Each scar tells a story, from an old childhood injury to an unpleasant trauma.
For many men and women, scars are better off removed, along with some of those memories. Cuts, burns, and more can be repaired with many of the modern skincare and surgical treatments available to us today. In some cases, repairing trauma and scars can restore function to a part of the body in addition to improving the aesthetics of that area. If you’re hoping to reverse the damage of a scar on your body, it’s time to learn about the treatment options available.
What Is Scar Revision?
Simply put, scar revision is a process through which scar tissue is revised or removed. Both surgical and nonsurgical procedures exist that can help you to diminish or hide the appearance of a scar from almost anywhere on the body.
Typically, scar revision techniques are applied for cosmetic purposes, although there are sometimes functional reasons to perform these procedures.
Non-Surgical Scar Revision Treatments
Most surface scars can be treated with non-surgical procedures, many of which can also at the same time be used to manage other skin conditions and issues. Skin resurfacing and microdermabrasion are two of the techniques that can be applied. These approaches to reducing the appearance of scar tissue involve little to no recovery times.
Through these techniques, the skin is literally resurfaced by removing damaged, dead skin cells from the top layer of the face or body. New and healthy skin cells are revealed in order to eliminate surface damage, discoloration, and scar tissue.
These processes, especially laser resurfacing, offer directed treatment for scar revision. In laser resurfacing, a laser is used to send quick pulses of light to destroy the dead layers of tissue, including scar tissue from the surface. The result of this technique is a reduction in the appearance of the scar. These treatments can be repeated as needed to remove more significant or deeper scars.
- Microdermabrasion is a pain-free, non-surgical procedure that can be used to treat lines and wrinkles, sun damage, dull or blemished skin, active acne, keloids, scars, hyperpigmentation, and even stretch marks. Microdermabrasion is gentle, effective, and works best on small scars on the face or hands.
Injectable Facial Fillers
When injected beneath skin, injectable facial fillers can fill scars in addition to reducing fine lines and deep crevices.
- Restylane is comprised of the natural compound hyaluronic acid. It is derived synthetically so it is non-allergenic.
- Cosmoplast and Cosmoderm are injectable fillers made of human-derived collagen.
Surgical Techniques for Scar Revision
In some cases, surface treatments can’t achieve the results needed to reduce scar tissue enough to be less visible. For these occasions, some surgical methods may be used to treat the area instead. Common surgical approaches to scar revision may include:
- Skin grafting is a procedure that is often used to treat small but deep bodily scars. Skin is taken from one part of the body and then placed over the scarred area to hide the damaged skin with healthier tissue. Grafting is also a good choice for injuries that won’t heal well or have scarred improperly. The new tissue can help the injured area to grow new healthy skin cells.
- Skin flap surgery, which involves a larger transplant of skin, fat, blood, vessels, nerves, and muscles. Like grafting, this tissue is collected from a healthy part of the body and moved to the injured or scarred area. It is a more serious surgery that is only used in the most extreme cases.
- Nasal reconstruction is a direct approach to treat specific injuries to the nose. This is a type of rhinoplasty that can be designed to reconstruct your nose the way it was prior to trauma, or as close as possible. These surgeries can be planned immediately after trauma, soon after the area has healed, or even years after the injury took place. Consult with a facial plastic surgeon to plan the right nasal reconstruction for you.
Consult with an experienced plastic surgeon about your specific scarring needs to see what methods are best for you and whether you are eligible for the procedure. You should be in good overall health and have realistic expectations for your scar revision outcome.
Contact Us and Book a Free Consultation
Please contact a patient care coordinator by phone at 281-484-0088 if you would like to schedule a complimentary consultation. During the consultation, Dr. Vitenas will go over your complete medical history, take the time to understand your goals, and answer all of your questions. Computer imaging will be used to help you visualize your own personal results. Dr. Vitenas will discuss reasonable and expected outcomes, and explain the details of the procedure including the technique, the recovery, the risks, the costs, and financing options.
Our office is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. You can also email us anytime, and one of our patient coordinators will get back to you. We are conveniently located in the heart of Houston. If you are not a local, we can schedule an online consultation. We can also assist with travel arrangements.
Dr. Paul Vitenas, Jr., M.D., F.A.C.S. of the Vitenas Cosmetic Surgery and the Fine Art of Natural Cosmetic Surgery is a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon and founder of Vitenas Cosmetic Surgery. He has practiced in the Houston area since 1990, and has been named one of Houston’s Top Doctors and America’s Top Plastic Surgeons. He’s also been awarded Houston’s Most Compassionate Doctor and a Top Doctor for Women.