Minimizing Scars

Minimizing the Type of Scars You Have

Scars occur when the skin has been cut, injured or burned.  What the scar looks like is determined by many different factors, the size of the wound, how deep the wound is, how thick and what color your skin is and the supply of blood that is available in that part of your body.  No matter what kind of scar you experience, odds are good that there is a treatment out there that can be helpful in making the scar smaller and less noticeable.  Every scar you have will respond differently to plastic surgery methods.

  • Keloid Scars – This type of scar is thicker and protrudes from the skin.  It consists of scar tissue and has a reddish color or tens to be darker than the skin that is around it.  These scars occur because collagen overproduces and grows past the boundaries of the initial wound.  A steroid injected right into the tissue will decrease the red appearance, itch and burning of the wound.  This injection will stop the production of collagen and the scar will begin to fade and become flatter over a period of time.
  • Hypertrophic Scars – This type of scar is thicker than a keloid, reddish and protrudes, but, this scar will remain in the boundary of the initial wound.  With this type you can begin with topical creams or an injection of steroids.  If neither seems to help, it can be repaired by a surgical technique which will reposition the cut so it will heal in a pattern that isn’t as visible.
  • Contracture Scars – These occur because of a burn or other major injury that causes the edges of the skin to pull together, thus the name contractures.  Once this occurs it can affect surrounding muscles or tendons and can restrict regular movement.  To correct a contracture scar it generally will require cutting the scar out and using a skin graft or skin flap to replace it.  In several instances a Z-or W-plasty might be used in correcting the scar.

A scar that is raised or feels bumpy might be better treating using a resurfacing method.  A laser resurface treatment will require a laser that produces a strong burst of high-intensity light which vaporizes scar tissue leaving a small amount or no injury to the area surrounding the scar.  You can also choose to use dermabrasion.  However, if the scar is not raised, your physician might use an injection of collagen to help in raising the scar.

While it is important to remember that no scar can be permanently removed, there are many techniques currently available that can assist with making the scars less visible and larger scars can be treated to help maintain the normal appearance of a person again.

Consult with your doctor to choose the option that is right for what you want to accomplish.  Your doctor will be able to analyze your needs and together you can come up with a treatment plan that works best for you.

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