top and are often of a pink or purplish color.
They are sometimes treated first with injections of steroids to reduce size. If that approach doesn’t work, the scars may need to be removed surgically. Your doctor will close the incision with fine stitches, leaving you with a much less prominent scar.
Atrophic scar. Severe cases of acne and chickenpox will often produce this kind of scar.
Depending on the severity of the scarring, your doctor might choose laser treatment or dermabrasion as well as other treatments.
Stretch marks – this is a type of scar that occurs when the skin is stretched rapidly, as in pregnancy. Stretch marks represent one of the hardest ‘scars’ to treat. However, a combination of laser treatment and physician-grade creams can go a long way towards reducing them.
Scars make many people uncomfortable and self-conscious. It’s important to realize that scar revision and reduction techniques have made dramatic improvements in the last few years.
You don’t have to live with a scar that makes you self-conscious or affects your self-esteem.