What is Scar Revision?
Scar revision means to change the appearance of a scar. This is a surgical procedure to improve the appearance of a scar, to correct skin changes, and sometimes to restore function.
A scar is a mark left in the skin or an internal organ by healing of a wound, sore, or injury, because of replacement by connective tissue of the injured tissue. Scars may result from wounds that have healed, lesions of diseases, or surgical procedures.
A person’s age, pigmentation, and heredity factors in on how much scarring one may have. When scars are from injuries, the amount of scarring may be determined by the previous mentioned factors plus the depth, location and size of the wound.
As wounds are healing, the area may become itchy and tender. There are medications such as, anaesthetic ointments and anti itch creams available to treat the area and relieve the itching and tenderness.
There are different types of scar revision. Knowing when to consider having scar revision is as important as knowing which procedure best suits your needs. A scar’s maturity varies with each individual but can take up to a year or so. It’s usually recommended that a patient should wait until a scar matures before considering revision. Mainly because a scar will shrink and become lighter as it ages therefore revision may not be necessary. There are other cases where you may not want to wait for scar maturity.
When the scar becomes thick and extends beyond the wound this is known as a keloid. Scar revision is usually performed before maturity of the scar. When a scar becomes extremely painful, this usually means a nerve is involved during healing, scar revision or removing the nerve will need to be done. Also if the scar causes a restriction of movement, known as a contracture scar, there is no need to wait for maturity.
Dermabrasion is a form of scar revision. This procedure involves using a wire brush to remove the upper layers of skin allowing new skin to grow.
Z-plasty is when a number of small incisions are made on both sides of the site forming a “V.” This results in a skin flap that heals tight and with the skin folds. This procedure is used mainly for contracture and hypertrophy scars.
Skin grafting is the most well-known form of scar revision. It is when a thin layer of skin is taken from a healthy part of the body and placed over the damaged area. Some skin grafting requires taking a large section of skin, tissue, muscle, and tendons this is referred to as a skin flap. Skin grafting is the most common procedure used in burn victims. This procedure is sometimes needed in contracture patients, and those suffering from skin deformities.
There are other forms of scar revision techniques not mentioned here. Some people look into scar revision for cosmetic purposes also. You should speak to a healthcare professional to see if scar revision is right for you.
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