Are you self-conscious of scarring on your face or body? Scars can itch, hurt, and be unsightly. At Gulf Coast Facial Plastics, we offer scar revision to help soften the look of your scars. While it may be impossible to remove a scar completely, scar revision will make your scar less noticeable.
Scar Revision Techniques
One way to soften a deep scar is to take advantage of how scars form in the first place. When the skin is torn, one of the many things the body does to heal is replace collagen. When the body replaces too much collagen, a raised scar is formed. One way to reduce the appearance of these scars is through an application of silicone gel, which is a combination of silicon and oxygen molecules in a matrix. The gel hydrates the top layer of skin over the scar. This stimulates the body to produce human growth factors as well as reduces the amount of collagen the body sends to the scar. Silicone gel also protects the scar tissue from bacteria and reduces pain and itching associated with the scar. Also, the gel works on keloids, which are elevated, dark-colored scars.
Some types of scars are treated with cryotherapy. Cryotherapy uses liquid nitrogen to freeze an elevated scar, such as a keloid, and destroy it. The liquid nitrogen can be placed on top of the keloid, sprayed on the keloid, or injected directly into the raised scar. These treatments often need to be done more than once with sessions spread over 20 to 30 days.
Z-Plasty and W-Plasty
Z-plasty is another method of scar softening. During Z-plasty, the surgeon makes two equal, triangular flaps in the skin. The angle of the triangles is about 60 degrees. The flaps are then transposed and held in place with stitches. This aligns the scar with an area of lesser skin tension, or aligns it with a natural crease in the skin.
During W-plasty, a line of w’s, which resemble saw teeth, are incised near the scar tissue. The scar tissue is then removed. Though the surgical wound is conspicuous for a while, it fades greatly after time since it is now aligned with the natural lines of the skin.
Some scars are not elevated, instead but are sunken into the skin. These include a type of acne scar called a “boxcar” marks. Boxcar scars are sunken, oval-shaped areas with steep sides. These scars can be revised by injecting substances into the skin that add volume to the scar. They include hyaluronic acid and collagen, which are substances the body produces naturally. Laser resurfacing by CO2 laser also helps to soften the look of these types of scars.
Other types of acne scars, such as rolling scars, can be corrected through subcision. During this procedure, the doctor cuts the base of the scar, which releases it and allows it to rise to the level of the surrounding skin.
If you have scarring and would like to make it less noticeable, call Gulf Coast Facial Plastics today. Together, we can discuss options to find the best method of treatment for you.