Surgical scar removal

Posted on February 24, 2015

Everyone wants flawless skin so when unsightly marks or blemishes appear they turn to their daily skin care routine to get rid of them. However some marks, such as scars, are harder to disguise and cannot always be hidden by makeup. MyBreast looks at the different types of scars, the various methods used for removing or diminishing the scar tissue as well as aftercare.

Surgical scar removal operations

Everyone wants flawless skin so when unsightly marks or blemishes appear they turn to their daily skin care routine to get rid of them. However some marks, such as scars, are harder to disguise and cannot always be hidden by makeup. MyBreast looks at the different types of scars, the various methods used for removing or diminishing the scar tissue as well as aftercare.

So how do scars appear?

Scars form when the skin is broken and the body produces more of the protein collagen to repair the damage. Over time, the collagen builds up leaving a raised surface. Scars are permanent but can fade over a period of time, up to two years after the original injury.

Types of scar

There are various types of scars.

Flat, pale scars

The most common type of scar is the flat, pale scar that forms as a result of the body’s natural healing process. Initially, they may be red or dark and raised after the wound has healed, but will become paler and flatter naturally over time as the injury heals.

Keloid scars

A keloid scar is an overgrowth of tissue that develops around a wound when too much collagen is produced. The scar keeps growing, even after the wound has healed.

Hypertrophic scars

Like keloid scars, hypertrophic scars are the result of an imbalance in the production of collagen in a healing wound. However they differ from keloid scars as they do not extend beyond the area of the original wound.

Pitted or sunken scars (atrophic or “ice-pick” scars)

This type of scar is normally caused by a skin condition such as acne or chickenpox. However it can also result from an injury.

Scar contractures

Scar contractures are commonly caused by burns. These occur when the skin “shrinks”, leading to tightness and a restriction in movement.

Techniques for removing or reducing the appearance of scars

There are various methods for reducing the appearance of scar tissue and removing some types. These range from corticosteroid injections which are used to reduce inflammation and flatten the scar (typically used to treat keloid and hypertrophic scars); pressure dressings which are often used for large burn scars or after skin grafts; specialist make up to camouflage the scars; laser therapy which can reduce the redness of the scar by targeting the blood vessels in the excess scar tissue; dermal fillers; skin needling and radiotherapy. However, in some cases, surgery may be used as a technique to remove scars. This procedure is primarily used to change the position of the scar, change the shape or to release a tight scar if it is impeding movement.

So what is involved in surgical scar removal?

Surgical scar removal should be undertaken by qualified plastic surgeons using careful cosmetic surgery techniques. The old scar will be removed and then repaired. There is a minimal amount of post-surgery pain associated with this procedure. Stiches are removed in four to six days from the face and seven to ten days from the body unless they are dissolving ones. The new scar will fade over a period of six to twenty-four months and the appearance will lessen. While scars will never completely disappear there are some important aftercare processes, which MyBreast advocates to its patients after any kind of procedure, to help reduce the appearance of them.

Aftercare

There is a wide range of skincare products that can help with rejuvenating the skin and repairing the damaged area. The intense moisturising effect of creams such as HealGel help to reduce the swelling and redness and general sensitivity of the area of skin affected. The active ingredients incorporated in the cream help boost collagen and in addition help to reduce the bruising with ingredients such as arnica present as well. Having been designed by a group of plastic surgeons, they understand the science needed behind the formula and with their patients’ general wellbeing in mind they have developed a key aftercare product. Scars can not only affect a patient’s physical appearance but can also impact their emotional welfare, and in turn their confidence. MyBreast’s surgeons do not just perform the surgical procedures but also monitor and advise on the patient’s aftercare. From initial consultation through to the post-operative care, your MyBreast surgeon will be available.

If you would like to speak to MyBreast about any of the information mentioned in this post, then please go to www.mybreast.org/contact-us.

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