Any time skin is cut through its full thickness, a scar will form. All scars are permanent in the sense that they cannot ever be erased. They can, however, be improved. Every scar goes through what is a maturation process. In adults, a scar takes about one year to fully mature. One can expect a surgical scar to generally look its worse approximately 6 weeks to 3 months following the surgery. This is during the most active healing period when the body is forming collagen to heal the wound.
It is generally best to consider cosmetic scar revision no less than 1 year, at which point the scar is considered mature.
During scar maturation, optimal healing may be supported with silicone sheets or gels and by protecting the scar with sunscreen. Unfavorable scars from surgery can be avoided with precise technique and the wound closed with the lowest amount of tension. A prime example of this is an Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck) scar. The key to having an optimal tummy tuck scar is placing it in the right location and closing it in so the skin is under the least amount of tension possible. Achieving this outcome requires that the procedure being performed in a skilled manner. The face can also be particularly tricky due to its various shapes and dynamic movement.
What Is Scar Revision?
Scar revision refers to the excision of an existing scar followed by reconstruction of the wound through re-approximation of the tissue, possibly with flap reconstruction or skin manipulation, performed to alter the direction of a scar. Scar revision surgery may be employed to improve keloid scars, acne scars, burn scars, hypertrophic scars, depressed or retracted scars, facial scars, as well as scars caused by injury or previous surgery.
If the scar requires an excision, stitches are used for closure and are left in for approximately one week. Once the sutures are removed and any scab comes off, the underling area is usually a pink or reddish color, which may take several weeks to blend in with the surrounding skin. The area should be kept clean and protected from the sun with a high SPF.
Non-Surgical Scar Treatments
- Laser resurfacing
- Steroid injection
- Dermal fillers
- Silicone therapy
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