Posts for category: Scars
Learn more about how your Edina dermatologist can reduce the look of unsightly scars.
While some people find scars to be a great conversation starter, for others their scars can feel unsightly and embarrassing. If you are looking for a way to reduce the appearance of your scar so it’s less noticeable to those around you then it’s time to talk to your Edina, MN dermatologist Dr. Whitney Tope about scar revision surgery.
Treating Your Scar
Different scars will often require different treatments. Once a scar forms it is permanent. Luckily, surgery and other treatments are available to reduce the scar’s appearance. Common scars that your Edina, MN dermatologist can treat include,
- Burn scars
- Keloid scars
- Hypertrophic scars
- Facial scars
Is scar treatment right for you?
The next thing to consider is whether scar surgery or treatment is ideal for you. The goal of treatment is to minimize your scar. Here are some important factors to discuss with your Edina dermatologist before deciding to get scar treatment:
- Skin type and color
- Your own healing rate
- The type of scar you want to treat (scars will respond differently to certain surgical procedures)
Another important factor is whether the scar has come from an injury in which you are still healing. If this is the case, we will want to hold off on surgery until your body has fully healed from your injury.
Different Types of Scar Treatment
Here are some things to know about scar revision treatment:
- Contracture scars (scars that have caused tightening of the skin like burn scars) usually require complete removal of scar tissue through surgical techniques.
- Skin flaps made from healthy skin are then removed. If a skin flap is not possible then the next option is a skin graft, in which we take a section of skin from one area and attach it over the scarred skin.
- Z-plasty may also be advised. This procedure requires us to move the scar to another less visible area like a natural fold in the skin. While this technique will not completely remove the scar it makes it significantly less visible.
Want to find out if your scar can be treated with this cosmetic procedure? Then it’s time you scheduled an appointment with your Edina dermatologist. Let Academic Dermatology make you feel more comfortable and confident in your own skin.
- Keloid scars: This grouping of scar tissue is often red or darker in nature and forms when scar tissue grows excessively, resulting in these smooth growths. While keloids can grow on any part of the body, they are often found on the chest and shoulders. Smaller keloids may be treated with cryotherapy.
- Hypertrophic scars: These scars look similar to keloids but are lighter in color and more common. Steroid injections may be used to reduce swelling associated with this type of scarring.
- Facial scars: Some facial scars only cause aesthetic problems while others are severe enough to affect facial expressions. Acne is often to blame for facial scarring.
- Contractures: Any burns that damage the dermis will result in scarring known as contractures. These scars cause skin tightening, making it hard to move. These scars may even be deep enough to affect nerves and muscles.
Scars can be removed through several options:
- Laser resurfacing
- Punch graft
- Autologous fat transfer
During laser resurfacing your dermatologist will utilize a high-powered light to remove the damaged skin, visibly reducing the scar’s appearance. Laser resurfacing is an outpatient procedure that takes only a couple hours to complete.
During skin grafting, a thin layer of skin from another part of the body is removed and placed over the scarred region. This procedure is often recommended for patients with extensive scarring that covers a large amount of the body.
Autologous fat transfer
This procedure uses fat from the patient’s body to raise depressed scars. Fat cells are removed via liposuction from areas like the thighs or navel, properly cleaned and then injected into the scar.
First, one of our dermatologists will examine the scar to determine the best treatment. We will also discuss the procedure, anesthesia, cost and post-operative care with the patient. For those looking to reduce the appearance of their scars without surgery may find laser resurfacing or dermabrasion a better treatment option.
After surgery most patients will experience some minor discomfort, particularly around the face. Inflammation, redness and bruising are common post-operative symptoms. Follow any post-care instructions including cold compresses and restrictions to certain daily activities. While scar removal will never fully remove the scar, you will notice a visible difference.