When your skin experiences any kind of trauma, it can result in scarring. Scars are especially common among patients who have been involved in accidents or who have undergone surgery. The presence of a large, prominent, or poorly healed scar can compromise your appearance and potentially lead to self-consciousness, but a process called scar revision can make these markings much less visible.
At The Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Center of South Louisiana, we are dedicated to helping patients in the Covington, LA area feel more confident in themselves by reducing scar visibility.
What is Scar Revision?
Scar revision is a surgical procedure intended to improve or reduce the appearance of scars. While it is usually not possible to make a scar disappear completely, revision surgery can help the scar blend in with the surrounding skin tone and texture, often rendering it pretty close to invisible.
Scar tissue forms following bodily injuries, whether from surgical intervention, a car collision, or a workplace accident. The amount of scarring you experience can depend on several factors, including your age, the quality of your skin, and the size, depth, and location of the wound. Additionally, some scars heal better than others, resulting in a more seamless appearance.
It is important to remember that scars usually fade with time and will look most prominent in the days immediately following your accident or surgery. As your body heals, the scars should fade. For this reason, we typically advise patients to wait at least two or three months before considering scar revision, as the scars may improve quite a bit all on their own.
How Are Scars Assessed?
For patients who are considering scar revision, we recommend beginning with a simple assessment. During your appointment, Dr. Brandner will perform a visual inspection of your skin and your scar tissue, making some notes about the size and location of your scar, plus how well it has healed. Dr. Brandner can make some recommendations about potential treatments and answer any questions about your scar revision options.
There are objective ways to evaluate scars according to their physical characteristics, but also subjective criteria. If your scar appears in a highly prominent place, and if it causes you to feel self-conscious about your appearance, that is reason enough to schedule a consultation at The OMS Center.
What Are the Different Types of Scars and Scar Treatments?
There are multiple types of scars, each one requiring its own form of treatment. Some of the most common examples include:
- Keloid scars. These scars form due to an overly aggressive healing process and can be so significant that they limit your movement. These scars can be removed or flattened via surgery, but may also be frozen off in some cases.
- Hypertrophic scars. These red, raised scars are most often treated with steroid injections, which flattens and diminishes their visibility.
- Acne scars. Those who experience significant acne breakouts may be left with scars that range in their depth and appearance. Acne scars may be treated with laser therapy or with surgery, depending on the nature of the scarring.
Scar Revision Procedure Steps
The specific steps involved in your scar revision will depend on the type of treatment chosen. As a general guideline, here is what you can expect from your scar revision appointment.
Preparing for Treatment
Patient comfort is one of our chief concerns, and we always provide patients with medications that will ensure a painless experience. Depending on the type of scar revision treatment, we may recommend topical treatments or IV sedation.
Reducing the Scar
Some scars may be treated with simple injections of steroids or anti-inflammatory medications. Injectable treatments will likely not make the scar disappear, but they can significantly flatten it, making it less conspicuous.
Surface treatments may also be recommended. These can include laser therapy, microdermabrasion, or even chemical peels.
For the most severe scars, surgery may be the best approach. This involves a surgical incision being made to remove the scar tissue, and then the incision site is closed to ensure proper healing.
What is Recovery Like After Scar Revision?
It is normal to experience some mild discomfort, swelling, or discoloration around the treated area following scar revision. This usually subsides within a week or two. Healing may take several weeks, with your scar slowly fading. Some patients do not see full results for up to a year, but the good news is that the results of your scar revision will be long-lasting. In rare instances, particularly when laser therapies are used, follow-up appointments are needed to ensure the best results.
If you have any questions about scar revision or the recovery process, contact The OMS Center of South Louisiana at (985) 687-1616 to set up an appointment with Dr. Brandner in the Covington, LA area.