Removing Facial Scars, Keloids, and Stretch Marks
Many people have scars for a variety of reasons but are very conscious of their appearance, especially those face scars. Scars may occur due to burns, surgeries, small injuries, acne or major accidents.
For many decades those that suffer from scars had little recourse to remove them, other than over the counter creams or expensive surgeries. The three types of common scars are: keloids, hypertrophic scars and contractures.
Anatomy of the Skin
The skin is the largest body organ and is comprised of 5 layers. The top layer of skin is the first line of defense against pathogens. It is also contains dead skin cells, which are shed continually. Damage to this layer heals by rebuilding skin cells and scarring is light.
As part of the natural healing process for more serious injuries, scars are formed. The way a scar develops depends on the nature of the injury and the body’s ability to heal itself.
Types of Scars
Keloid: They occur due to tough, fibrous protein (collagen), which forms after a wound heals around its edges. They look puckered, thick and are itchy and they may occur anywhere on the body.
Hypertrophic: These scars are similar to keloids, but they remain within the body of the scar.
Contractures: Contractures occur when large areas of skin are injured and the formation of a scar pulls the surrounding skin together forming a contracture.
Facial scars: They can affect facial expressions and are of concern to most patients. Severe acne can also cause some facial scaring. The acne scars can be deep pits to a wavelike appearance.
Types of Treatment for Scars
There are several types of treatments for scars, which will depend on the nature of the scar.
Facial scars can sometimes be treated with dermabrasion. This is effective for acne scarring.
Laser surgery is a very effective for several types of scar removal, including keloids, hypertrophic and atrophic scarring. The physician moves the laser along the scar, which exposes the healthy skin that will minimize the scar.
Z-plasty surgery is performed by a plastic surgeon for more extensive scars. The purpose of this surgery is to reposition a scar to conform to the natural lines or creases on your face or other area of the body. The old scar is removed, and then flaps of skin are created, arranged and closed up with tiny stitches.
Skin graphs are also used for large scarred areas and are commonly used to treat burns. This procedure removes healthy skin from one area of the body to use on the injured area.
My Facial Scar Revision Looks Great
As with any surgery, expect some swelling, bruising and redness. Use a cold compress to reduce swelling. Follow your physician’s instructions carefully. Depending on the severity of the surgery more rest would be appropriate. The surgeon will require follow-up appointments to evaluate healing.
Methods of scar removal are very effective, plus there are over-the-counter bandages and creams that help prevent scarring.
Sometimes your insurance may not pay for scar removal, and it can be expensive. It might be wise to get more than one opinion from a plastic surgeon.
The copyright, renewed in 2018, for this article is owned by Pamela Oglesby. Permission to republish this article in print or online must be granted by the author in writing.