The term scar revision comprises a number of treatments that are applied to render scars less notable. A scar develops when multiple layers of skin have been injured. The injury may have been, for example, the result of surgery, an accident, or acne. A scar may be surgically altered to make it less visible and / or to move it into a less conspicuous location. Successful surgical scar revision can have profoundly positive effects on a person’s appearance and psychosocial well-being. A well-revised scar allows attention to be refocused onto the beauty of the remaining facial features rather than on the scar. The surgeon’s experience, thorough knowledge, and meticulous attention to detail form the foundation for excellent results.
Scars are frequently visible because of discoloration, width, fullness, depression and other features. Each of these aspects may require individualized treatment, and the sequence and timing of the required procedures should be discussed in detail with the patient. Choosing the right time for scar revision is important, since scars are frequently not treated until they have matured for an extended period of time. It may take time until all treatments are complete, healing has taken place and the desired result is achieved.
The best scar treatment is to prevent the formation of a scar in the first place. A number of measures can be employed to optimize healing after an injury or surgery. If a patient is prone to forming particularly wide, so called hypertrophic scars, an injection of a steroid into the scar during the first weeks of healing may be beneficial. These injections may be repeated every week or two. Once a scar exists, there are a number of treatment options. An uneven or elevated scar may be treated with laser.
A wide distorted scar may be excised and replaced by a finer scar. Keloid scar most of the time treated with serial steroid injection to shrink it, occasionally excision of keloid required.
For more complex and larger scars, advanced surgical techniques may be required for correction. These include various flaps.
During the early healing phase, the wound is covered with an occlusive dressing or an ointment to keep the wound moist. Sutures are typically removed after 5 to 7 days, and sun exposure is strictly limited for at least 6 months. Continuity of care is especially important in scar revision treatment. Intermittent postoperative visits with the same surgeon are scheduled to evaluate healing and perform additional treatments as required.