Scar revision improves or reduces the appearance of scars caused by an injury, wound, acne lesions, poor healing, acne, or surgery. A scar is a visible reminder of a wound, and most people have at least one. Often they are small and easy to hide. Sometimes they can lower self-esteem or even interfere with function. Scar revision treatments can minimize and even completely remove the appearance of scars by blending the scar with nearby tissue.
Superficial scars are long, thin, and typically flat. They do not cause any issue other than an unsightly appearance.
Atrophic scars form when the skin is unable to regenerate tissue which leaves a sunken appearance. Atrophic scars are often caused by acne or burns.
Atrophic scars are further categorized into boxcar, icepick, or rolling scars.
Boxcar scars are wider than they are deep and have sharply defined edges.
Icepick scars are narrow pitted scars that are deeper than they are wide.
Rolling scars are broad depressions with sloping edges.
Hypertrophic scars are thick clusters of collagen caused when there is tension on the skin at a wound. They are often red, but may be darker or lighter than the surrounding skin. They may also be itchy or painful. Hypertrophic Scars are often thick and raised, but not as raised as keloid scars. While they do not grow beyond the boundaries of the original wound, if untreated, they may become wider over time.
Keloid scars are larger than hypertrophic scars, but like hypertrophic scars can be painful or itchy. Unlike hypertrophic scars, keloid scars expand in claw-like growths over normal skin and extend beyond the edges of an original wound. Keloid scars may also pucker. Keloid scars are caused by an overgrowth of collagen during wound healing. Colors vary from pink to the color of the person’s skin to red to dark brown.
Contractures are scars that restrict movement due to skin and underlying tissue after a large area of skin is damaged. The scar that is formed pulls the edges of the skin together, which causes a tight area of skin. The contracted skin can affect the muscles, joints, and/or tendons, causing a decrease in movement.
Scar Revision Treatments
While it seems counterintuitive, treating scar tissue by causing damage to the scar tissue damage allows new, healthier and more normal looking tissue to form. Minor scars can often be almost completely erased. Larger scars can have their appearance reduced, sometimes dramatically, with complete scar removal possible in some cases.
When to have scar revision treatments is not always clear. Scars do shrink and become less noticeable as they age. Each scar is different, and the type of scar you have will determine the appropriate treatment or combination of treatments to reduce or even eliminate the appearance of a scar. Today’s radio frequency and laser skin resurfacing and scar revision rejuvenation treatments are virtually pain-free with little to no downtime.
Determining the most appropriate treatment for any scar requires a complimentary consultation. During the consultation your scar(s) will be assessed, factors pertinent to treatment guidelines will be discussed, treatment options and expected outcomes will be reviewed.