Methods of Scar Revision
Scars on the face can be unpleasant and can take a lot away from person’s appearance. With some people, it hinders their social confidence. Annually, two hundred million people undergo some kind of a scar revision therapy to get a clearer skin. Scar revision is very common amongst people of all ages.
Scars can occur as a result of acne, injuries, and even medical procedures. Scars of any kind take 12 to 18 months to heal to about 70% to 80%. It is typically advisable to undergo revision only after the scar has healed.
However, there are instances in which early intervention would be in order, so always consult Dr. Chase Lay or a board-certified plastic surgeon near you if you have questions early after an injury or procedure.
Available Types of Scar Revision
Although a challenging task, it’s possible to greatly reduce the appearance of scars. Depending on the type of scar, your surgeon will use different methods to tackle the condition.
Topical Therapy: Hydroquinone, retinoic acid, kojic acid, alpha hydroxy acid, and hydrocortisone are some of the topical treatments that can be used to lighten a scar. Application of topical silicone gel also helps improve the texture and color of the scar. In general, Dr. Lay does not like these treatments for the eyelid surgeries he performs, but they can be good therapies for other areas of the body or the face.
Intralesional 5-Fluorouracil Injections: These injections have been shown to be effective against hypertrophic scarring. A combination of 5-Fluorouracil and corticosteroids injected into the scar itself have proven to be effective against hypertrophic scarring of the skin.
Injecting this helps inhibit the proliferation of fibroblast and type 1 collagen, thus helping to soften the scar. Side effects may include irritation of the injected site, hyperpigmentation, and a burning sensation. Depending on the severity of the scar, your results may last from months to years.
Surgical Treatment: In severe cases, the scars are removed surgically. This involves excision of the scar and closure of the incision. On the face, surgical excision with geometric line closure can create a scar that is harder for the eye and human brain to notice.
Stem Cell Revision: In this method, fat cells are harvested from the abdominal area, and the stem-cell content is used to revise the appearance of the scar. Typically, this works to improve the quality of scar tissue but does not eliminate it or change the appearance greatly. This is best used for itchy irritated scars or as pre-treatment for excision.
The Recovery Process
Healing time will differ depending on the type of revision that has been performed. If you’ve undergone surgical revision, healing might take up to two to three weeks and in some cases longer.
The results of the treatment are permanent. However, it will take a few months before you see the complete results. You will have to wait for the new scar from the surgery to completely heal before you see the actual final results.
Choosing the Right Facial Plastic Surgeon
Choosing to get treatment for your scars can be a very important and personal decision. Make sure that you choose a trained medical professional with hands-on experience with cases similar to yours, and be sure to do research before deciding on a treatment.
Discuss the desired results with your surgeon and choose what will work best for you so that you can get the best possible outcome. While results vary widely with scar treatments from patient to patient, there is almost always some type of improvement that can be achieved. It really depends on the patient’s motivation and willingness to undergo treatment and accept the associated downtime.
To schedule your informative and helpful consultation with Dr. Chase Lay, a well-respected double-board-certified facial plastic surgeon, get in touch with our office today and make your appointment.