Dr. Steven Rueda is one of the most sought after scar revision surgeons in Palm Beach. Scars can cause many problems including unsightly appearance and tissue tightness. Scars located in the face and visible body areas can severely affect a person’s confidence and self image. Fortunately, although its impossible to make a scar disappear, it is possible to improve their appearance with non-surgical treatments. The term “scar revision” refers to procedures and treatments that try to improve the appearance of a scar.
SCAR REVISION PROCEDURE
Scarring results every time there is a full thickness injury to the skin. As the injury heals, the skin and tissue begin a process of restauration. The very first step in healing is an inflammatory process that increases the blood supply to the region. This increase in blood is great for healing but causes the tissue to look red, swollen, and inflamed. As the process progresses and the scar begins to form and mature, there is less blood and inflammation in the area; this leads to an improvement in the appearance of the scar with less redness and swelling.
The process of scar maturation may take long time, in some cases up to a full year to be complete! Fortunately, there are different treatment options that can assist in improving the appearance of the scar as it develops. For those in the early stages after scar formation, Dr. Rueda recommends sun avoidance and use of silicone gel sheets. Sun exposure is notoriously damaging to the skin and is known to worsen the appearance of scars; its effect is best avoided by using UV clothing or sunblock until the scar matures. Although the exact method by which silicone gel sheets assist in scar improvement is unknown, it has also been shown to improve the appearance of scars when used early on.
In some people, the scar may have an undesirable appearance even after significant time has been given for it to mature. In this situation, scar revision procedures are appropriate. These procedures are considered only after at least 6 months of management with sun avoidance and silicone gel sheeting. Dr. Rueda considers it crucial to wait at least 6 months before considering scar revision treatment, as many times the scars get better on their own.
Scars revision is typically done with lasers or surgery. Lasers target different problems with scarring. Some lasers specialize in coagulating the blood vessels that make the scar appear red; other lasers use energy to “sand down” or contour scars that appear tall or raised.
Surgery for scar revision removes the old scar, however, it needs to be combined with other techniques so that the same problem does not recur. Dr. Rueda minimizes the possibility of the scar reforming in an undesirable appearance by using special methods that permit the skin and tissue to be approximated very loosely. This may require skin advancement, or tissue rearrangement that changes the geometry of the scar so that it remains loose and heals soft. Once the tissue begins to heal Dr. Rueda uses steroid injections that help guide the tissue into better healing; this helps achieve great results for burn scars, post traumatic scars, post surgery or procedural scars, and keloids.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Good candidates for scar revision have an undesirable looking scar after conservative treatment and time for scar maturation; this usually takes 6-12 months after the initial injury.
There is no specific age that leads to improved scar appearance. More important is to remain compliant with sun avoidance and required after surgery care.