Scar Revision Birmingham: Reducing Your Scar’s Appearance
Unsightly scars can turn into a sore spot for our eyes. We’re prone to preoccupy ourselves with them and their effect on our appearance. We’ve all lingered in front of the mirror for too long, wishing that scar would just magically disappear. While scars can be part of life’s important reminders, they don’t have to stay as prominent fixtures on our face or body. Thankfully, options like scar revision do exist to remedy our scars, making them less noticeable and feeling like all new skin.
Why Do Scars Form?
Your body’s response to a cut or incision is not an exact science, at least from a healing perspective. Your body seeks to close up a wound as soon as possible to patch the opening and avoid infection. To do this, it starts ramping up collagen fiber production.
This overproduction of collagen fibers helps close the gap faster, but it lacks organization. This unorganized production characterizes your scar’s difference in appearance from the surrounding skin.
What is Scar Revision?
Similar to what it sounds like, scar revision aims to improve the look of a scar on the face or body. While scar revision does end up lumped into plastic surgery, some topical treatments are available depending on the size and severity of the scar.
In essence, scar revision seeks to minimize a scar’s appearance so that it resembles the neighboring skin tone and texture. A scar site can be a painful reminder that extends beyond just what’s skin deep. Scar revision helps with recovery.
Am I A Good Candidate for Scar Revision?
The short answer to this is: likely, yes! People of all ages can pursue scar revision if they wish. This being said, it’s a good idea to consider these prerequisites:
- Your health is in order;
- Your expectations and attitude align with realistic outcomes;
- Your skin is free from other skin issues or diseases on the site to be worked on;
- And you’re ready to see your scar drastically reduced and your skin feel like new.
Scars can vary by size, severity, and time passed. While it’s said that time heals all wounds, scars have a penchant to stay for a little longer. What you need to know is this: Your scar type influences which treatment will best suit you and your specific needs.
Less severe scars, also known as subtle scars, usually only exist surface deep, without too much discomfort. Minor surgery scars, as well as acne scars, fall into this category.
Moving up the severity ladder, hypertrophic scars emerge directly at the wound. They’re raised, usually red, and can cause discomfort. These scars also carry the risk of growing in size over time. They may be lighter or darker in coloration.
Keloid scars are a step above hypertrophic; they’re typically a bit bigger in size. They have a nasty habit of stretching over a wound’s edges or poking out altogether, increasing their size. Itchiness or pain may also accompany this type of scar.
Contracture scars usually appear after an event that results in significant tissue loss, for instance a burn. These scars occur when skin and tissue mesh together during healing. Contractures have a knack for happening when a wound divides a joint, such as elbows, fingers, and knees. These scars also hinder movement or range of motion.
When scar revision comes to mind, you might immediately jump to something as drastic as plastic surgery. While, yes, full-fledged plastic surgery can be an option—it’s definitely not the singular solution for a scar or even for all scar types.
To some, that can seem like a foreign concept. But, at Cahaba Dermatology, we specialize in solutions that view highly invasive surgery as a last resort. We prefer a more benign, non-invasive approach to scar revision.
For instance, scars can be treated with dermabrasion (think something along the lines of “sanding”) to smooth over the uneven contours of the scar. Another option involves steroid injection, which excels at flattening a raised or thick scar above the skin’s surface. Injection also works vice versa; when placed under the scar tissue a material can lift sunken skin.
Where topical treatments fail, more invasive, or surgical, options may prove to be more effective. A scar can be cut out and then dressed with sutures to aid in the appearance of a more natural look. The bands beneath scar tissue can also be cut to release the scar.
Laser resurfacing, along with other laser treatments, may also be a remedy to reduce a scar’s size and appearance. These types of scar revision surgery should always be discussed by you and your dermatologist or healthcare provider.
Some scar types (we’re looking at you contractures) may be too involved for a dermatologist to correct. Contractures, due to their impact on movement, will likely require plastic surgery to fully resolve.
All this being said, a thorough appointment and consultation is in order to fully assess your skin needs. From there, results can follow.
Booking An Appointment
Scars can seem like an unavoidable constant on your face or body. At least, that may have been your thought process before finding Cahaba Dermatology. The good thing is: scars don’t have to be constantly on your mind. Scar revision can minimize the look of scars to near invisibility, helping the mirror lose the sting it once had. That’s good news all around!
Visiting the dermatologist may not make your list of favorite local hot spots. We get that. It’s not every day your skin faces such in-depth scrutiny. But, if a scar has become an issue for you, it should make your to-do list. We’re here to help you, and your skin, be the best it can be. We’re not here to judge or put your skin under the microscope. We want to help aid in your recovery, whether that be through scar revision or another one of our premier dermatological services.
If you’re ready to put your scars behind you, then book an appointment with us at Cahaba Dermatology. You can schedule one conveniently online by visiting our patient portal, or by contacting us at 205-214-7546. We’re here to help you move past your scars. Reach out to us in Birmingham, AL for the skin results you’ve been searching for!