There are many reasons to be proud of the scars we bear, from overcoming illness and injury to reminding ourselves just how strong we are when we need to be. But there’s no reason to live with a scar if it makes you self-conscious or serves as a painful reminder of the past. Yes, scars are a natural symbol of healing, but that doesn’t mean you need to share them with the world. There are a number of ways to further heal or even hide unwanted scars, from nonsurgical methods such as injectables, lasers, light therapy, microdermabrasion, microneedling, and chemical peels, to surgical revision for the deepest or most complex scars.
For maximum improvement in scars, it may be necessary to utilize a few different options, all of which are determined by the patient's situation. In most cases, a combination of surgical revision followed by laser resurfacing results in the best outcome. However, scars can sometimes be improved with a strategic injection of filler such as hyaluronic acid gel or long-lasting Bellafill. If the scar is new or fresh, studies have shown that a Botox injection around the scar can significantly improve the outcome of the healing process. Also, the precise application of silicone gel products during the first months of scar healing has proven to improve a scar's appearance.
The surgical treatment of scars becomes a good option when a scar is raised excessively wide or if the scar can be repositioned or reoriented with surgical techniques to be more hidden in creases or contours.
Scar revision is a safe and effective way to correct the appearance of scars and does not hold many limitations for the patients seeking this treatment. In other words, if your skin is healthy and you are seeking scar revision, you are likely an excellent candidate.
Your treatment will vary and be highly dependent on the type and extent of the scar you aim to diminish. In the case of a surgical revision, the procedure (or combination of procedures) will be done in our on-site surgical suite and usually requires just local anesthesia for comfort. The skin is thoroughly and sterilely cleansed, and the scar is precisely marked for removal and reorientation. After the removal, the incision is usually closed with dissolvable sutures beneath the skin and specialized closure tape on the surface. The recovery is easy, with minimal discomfort and wound care.
If laser resurfacing is recommended, this portion of the treatment is usually done 6-8 weeks later, as the surgical site needs time to heal and settle. This rest period will also help with the approach to laser revision because we will be better able to blend the skin tone of the scar and the surrounding area. Again, the type of laser we use and the finer details of the procedure will depend on the area being treated. There is some downtime associated with laser resurfacing, but as it is non-surgical, you will most likely be looking at minimal interruption to your normal activities.
The recovery period for scar revision is entirely based upon the procedure that is utilized for treatment. For injections, healing times will be much shorter, lasting several days to a week. Surgical treatment, or more in-depth approaches, will require longer healing periods. Rest assured, we will proceed with the course of treatment that is best for you while assisting you in everything necessary to ensure a healthy healing process.
Your expectation for results is another area that should be measured by the severity of the scar. In many cases, though, drastic or nearly complete elimination of the appearance of scarred skin can be achieved. With injectables and other non-surgical procedures, the results will be temporary, lasting from 12-24 months, although in some cases, even something that is temporary can create life-long benefits. Skin treatments such as microneedling and lasers can improve the skin's texture and boost collagen production. Still, we consider surgical procedures and laser skin resurfacing to yield the best, most permanent results. Of course, the natural aging process will require you to adhere to good skincare practices to maintain healthy skin regardless of which method you use.