Mr Chris Abela, a consultant reconstructive and cosmetic surgeon at Skin Care Network, explains a sound approach to scar revision.
Scarring can be caused by trauma, surgery, burns, medical conditions. A natural part of your body’s wish to repair itself, through the production of collagen and other types of tissue.
Even if effective in practical terms, the process is often not well controlled in an aesthetic sense. Scars can be off colour, raised, sunken, pitted, appear stretched, or in a few cases, feel stretched, perhaps reduce movement.
Discomfort naturally deserves care, although how scarring looks may be as important. Where scars are unsightly, disfiguring, or simply a little obvious, confidence and social interaction can suffer.
Scars are as unique to the individual as fingerprints and so are their effect. Whilst a minor blemish in a rarely seen area may be self managed, scarring which matters to you deserves the professional attention.
Being treated by a consultant plastic surgeon ensures that deeper aspects are taken into account, such as underlying structures, medical needs, joint movement, or wider mobility, poor healing at the time of the scar.
Your consultant will examine the scarring in detail, microscopically where that helps. They will discuss your medical history, the origin of the scars, any symptoms, how you feel about them and what you would like to achieve.
There is no such thing as a guarantee that all scarring can be made to vanish. This will depend on the extent, perhaps your age, skin type, or condition.
In a good number of cases, cosmetic outcome can be exceptional. In almost all, the issue becomes less conspicuous, blends in with the surrounding skin tone and texture, you feel less tightness caused by the scar tissue.
Scar Revision Techniques
Scar revision is a good fit for our London clinics. Places where medical and cosmetic needs are not seen as separate, where an experienced, multi-disciplinary team is available.
You will see a range of options amongst our cosmetic treatments, from dermal fillers, to microdermabrasion, to advanced forms of laser skin treatment.
Each of those will be considered during your consultation and along with other non surgical options, discussed with you if they offer a solution.
Minimum intervention should be a guiding rule, although patients do often come to Skin Care Network when they believe surgical support will help, or they have been referred to our consultants.
Surgical techniques can be straightforward, including excision and careful skin closure, to form a new, far less visible scar. Possibly repositioning, or changing direction of the scar, so this runs along natural lines.
Skin grafting can be an option. Where the scarred area is replaced with skin from a healthy part of the body, either at the full, or partial thickness of your skin.
Further treatment options could be mentioned above, although to a degree they may miss the point. Your scarring is not just an individual concern, this is unique to you and warrants a solution to match.
Visiting a consultant who devotes their work to restorative skin care is the best way we know to put together answers which will suit you.
If you would like to make an appointment for a cosmetic dermatology consultation, or wish to discuss any point on scar revision, please give the friendly staff at our London clinics a call.