When one wants to reduce the appearance of skin disfigurement due to scarring, a scar revision may be necessary. There are many reasons scars form, including injuries, wounds, or previous surgeries. When the skin heals after an injury, scar tissue can form.
A person’s age and skin characteristics can determine the amount of scarring, as well as heredity and the wound size and depth. The color of the skin, called pigmentation, plays a factor in how noticeable a scar will be too.
There are many ways to minimize the appearance of scars. A board certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon, such as Dr. Jason Hess, may choose to completely remove a scar and allow the new wound to heal appropriately. Dermabrasion can soften the surface of the skin by removing the upper layers of the skin. This technique reduces skin irregularities and allows new skin to grow. During a dermabrasion treatment, a special wire brush, called a fraise or burr, is used to scrap skin layers.
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Hypertrophic Scar Revision
Hypertrophic scars are caused b-major injuries, such as a burn. This type of scar can cover a large area of skin and may restrict proper movement of different muscles. Sometimes joints and tendons are affected. Scar revision with this type of scar removes tissue with a series of incisions that are places on both sides of the problem area. The skin flaps on the scar site create a V shape. When closed, natural skin folds are followed, thus creating a less noticeable scar. This technique is often referred to as a Z-plasty.
Thin layers of skin, either partial or split thickness, can be taken from other parts of the body for skin grafting. When a thin scar won’t heal properly or when a significant amount of skin has been lost in a certain area, skin grafting may be an option. The main concern isn’t aesthetic in these cases, more improved function, since fat, nerves, blood vessels, and skin are often damaged.
Keloid Scar Revision
An abnormal scar that is thick and a different color than the pigment of the skin is called a keloid. The texture may appear bumpy and the scar will extend beyond the original healed wound. Keloids can be excised but may reappear.
After treatment of any scar, it is highly recommended to avoid the sun and to always wear sunscreen. Sun avoidance will keep the healing skin from being permanently discolored by the sun.