Submitted by Twin City Plastic Surgery
Scars are visible signs that remain after a wound has healed. They are unavoidable results of injury or
surgery, and their development can be unpredictable. Poor healing may contribute to scars that are
obvious, unsightly or disfiguring. Even a wound that heals well can result in a scar that affects your
appearance. Scars may be raised or recessed, different in color or texture from surrounding healthy
tissue or particularly noticeable due to their size, shape or location.
Scar revision is meant to minimize the scar so that it is more consistent with your surrounding skin tone and texture. Although scar revision can provide a more pleasing cosmetic result or improve a scar that has healed poorly, a scar cannot be completely erased.
Is it right for me?
Scar revision is a highly individualized procedure and you should do it for yourself, not to fulfill someone else’s desires or to try to fit any sort of ideal image. Scar revision can be performed on people of any age and is a good option for you if:
• You are bothered by a scar anywhere on your body
• You are physically healthy
• You do not smoke
• You have a positive outlook and realistic goals for your scar revision surgery
• You do not have active acne or other skin diseases in the area to be treated
The success and safety of your scar revision procedure depends very much on your complete candidness during your consultation. You’ll be asked a number of questions about your health, desires and goals, medical history, and lifestyle habits.
Different types of scars include:
Discoloration, surface irregularities and other more subtle scars can be cosmetically improved by
surgery or other treatments recommended by your plastic surgeon. These types of scars do not impair
function or cause physical discomfort and include acne scars as well as scars resulting from minor injury and prior surgical incisions.
Hypertrophic scars are thick clusters of scar tissue that develop directly at a wound site. They are often
raised, red and/or uncomfortable, and they may become wider over time. They can be hyperpigmented
(darker in color) or hypopigmented (lighter in color).
Keloids are larger than hypertrophic scars. They can be painful or itchy, and may also pucker. They
extend beyond the edges of an original wound or incision. Keloids can occur anywhere on your body, but they develop more commonly where there is little underlying fatty tissue, such as on the face, neck, ears, chest or shoulders.
Contractures are scars that restrict movement due to skin and underlying tissue that pull together during healing. They can occur when there is a large amount of tissue loss, such as after a burn. Contractures also can form where a wound crosses a joint, restricting movement of the fingers, elbows, knees or neck.
The degree of improvement that can be achieved with scar revision will depend on the severity of your
scarring, and the type, size and location of the scar. In some cases, a single technique may provide
significant improvement. However, your plastic surgeon may recommend a combination of scar revision techniques to achieve the best results.
Topical treatments, such as gels, tapes or external compression can help in wound closure and healing,
or to reduce the ability of skin to produce irregular pigment. These products may be used to treat existing surface scars and discoloration, and to aid in healing of scar revision procedures.
Injectable treatments are often used to fill depressed or concave scars. Depending on the injectable
substance used and your particular scar conditions, results may last from three months to several years.
Therapy must be repeated to maintain results.
Surface treatments are most often used for cosmetic improvement of scars. These methods can soften
surface irregularities and reduce uneven pigmentation. Surface treatments are a controlled means of
either mechanically removing the top layers of skin or changing the nature of tissue. These treatment
• Microneedling is a form of collagen induction created by a mechanical force delivered to the
dermis. It also is useful for improving acne pock marks and can weld stretch marks together by
creating collagen bridging.
• Dermabrasion is a mechanical polishing of the skin.
• Laser or light therapy causes changes to the surface of the skin that allow new, healthy skin to
form at the scar site.
• Chemical peel solutions penetrate the skin’s surface to soften irregularities in texture and color.
• Skin bleaching agents are medications applied topically to lighten the skin.
Surgery is sometimes necessary for the improvement of scars especially if non-surgical means are not
possible or successful. Often the scar is excised and then closed in layers adjusting the tension or
orientation of the scar. Advanced techniques with flap closure or repositioning of the scar in a natural
crease sometimes makes it less conspicuous. More advanced techniques, such as tissue substitutes/skin
grafting or tissue expansion, may be necessary if the scar is more complex. Give Dr. Laura Randolph a call at (309) 664-6222 to discover your scar revision options today.