Solutions for Scarring
February 13, 2015
If you have scarring on your face, then it’s probably made you self-conscious or caused you embarrassment at some point in the past. Trauma and skin problems can leave scar marks that are unlikely to go away on their own. But fortunately, facial plastic surgery and skin treatments can help soften the appearance of facial scarring, including acne scars, hypertrophic scars, and keloid scars. Depending on the extent and type of the scarring, there are several options available, including surgical and non-surgical treatments, some of which have additional skin benefits to patients. So what are some of these options, and which should you choose for your scar revision?
The mildest of type of scar treatment, there are a couple of options for injections that can reduce the appearance of scarring. Collagen injections can be used to soften some recessed scars, helping to fill in the area with a product that blends well with the skin, as the body naturally produces its own collagen. These injections may need to be repeated as results wear off, however.
Steroid injections can be helpful for raised scars such as hypertrophic and keloid scars. Steroid injections have the ability to soften these types of scars, helping them to blend in with the surrounding tissue.
Injections require only a brief, periodic office visit and offer the benefits of nearly painless treatment and no downtime or healing. However, the results may not be sufficient for many patients seeking scar treatment.
Dermabrasion is a “sanding” technique used to smooth out the surface of the skin. It is an excellent choice for patients with problems like acne scarring or scars caused by chicken pox. By sanding down the skin, the depressions and pitting caused by these types of scars is made shallower and blends better with the rest of the skin. Overall skin quality and wrinkling is also affected positively by dermabrasion treatments. The treatment involves either local or general anesthetic depending on the patient.
Recovery from dermabrasion is fairly intensive, and patients should expect to spend at least two weeks recovering before resuming normal activities. The skin will become red and swollen after the treatment and ooze a yellowish fluid. However, it will heal gradually. The skin may remain red for up to six months, and should be protected from the sun during this time to avoid hyperpigmentation (brown patches).
A classic anti-aging treatment, CO2 lasers can also aid in the improvement of acne scars. Laser treatments can have major benefits to the overall skin quality, pigmentation, and wrinkling in addition to helping treat acne scars. It is an intensive procedure requiring general anesthesia or sedation, as the laser heats the deep layers of skin to encourage new skin to form and improve collagen production. Recovery from laser resurfacing can take several weeks, and the skin should again be protected from the sun.
The surgical option for scar revision, excision is used to make a scar thinner and less noticeable. It can greatly improve scarring that is unlikely to respond to other forms of treatment. The procedure may involve removing and/or repositioning scar tissue to make it less noticeable.
Making Your Decision
Plastic surgery and invasive skin treatments can be a big decision and it’s important to take your time and not rush into anything. If you’re not sure which treatment is right for you, then you should seek advice from a plastic surgeon. However, here are some things to consider when choosing your treatment.
The type of treatment you choose should revolve around your goals. Are you looking for a treatment simply to resolve scarring, or do you like the idea of anti-aging benefits as well? Sometimes, more invasive treatments can be combined with injectable procedures to produce better results for patients. It all depends on the individual level of scarring and the patient’s preferences.
Typically, better results come with more invasive procedures, but not everyone has the time or willingness to go through an uncomfortable and lengthy recovery. Some patients prefer more subtle results with minimally invasive procedures. Unfortunately, when it comes to scar revision, a more invasive procedure is often necessary to produce good results.
Type of Scarring
Naturally, not all procedures are right for different types of scarring. You and your surgeon will choose from the options that are proven effective for your type of scarring.
Not everyone is a candidate for all cosmetic treatments, particularly the more invasive options. You will discuss your candidacy for procedures you are considering with potential surgeons during your consultations. Put your safety first by being honest about your health—open communication with your surgeon is key to a successful procedure.
Though major improvement can be made to facial scarring through plastic surgery or skin treatments, it is also important to keep your expectations realistic and avoid imagining perfect results; it is simply not possible to get rid of every trace of scarring. You should be sure your scarring has had adequate time to fade on its own before seeking treatment—several months at least.
Speak to an Expert
If you are tired of seeing your scars every day, then it’s time to speak with an expert about your options for improvement. Scar revision is a difficult, and should not be attempted by anyone but an experienced, board certified facial plastic surgeon. Do your research before you schedule your consultations and make good use of your meetings with potential surgeons by coming prepared with questions and concerns.
If you would like to meet with seasoned plastic surgeons in Dearborn or Birmingham, MI, come to Masri Clinic for Laser and Cosmetic Surgery and meet with our knowledgeable team. Our surgeons have decades of experience and a dedication to giving patients the best results. To schedule your complimentary consultation, call 866-487-3223 today.