Wounds and certain health problems often leave scars on our face and body. Scars can lower our confidence as it directly affects our appearance especially if they are very prominent and unsightly noticeable.
Scars are caused if the wound has affected multiple layers of our skin. Scar revision surgery helps to minimize these scars by toning it to the surrounding skin colour and texture. To be realistic, a scar cannot be completely removed but it can be recessed to a great extent through scar revision procedures giving you a pleasant look.
Treatment is based on the type and intensity of the scar. Treatment and healing process also depends on the age, genetic history, individual’s healing capacity and skin type. The scar needs to be properly examined and the type of treatment whether topical or invasive to be suggested accordingly. Dr. Ree Age would inform you of the treatment and the expected outcome post examination.
Keloid scars – produced by overproduction of collagen once a wound is healed
Hypertrophic scars - Scars causing feature and movement deformities. This may include burn scars.
Scar revision is neither performed nor recommended immediately after the wound has left its mark. It is advisable to get the surgery done 2-3 months after the scar has matured i.e. when the final scar has a tensile strength varying between 70-80% of the uninjured skin.
Some scars may be cured with non-surgical methods such as filler injections, light therapy, lasers etc. However, deep scars may need surgical incision and the wound may be closed with skin graft or tissues. Some common skin revision procedures are:
Dermabrasion: A procedure where the upper layers of the wounded skin are removed and the skin softened to give it a similar look and touch as the surrounding skin.
Z-Plasty: used for intense scars that are deep or where a large portion of skin is affected at times restricting the movement of muscles. This procedure involves a series of incisions on both sides of the scar creating V-shaped skin flaps and reorienting the scar to give it a better functionality and pleasant look.
Skin Grafting and Skin flap surgery: involves the removal of healthy skin to be placed on the scarred site. The difference between the two is skin grafting removes a thin layer of skin while skin flap removes a thick layer along with blood vessels and muscles.
Tissue expansion for birth defect scars: A silicon ballon filled with salt water is placed beneath the skin and stretched over time filling the scar.
You may experience
Swelling and itching
Infection on the surgical site
Breathing problems due to anaesthesia
Bleeding or blood clots
Likelihood of functional impairment
Light Dressing is applied for scar revision surgeries but there may be an elastic dressing for keloid surgeries. Sutures are removed between 3-7 days depending on the location of the scar but enough time should be given for the skin to heal. Healing time is dependent on the size of the scar, its location and your skin type.
Routine activities may be resumed immediately post surgery. It is suggested to avoid exposure to direct sun as it may permanently darken the healing scar. You may be instructed to use cold compressors, keep the head elevated while lying down, and to avoid any stress on the operated site. If you experience anything unusual, please consult your surgeon immediately. It is very important for you to follow your surgeon’s instructions carefully.
The scar can be minimized to the best extent blending it with the neighbouring skin tone and texture but it cannot be completely removed. There may be multiple treatments required at times to get the best results.