What is scar revision?
Scarring can cause embarrassment and negatively impact self-image, confidence, and self-esteem. Scarring is a natural part of the healing process that occurs as the skin repairs after an injury and inflammation. Common causes of scarring include an accident, a burn, cut or scrape, a surgery or sequelae of a disease process like acne.
Wound healing is a complex process that matures over an entire year. Genetics, age, skin color, and medications can affect how you heal. After an injury, the body replaces damaged tissue with scar tissue that is thicker and less flexible than unscarred skin. At first the scar is usually purplish pink to red and with time the color fades but the surface texture of the scar and its edges may remain irregular, depressed or raised.
Diagnosing your scars
Diagnosis is important because different types of scars need different treatments.
There are three main types of scars:
- Atrophic scars result from a loss of collagen and are typically indented scars. Atrophic scars result from acne or chickenpox. These types of scar are referred to as icepick scars, boxcar or rolling scars.
- Hypertrophic scars are raised, red and firm and stay within the borders of the original wound. Overtime they tend to flatten.
- Keloid scars develop as a result of too much scar tissue. They are raised, reddish purple and extend beyond the borders of the original wound.
- Hyperpigmentation is also a type of scar where the injured area is darker than the surrounding skin.
During your consultation with Dr. Rachel White, she will examine your skin, evaluate your scars and formulate a personalized treatment plan to address your needs.
The choice of treatment depends on the type of scars you have, size, depth and location. Acne scar treatment options include excision or subcision surgery, laser resurfacing, chemical peels, microneedling, and microdermabrasion. Often the best results are a result of a combination of these treatments.
- Microneedling is designed to stimulate your skin’s natural healing abilities to remodel existing scars. This treatment produces tiny microchannels in the dermis that stimulate collagen and elastin production to fill in depressed scars. Most scars require a series of treatments and time to achieve optimal results.
- Steroid Injections treat thick raised and hypertrophic scars causing the scar to soften and flatten. A series of treatments are usually necessary to improve the appearance of the scar.
- Scar creams and gels can be used during the healing process to treat raised scars, shrink and flatten scars and reduce the appearance of the scar.
- Chemical peels, dermabrasion and microdermabrasion are all gentle types of skin resurfacing. They remove the top and middle layers of skin and induce formation of new skin. A series of treatments are often needed to improve scar appearance.
- Acne scar surgery is designed to make the scar less noticeable either by raising the scar or breaking up the scar tissue in an office visit. It may be combined with injection therapy.
- Laser resurfacing produces high-energy light that vaporizes layers of the damaged skin to induce the formation of new unblemished skin. Fresh new skin grows over the treated area. Laser resurfacing can treat deep depressed and raised scars safely and effectively. Downtime required is about 2 weeks. This is an outpatient procedure.
- Non-ablative lasers refresh and rejuvenate the skin building collagen to smooth and plump the skin.
When you are self-conscious about your appearance and embarrassed by scars, contact Dr. White for a consultation, where you will receive a full analysis of your scars and the best options to improve their appearance.