A scar on the face can often affect a person's self-image as well as leave an indelible impression on those who see it. It often serves as a reminder to the patient of an accident or altercation. There are a few things you should know about scars if you are considering revision of scars in Philadelphia.
A scar is the body's way of healing the skin. Whenever all layers of the skin are divided, the scar is nature's glue that allows the edges to mend. Scars can fall into two categories:
- Hypertrophic: thick, red and often raised above the skin level
- Keloid: similar to the hypertrophic scar except that it extends beyond the confines of the actual scar
Several characteristics of scars allow them to be more conspicuous.
- Width and length
- Orientation to the natural lines of the face
- Proximity to the eyes and mouth
- Skin type
- Whether a scar is elevated or depressed
The goal of scar revision is to replace a scar with a less noticeable one. This may require multiple procedures to obtain a pleasing result. The goal of scar revision is improvement, not perfection. Dermabrasion frequently provides the finishing touch to scar revision.
Dr. Greco's practice is limited solely to excellence in aesthetic surgery of the face, and he serves patients from Philadelphia and out of the area. If you would like to meet with Dr. Greco to discuss cosmetic enhancements, call the Eastern Cosmetic Surgery Institute at (610) 664-8830, or request a consultation online today.
Frequently Asked Questions
When is the best time to have scar revision?
Scars go through a maturation process which can last anywhere from 6 to 18 months. It is best to wait 6 months to a year after a scar forms before attempting surgical correction. It may be appropriate to correct some scars earlier with dermabrasion and this will be discussed during the consultation.
Can anything be done to a scar other than surgery?
If a scar is raised and reddened it can be injected with cortisone, which will help to flatten the scar as well as improve the redness. However, cortisone will not make wide scars thinner. Surgery can improve a wide scar.
What can I expect immediately after the surgery?
The incision will usually be taped for at least 1 to 2 weeks to take tension off the surrounding skin. It may be necessary to continue to tape the incision intermittently after this time. This will prevent the scar from widening. After the surgery, the scar may develop some redness and lumpiness. This will settle with time to form a thin white line. The redness and lumpiness can also be treated with cortisone injections. Remember that the final result may take more than 1 procedure.
What can be done for the "ice pick" scars?
This usually results from acne and can be very distressing to the patient. Punch excision with grafting may be used to treat these scars. It will be necessary to perform dermabrasion after the healing.
What are the risks?
There is risk involved with any surgical procedure. However, the risks of facial plastic surgery are minimal. The risks include bleeding, infection, and persistent scarring. These are usually rare complications and will be discussed during your consultation as well as ways to avoid them.