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Removing Facial Scars, Keloids, and Stretch Marks

Updated on August 28, 2018
Pamela99 profile image

After 22 years as an RN, I now write about medical issues and new medical advances. Diet, exercise, and lifestyle are all important.

Typical Scar

Source

Scar Types

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.

Keloid Scar

Source

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 are 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 fact. 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

Following Surgery

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.

Comments

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  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    5 years ago from Sunny Florida

    torrilynn, I'm glad this hub was helpful for you. Thanks for your comments.

  • torrilynn profile image

    torrilynn 

    5 years ago

    I really do like how you break down what the skin is and how many layers there are. Very informative hub that you have here. Voted up.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    6 years ago from Sunny Florida

    tillsontitan, I am glad you found the information useful. Thank you so much for your comments.

  • tillsontitan profile image

    Mary Craig 

    6 years ago from New York

    Some very good basic information. Its always good to know the difference between types of scars to help decide what to do with them.

    Voted up and interesting.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    6 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Eddy, I'm glad you found the hub useful and I appreciate your comments.

  • Eiddwen profile image

    Eiddwen 

    6 years ago from Wales

    A great hub Pamela ;interesting and so useful.

    Enjoy your day.

    Eddy.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    6 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Rolly, That is true for so many. Thanks for your comments.. Hugs from FL.

  • Rolly A Chabot profile image

    Rolly A Chabot 

    6 years ago from Alberta Canada

    Hi Pam... this is all great information... I could be a tester of some of this information... It seems like I have a fair number to contend with... that wages of not being carful over the years...

    Hugs from Canada

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    6 years ago from Sunny Florida

    sassyk, I believe adult acne can be treated very well now and dermabrasion is another type of treatment. Thank you for your comments.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    6 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Nell, I also think a good Vitamin E cream helps. I have a lot of surgical scars also (hope to have none in the future), but none of my face either. I appreciate your comments.

  • sassyk73 profile image

    Karen A. Harris 

    6 years ago from Milwaukee, WI

    I am currently going through some things with my skin due to adult acne. I am going to talk to my Dermatologist about the laser surgery.

    Thanks for sharing...very informative.

  • Nell Rose profile image

    Nell Rose 

    6 years ago from England

    I have so many scars on my body from various operations, but lucky enough not to have any on my face. I think I would go for the laser treatment if I had, as I hear that its really successful. for my body scars I use a high vitamin E cream, great information, voted up and shared, nell

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    6 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Dianna, It is good to know that there have been great advances in removing scars. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

  • teaches12345 profile image

    Dianna Mendez 

    6 years ago

    I didn't know scars could be removed. I have one on my knee, but it is not that big or noticeable. If it were any place else, I would think about this procedure. Thanks for the share.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    6 years ago from Sunny Florida

    locknloaded, I agree, no one wants a scar, especially on your face. I appreciate your comments.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    6 years ago from Sunny Florida

    vibesites, I hope the tips will help people identity the type of scar they have and understand their options. Thank you so much for your comments.

  • profile image

    locknloaded81 

    6 years ago

    I really like your hub Pamela, everyone will really like to have a clean and smooth skin.. no one wish to have that indication of damage thing, specially on face, grrr. Scars should be removed. Thanks there are ways now to remove it.

  • vibesites profile image

    vibesites 

    6 years ago from United States

    Great and informative hub. Probably your tips will help some problems of mine. :)

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    6 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Ruby, I am glad you found the hub interesting and I appreciate your comments.

  • always exploring profile image

    Ruby Jean Richert 

    6 years ago from Southern Illinois

    The video was interesting to watch. Thank you for sharing information that is useful and will help those needing this type of surgery.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    6 years ago from Sunny Florida

    JayeWisdom, While the techniques to remove scars has improved, it is not perfect. Of course, I'm glad the cancer is gone and I would have done exactly what you did. I imagine most people don't notice it anyway. I appreciate you sharing your experience.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    6 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Alphagirl, I have heard that Mederma is good and I use vitamin E for a variety of problems. Thanks for your comments.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    6 years ago from Sunny Florida

    POP, I'm glad you liked the hub. Thanks so much for your comments.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    6 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Cardisa, I know that is probably true worldwide. Some people develop keloids more easily following surgery than others. Thanks for your comments.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    6 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Maria, Being a nurse certainly impacts my choice of topics. I think you are right about Bill and my hubby. I appreciate your comments. Hugs back to you.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    6 years ago from Sunny Florida

    pringoooals, I'm glad you found the hub informative. Thank you for your comments.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    6 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Jim, Sorry about the scars of the heart. I guess most of us have those. Wish I could give you a big hug. :) Thanks for your comments.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    6 years ago from Sunny Florida

    drbj, I was impressed with the work the surgeon did in the video also. I appreciate your comments.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    6 years ago from Sunny Florida

    jainismus, I appreciate your comments and the share.

  • JayeWisdom profile image

    Jaye Denman 

    6 years ago from Deep South, USA

    This is a very interesting hub. I have an "upside down question mark" scar on my nose following surgery to remove basal cell skin cancer (performed by a plastic surgeon). It's not glaringly evident, and I probably notice it more than anyone else, but the surgeon "re-did" the bottom part on the end of my nose TWICE trying to get rid of a small "divot", but it's still there. I finally accepted that there will be a light scar due to where it is and the flap method required to eradicate all of the cancer cells. That, of course, takes precedence over the scar.

  • profile image

    Alphagirl 

    6 years ago

    Great helpful hub! I use topical creams to fade scars. Mederma works as dies vitamin e

  • breakfastpop profile image

    breakfastpop 

    6 years ago

    Terrific informative hub. I needed this after I gave birth to my daughters! Up, useful and awesome.

  • Cardisa profile image

    Carolee Samuda 

    6 years ago from Jamaica

    Hi Pamela, nice hub. I know a few people with the keloid scarring but are too poor to do anything about it.

  • marcoujor profile image

    Maria Jordan 

    6 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

    Dear Pam,

    This was presented in a most comprehensive and understandable manner. It takes a nurse to organize such a finely detailed piece.

    I admit a giggle as I join ranks with your hubby and dear Bill. I call them my 'glad to be here' scars.

    Voted UP and UI. Hugs, Maria

  • pringoooals profile image

    Karina 

    6 years ago from Edinburgh

    Great advice on face scars. Very informative and useful.

  • The Frog Prince profile image

    The Frog Prince 

    6 years ago from Arlington, TX

    Excellent Hub Pamela. Most of my scars are on my heart where only I can see them and deal with them :)

    TFP

  • drbj profile image

    drbj and sherry 

    6 years ago from south Florida

    Another well-written, explanatory hub, Pamela. You may be becoming one of the go-to experts on matters medical. What an excellent job that reconstruction surgeon did on that young woman's scar in the video.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    6 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Jackie, I should have included avoiding the sun as that is important. The physicians will usually prescribe or recommend a cream to use for quite a long period of time following a scar removal. At least that is my experience. I appreciate your comments.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    6 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Billy, That sounds like a comment my husband would make. He has several also. Thanks for your comments.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    6 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Lord, I think facial scars or very unsightly scars would certainly cause psychological trauma and that could be a toic for another hub. I appreciate your comments.

  • jainismus profile image

    Mahaveer Sanglikar 

    6 years ago from Pune, India

    Great information, thank you for sharing it. Shared with followers.

  • Jackie Lynnley profile image

    Jackie Lynnley 

    6 years ago from The Beautiful South

    Great advice. Scaring can be prevented or lessoned to a great degree if people us something right after surgery in time. Avoiding the sun on scars is a must too to keep the scar from darkening; this showing it up more. There are some great over the counter things very affordable now. I prefer the lotion, the gel does not absorb very well.

  • billybuc profile image

    Bill Holland 

    6 years ago from Olympia, WA

    Very interesting and informative Pamela! I have several dandies on my body, but I like to think of them as badges of honor! :)

  • Lord De Cross profile image

    Joseph De Cross 

    6 years ago from New York

    Excellent information about face scars, keloid and stretch marks. This last one is what women fear after having a baby. Seen after breast augmentation scars and have a couple of them on my arms, small enough though. Is true that scars cause psychological traumas and social issues. Great explanation that breaks down technicalities into plain english. Sharing and voting this up Pam!

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