Scars can be caused by surgery, trauma, piercings, infection and various skin conditions. Scarring is influenced by many factors including those relating to the wound, (for example the site, method of closure and healing), and patient factors like genetics and skin type.
The appearance of a scar changes over time and it will usually fade and flatten over about twelve months. People may seek scar revision due to the appearance of a scar, it’s effect on function, such as limiting joint movement, and symptoms, like itching, pain, recurrent infections and failure to heal.
Hypertrophic and keloid scarring are conditions which cause poor scars which can be associated with discomfort and an unsatisfactory appearance. These types of scars can occur in anyone, but they are more likely to develop in people with darker skin tones.
Hypertrophic scars are usually pink and raised and may be itchy. They appear as the scar is forming and grow “in line” with the scar. Hypertrophic scars can be treated with silicon products, compression, excision and steroid and tend to improve with treatment.
Keloid scars can take weeks or months to develop and can grow outside of the original scar area, forming large irregular shapes. They can be pink or dark, itchy and painful and tend to progress and recur. They therefore pose quite a challenge to treat. There are a number of strategies that can be employed to treat keloid scars including, silicon products, compression, excision, steroids, radiotherapy and a combined approach is most likely to be effective.
Because scarring can vary significantly between patients based on their circumstances, Plastic Surgeon Dr Alaina Taylor offers a diverse range of scar management treatments to target your concerns. These treatments include, non-surgical and surgical treatments. The type, amount, and frequency of treatments cannot be determined until patients consult with Dr Taylor, so she can assess the scarring and develop a treatment plan that may effectively minimise and improve the appearance of your scars. In some cases, Dr Taylor may suggest scar revision surgery as a form of treatment. Treatments for scar revision usually involve a combination of approaches and may include:
- Taping and compression
- Silicon treatment
- Steroid injection
- Radiofrequency treatment
- Dermal Fillers
- Fat grafting
- Local skin flaps
- Skin grafting
- Tissue expansion
- Complex reconstruction
If you require scar revision surgery to achieve your desired outcome, the technique Dr Taylor uses will be highly dependent on the extent and location of your scarring. Other factors such as your previous medical history, current lifestyle, and health can all play a part in how well your body heals the wound sites. These factors must be considered during your consultation with Dr Taylor to ensure you achieve an optimal result from surgery.
Risks and Complications
- Further scarring
- Changes to skin sensation
- Poor healing
- Skin discolouration
- Skin loss
It is vitally important that you consider these associated risks and complications before deciding to go ahead with the surgery. Whilst scar revision procedures can certainly produce enhanced results for patients, there is always a chance for further scarring to occur, which is why patients must follow their recovery and scar management instructions to help achieve their desired outcomes.