Scars form during the body's healing process, and remain long after the wound is gone. There are many types of scars, some will eventually fade, and others are permanent. Infections, torn sutures, and other problems during healing can exacerbate scarring. Although complete removal is not always possible, the size, color, and shape of the mark can be altered, making it more discreet. In some cases, even the location can be adjusted slightly.
Often, a scar is a visible reminder of a very unhappy memory, such as a traumatic injury. Therefore, surgical revision often has very important emotional benefits, in addition to the confidence that comes with feeling good about your appearance.
Many different procedures, both surgical and nonsurgical, may be used. The choice of technique depends largely on the type of scarring, as well and your skin type and other factors. During your consultation, your doctor will explain your treatment options, and help you choose the best solution to achieve the results you desire. Some of the most common scar revision techniques include:
- Topical medication – Some types of scarring can be reduced with bleaching creams or medicated ointments
- Injectable medication – Some raised scars may be improved by injecting a formula that inhibits excess collagen production
- Dermal fillers – Depressions, such as those left by acne, may be raised with fillers for temporary improvement
- Dermabrasion – This skin resurfacing technique can reduce or eliminate superficial scars
- Laser therapy – Hypertrophic and keloid scars may improve by as much as 80 percent
- Chemical peel – This procedure removes the outer layer of skin using a chemical formula, lessening blemishes, superficial scars, and many other skin concerns
- Skin grafting – Sometimes a large scar may be excised and replaced with grafted skin
- Surgical incision – Certain scars, especially those caused by a past surgery, can only be improved by removing the scar tissue and creating a new, thin, discreetly contoured incision
Most scars can be eliminated or lessened, often enough that the mark is no longer noticeable. Superficial scarring, such as that caused by acne or minor skin injuries can sometimes be removed completely. Surgical scars and those caused by severe injury can usually be improved, sometimes to the degree that they are hidden or barely visible. Dr. Nguyen is very upfront with his patients about the likely outcome, as well as what cannot be accomplished. Therefore, patients who have scars that cannot be removed are fully aware of the fact before beginning treatment. Our patients are extremely happy with the results of scar revision, and many report feeling more confident and attractive.
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