It is normal to form a scar following a surgical incision or a traumatic injury to the skin. Indeed this is the way we heal. A good scar is a scar that is a fine line, hidden in a normal skin fold or less visible area. Unfortunately, not all scars heal favorably and may be more visible than we wish. Although scars are permanent, plastic surgeons can sometimes make scars less visible, hide them, or change the nature of the scars. We call this scar revision or scar treatments.
There are many factors that may make a scar less than favorable. This can include the location of the scar, the genetics of the individual, the technique of the original repair or in cases of accidents, the nature of the injury to the skin among others. Scars may be widened, pigmented, mildly raised (this may be called hypertrophic scar), or depressed into the skin. The worst type of scarring is called keloid scarring. A keloid is a scar that grows well beyond the border of the original incision or injury.
Fortunately, there are often many tricks up the plastic surgeon’s sleeve for dealing with problems scars. A scar can sometimes be removed and the repair redone utilizing precise plastic surgical technique to yield a thinner harder to detect scar. The direction of a scar may be changed to allow a scar to fall in a skin fold and in some instances the location of the scar can be changed by moving the skin. Surgical revision is just one treatment. Other possible treatments may include scar massage, injections with a steroid, or laser treatment.
If you have a problem scar, a good consultation is mandatory. I will review with you various aspects of your scar, your genetics, and all the possible treatments that will improve it. Usually, most treatments are office based including scar revision which can often be performed under local anesthesia. I would review with you the expected outcomes to make your scar related management a success.