Many people have scars resulting from a variety of traumas. It is common for people to feel self conscious about their scars. When a wound has had difficulty healing or a surgical incision is not closed properly, a more significant scar may result. Although it is never possible to fully erase a scar, plastic surgeons have methods to minimize their appearance.
Most commonly, scar revision is performed in situations of bad healing. One type of troubling scar is called a keloid. A keloid forms when scar tissue grows excessively, and continues to grow over time. The resulting scar is often thick, off-colored, and extends beyond the actual wound. Scars can also cause trouble in other situations. A scar can be normal, but if it is at an angle opposing the tension lines of the skin, it can limit mobility. Functionality of the tissues involved can be impaired in other ways as well, which is a common reason to seek scar revision.
Again, it is impossible to completely erase a scar. The scar is formed because the natural skin has been broken, and this cannot be undone. One common way to minimize the scar is to reopen the wound, close it and ensure that it heals better than the first time around. This is often done if the scar is particularly overgrown or raised. In the case of keloids, the entire scar must be removed, as the scar will continue to grow over time if it is not excised. Plastic surgeons are practiced in techniques of wound closure intended to minimize scarring, and when they reopen and reclose a scarred wound, the resultant scar is likely to be smaller.
In the case of a scar which is discolored or unsightly but less severe than those discussed above, a different type of treatment may be appropriate. Skin resurfacing treatments such as dermabrasion remove the top layers of skin, allowing smoother, more even skin to surface underneath. This is often very effective in reducing the visibility or discoloration of scars.
If you are interested in discussing an undesirable scar and how its appearance might be improved, contact Dr. Kabaker’s Oakland office at 800-914-4247 to schedule a consultation.