What is a Scar?
Marks left on the skin or within body tissue from a wound, burn, or sore. A scar is the result of your body repairing skin wounds and is a natural part of the healing process. A new scar takes approximately one year to completely heal and tends to look its worst two to three months after surgery. This is because the body initially lays down scar tissue in a disorganized manner, creating scars that tend to be raised, bumpy, and red. Most scars fade over the next six to nine months, depending on genetics, body site, and the amount of tension on the scar.
What is a Keloid Scar?
In some cases, when scar tissue grows excessively, a keloid scar can form. They appear on the skin as smooth, hard growths that can become much larger than the original wound. They’re most commonly found on the chest, shoulders, earlobes, and cheeks and are treated delicately as patients prone to keloid scars are often susceptible to reoccurrence.
What are the Treatment Options for Scar Revision?
This may be started once your incision or wound has healed with no chance of reopening the incision. You may use any type of lotion or massage oil. Use your thumb or first finger and massage the scar in a circular motion with as much pressure as tolerated. You may perform scar massage as often as desired.
Scar Recovery Gel
This product is available at Olympic Dermatology and has been proven to speed the scar maturation process. Applied twice daily, it will help your scar become smoother and fade faster. It can be used along with scar massage.
Some scars are painful, itchy and irritated because they’re “stuck” in the initial phase of laying down scar tissue and may need to be treated with corticosteroid injections. This helps slow down the scar building phase and gets the scar back into its normal maturation process.
Silicone sheets, or bandaids such as Cicacare or Scar Away, are available at most pharmacies. The silicone sheet is reusable and may be reapplied daily. It helps moisturize the scar keeping it supple and smoother. This treatment may be used along with scar massage and Scar Recovery Gel.
Cosmetic and Laser Treatments: Shallow scars can often be improved with a series of chemical peels or Fraxel laser resurfacing treatments. Deeper, soft-bordered scars do well with CO2 laser resurfacing. This generally requires 3-5 treatments and prices vary depending on scar size and number of treatments required. Fraxel works by remodeling the scar tissue and blending it with the surrounding tissue; it can be used in conjunction with corticosteroid injections.
Surgical Scar Revision
Some scars require surgery to look better. Deep acne pits, sharp-edged depressed scars, inverted scar lines (trough-like), or scars crossing maximum tension lines require excision. We carefully examine each scar and its relationship to the surrounding natural skin lines to recommend the best possible repair. Z-plasty, M-plasty, and other complicated procedures may be used when necessary. All repairs will be improved by resurfacing with either the CO2 or Fraxel lasers performed eight weeks after surgery.
Before and After Photographs
Make an appointment with Dr. Brazil or one of our expert dermatology providers by calling 360-459-1700 or schedule online in our patient portal. We look forward to helping you.