A scar is an overgrowth of fibrous tissue and blood vessels that form as a result of injury, a cut, or a burn. Scar improvement treatments have come a long way. Today surgeons have many tools at their disposal to improve the appearance of scars from advanced surgical techniques to lasers and special creams.
It is important to know that once a scar is present, it will not go away. The blemish may be improved or made less conspicuous, but some mark will always be present.
There are Many Types of Scars
Keloids are very thick clusters of scar tissue that appear as red or purple lesions, often growing out of control outside of the boundaries of the original cut or incision. They can be very difficult to treat and have a tendency to recur even after scar removal and steroid injections.
Hypertrophic scars are similar to keloids and tend to be thick, red, and raised, but remain within the boundaries of the original cut or incision. They can often be improved with special scar creams, or injections of steroids.
Burns usually develop into scar contractions, causing the edges of skin to be pulled together, affecting adjacent muscles and tendons and restricting normal movements. Burn scars are usually treated with scar removal surgery using a skin flap, or grafts.
Depending on the type of scar, Dr. Bolourian may treat scars using one of these techniques:
- Scar excision If there is sufficient adjacent skin, the scar is excised or removed and the skin is closed.
- Z or W-plasty The original scar is repositioned to be better camouflaged by existing features, lines or creases.
- Skin Grafting The scar is surgically removed and skin from another part of the body is used to cover the area if the scar area is large (i.e., burns).
- Skin Flap Similar to a skin graft, skin and the tissue below the skin are moved from another part of the body to cover the site.
- Laser – Laser maybe used to improve the appearance of raised scars. Dermabrasion and laser resurfacing are methods Dr. Bolourian uses to make “rough or elevated” scars less prominent, by removing part of the upper layers of skin with an abrading tool or laser light. Clearly, the scar will remain, but it will be smoother and less visible.
- Creams – Special scar creams can be applied directly to the scar. The cream softens the scar tissue and promotes healing by working on the collagen fibers and realigning them. Massage may also be recommended.
Schedule a consultation with Dr. Bolourian to discuss all your options and any questions you may have about scar revision surgery.