November 8, 2012
If you have an unsightly scar from surgery, a fall or even a burn, there's a good chance a doctor may be able to change its appearance.
In this week's Martha Jefferson Healthwise report CBS19's Stephanie Satchell is focusing on scar revision.
Scars come in all shapes and sizes and are brought on as a result of many different circumstances, but there is good news. Dr. Elizabeth Chance of Martha Jefferson Aesthetic & Reconstructive Surgery says many scars can be revised.
“Treating a scar could be done surgically and non-surgically depending on what your goals are and what your scar looks like. Scars can occur form injuries, burns acne and can be a normal scarring process or abnormal with a keloid or hypertrophic scar,” said Dr. Elizabeth Chance, Martha Jefferson Aesthetic & Reconstructive surgery
A hypertrophic scar is one that is red and raised and a keloid expands beyond the border of where the cut was.
Dr. Chance says there are a few non-surgical measures you can take to help your scar heal in a more attractive manner. Don't use hydrogen peroxide, do protect it from the sun and keep it moisturized with an ointment.
“You want to keep it moist and hydrated so all those little parts of the skin can knit back together and make a really attractive looking scar and a healthy scar,” said Dr. Chance.
If you choose surgery, there is something you should know.
“Anytime we excise a scar to try to make it look better, you're still going to have a scar on the skin surface. We're just trying to make it a thinner scar or a less noticeable scar in the end.
“If it’s a wide hypertrophic scar or keloid, that’s a very different process. Often times if you're prone to making these types of raised red itchy scars than it will happen even after a scar excision,” said Chance.
Dr. Chance says every scar is different. So, you should visit your doctor to determine the best way to reconstruct and replace it with a more visually pleasing mark.
Scar revision is performed about 200,000 times a year and it is very common on the head and neck.
In some cases, Dr. Chance says scars can be revised as early as two months after you've gotten the scar.