Scars can be reminders of both positive and negative events in our lives. They might be a byproduct of an injury, illness, previous surgery or even childbirth. Whatever their cause, many scars can have functional, emotional and cosmetic consequences that may prevent us from looking and feeling our best. If you have scars that make you feel uncomfortable with or conscious about your appearance, Dr. Daniel Barrett offers scar revision procedures at his Beverly Hills office to minimize their appearance and restore your self-confidence.
What is Scar Revision?
Scar revision treatments are designed to reduce the appearance of a scar and restore full function to the area if it has been compromised. Ranging from non-surgical procedures to minimally invasive surgery, these treatments can be used on recent scars or on markings you have had for many years. Treatment techniques vary based on the type and severity of the scar. Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Barrett tailors his treatment to the precise needs of each of his patients to ensure the best possible outcomes for them.
Types of Scars
There are different categories of scars that can be addressed to produce a more pleasing cosmetic outcome. Dr. Barrett works with patients with the following scars:
These scars are located close to the surface of the skin and rarely interfere with any type of function. However, they can be unsightly enough to substantially impact your self-esteem. Acne scars fall into this category. This type of scarring if often best treated through non-surgical treatments such as microneedling and laser skin resurfacing. In some cases, a combination of treatments may produce the best results.
A hypertrophic scar is one that is raised above the surface of the skin. These scars can grow rather large and become painful. Depending on the location, they might also impact your function or ability to wear certain clothing due to fabric rubbing against the scar. Hypertrophic scars can be darker or lighter than the rest of the skin, making them even more prominent. A multimodal approach is often best for addressing hypertrophic scarring, which typically includes surgical excision to create a new, less obtrusive scar.
Keloids are the most prominent type of scar and frequently occur on areas where there is little fatty tissue like the ears, neck, chest and face. They can extend beyond the boundaries of the original wound and become itchy or painful. Because they often form in visible areas, scar revision is frequently sought for keloid scars. This involves a combination of surgical excision and steroid therapy to ensure the scars do not return.
Contracture scars often form after burn injuries and occur when there is a large amount of tissue loss. Because they can cover an extensive area, they may restrict motion or function depending on their location. If they go deep enough, they can even affect muscles and nerves below. In some cases, skin grafting may be necessary to treat this type of scarring.
Is Scar Revision Right for You?
Prime candidates for scar revision are individuals with scars that are cosmetically, functionally or emotionally troubling. You may consider scar revision if you have any of the following concerns:
- Your scar is in a location that restricts movement or function
- Scarring causes uncomfortable friction with clothing
- The scar is painful or persistently itchy
- You are self-conscious about your appearance because of your scar
Outcomes tend to be best in patients that are in good health and do not smoke. Dr. Barrett will make a full assessment of your individual situation to determine whether scar revision is the right course of action for you and the technique and treatment modalities that will meet your needs best.
Dr. Barrett begins the scar revision process by making an appropriate scar diagnosis. Treatment will be based on that determination and will be customized to the precise needs of each patient. If surgical excision is recommended, this can usually be done using local or topical anesthetic. Dr. Barrett will create an incision along the current scar to produce a cleaner, smoother opening that will leave a less visible scar behind.
Once the scar is completely excised, the closure of the wound is precise and performed in a layered approach that prevents excess tension off the skin. When the skin can heal from the inside out, free of tension, the final result tends to be more aesthetically appealing.
After Scar Revision
Dr. Barrett does not use absorbable sutures in the dermal layers because they routinely cause inflammation when the body tries to absorb them. Instead, he uses non-reactive sutures that are removed in his office one and two weeks after the procedure. Once the sutures are out, Dr. Barrett practices a taping protocol for four weeks, followed by a three-month program of massage and scar gel application. You will also have regular post-operative consultation so Dr. Barrett can closely monitor you scar healing and apply additional treatment if needed.
New Confidence, New You
Scars can take a physical and emotional toll as they can be a constant reminder of a painful experience or impact your confidence in your appearance. Scar revision is about more than revising your scar – it’s about restoring your appearance and your quality of life. To learn more about this procedure, contact Barrett Plastic Surgery in Los Angeles today at 310-598-2648.
The information about scar revision was reviewed by Dr. Daniel Barrett. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us using our contact form below.
BEFORE AND AFTER PHOTOS
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