Revising a Scar

scar-removal-treatmentsIf there’s one absolute about the human skin it is that when injured it will create a scar upon healing. Sometimes they will fade and people think they never had a scar, but it is simply hidden. The problem with scars is that how they develop can be unpredictable. If you have a scar that is bugging you because it seems too visible, Dr. Malamet can perform scar revision surgery to change its appearance. Although no scar can be magically removed completely, his expertise can vastly improve its appearance.

Here is some information about common scars and possible revision approaches with Dr. Malamet.

Patience at first

Scars usually are at their peak of visibility immediately after the injury. That’s because there is still inflammation and healing going on. Most scars become less noticeable with time. Plus, Dr. Malamet can treat some scars with steroids to relieve tenderness and itching, and to possibly shrink them.

Scars take time to fully settle into how they will appear. So Dr. Malamet advises waiting for a year or even longer after your injury before you decide to have scar revision surgery.

Different types of scars

  • Keloid scars
    Keloid scars are thick, puckered, itchy clusters of scar tissue that extend beyond the edges of the original wound or incisions. They are often red or darker in color than the adjacent skin. Keloids develop when the body continues to produce collagen in the area of the injury after a wound has already healed.

Keloid scars are more common in darker-skinned people, and they are most common on the breastbone, on the earlobes, and on the shoulders.

  • Hypertrophic scars
    Hypertrophic scars look like keloid scars with one important difference — they remain within the boundaries of the original wound or incision. Like keloid scars, they are thick, red, and raised. They often improve with time or with steroid injections.
  • Contractures
    Burns or other injuries that create a loss of a large area of skin may form a scar that pulls the edges of the skin together. This process is called contraction and gives this scar its name, contracture. Contractures may affect the adjacent muscles and tendons, restricting normal range of motion and movement.

Surgical revision

When Dr. Malamet performs revision surgery, he basically cuts out the existing scar tissue opting to have a new, cleaner incision that whose scar will be less visible. To achieve this he uses different approaches. Sometimes simply cutting the scar out and closing the incision with tiny stitches vastly reduces the scar. Other times, Dr. Malamet uses Z-plasty, a surgical technique used to reposition a scar so that it more closely conforms to the natural lines and creases of the skin, where it will be less noticeable. In Z-plasty, the old scar is removed and new incisions are made on each side, creating small triangular flaps of skin. These flaps are then rearranged to cover the wound at a different angle, creating a “Z” pattern. More complicated options are skin grafts and flap surgery.

In effective scar revision, the expertise of your surgeon is paramount to a good result. Trust the experience of Dr. Malamet to minimize your scar. Call us at 818-380-3130 to schedule a consultation.

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