Scar Removal and Revision
There is no formula for determining whether a scar will be severe or mild, or how well a scar will respond to treatment. Many factors affect the way a scar develops, including the type of wound, its direction, the supply of blood to the area, the thickness and color of your skin, and the particulars of how the wound heals.
While no scar can be removed completely, our Rochester, Buffalo, and Syracuse area plastic surgeons can make a scar less noticeable using a variety of techniques. There are many different types of scars, and different treatments, from steroid medications to surgical procedures, that can be highly effective.
- Keloid Scars are thick masses of scar tissue that grow up outside the original boundaries of a wound. They are frequently itchy and tend to be darker compared to the skin around them.
- Hypertrophic Scars are also thick, red, and raised Unlike keloids, they remain within the original area of the wound. Hypertrophic scars may improve without medical assistance, though this can take a year or more. Steroid applications or injections can help heal hypertrophic scars.
- Contractures occur when skin is burned, or in other situations where large areas of skin are lost. The loss of a large area of skin may result in a scar that pulls the edges of the skin together, a process called contraction. The resulting contracture may affect the adjacent muscles and tendons, restricting normal movement. A plastic surgeon may correct a contracture by cutting out the scar and replacing it with a skin graft or a flap.
- Steroid injections can boost the body’s natural healing processes, helping to heal scars such as keloids and hypertrophic scars.
- Z-Plasty is a minor surgical procedure used to realign a scar so that it sits more in line with natural creases in the skin, thereby making it less noticeable. It can also ease some of the tension that results from contracture scars.
- Skin Grafting and Flap Surgery are very useful for improving the function of a scarred area, particularly large scars such as contractures. A skin graft transfers healthy skin from its original site (the donor site) to an area that has been injured. Skin grafts and flaps involve more serious operations than other forms of scar revision. They are most often performed under general anesthesia as an inpatient procedure in a hospital.