Most people have at least one scar on their body that bothers them. Scars come from trauma or surgery, and while they can’t be totally removed, their appearance can be significantly minimized using steroids, dermal fillers, or scar revision surgery.
How do Scars Heal?
The way a scar heals is dependent on several factors including the location of the injury, genetics, tension under closure, and the surgical technique used. Dr. Shari Reitzen is well-versed in the mechanics of skin closure and scar revision, and she has the ability to achieve finer scars through various techniques in tissue manipulation and suturing.
Dr. Reitzen’s Approach to Minimizing Scars
There are certain steps to take before determining the ideal scar revision treatment for each specific patient. Different types of scars will be best addressed with different techniques. In order to decide on the most effective method for you, Dr. Reitzen will do the following during your consultation:
- Closely assess your scar(s) to understand the severity
- Discuss how old the scar is and how it developed
- Go over options with you to create your customized treatment plan
What Type of Scar do You Have?
These scars develop after healing occurs under the skin, resulting in shallow indentations. Examples are scars that you see after chicken pox, mole removal, and severe acne.
Hypertrophic scars (widened) scars are usually the result of tension or poor wound healing, and are often amenable to scar revision. They are characterized by thick groupings of red, raised scar tissue within the border of a wound. Hypertrophic scars may become larger, thicker, and more uncomfortable over time.
Keloid scars typically develop where there is less fatty tissue. They are characterized by a raised, dark scar that extends beyond the border of the wound and may “pucker” or become itchy/painful. They also tend to occur in areas where a foreign body was present, such as an earring.
Developing over a large section of skin, contracture scars are usually the result of a burn. This type of scar “pulls” the tissues together, often creating a tight sensation that may restrict movement.
As the most painless and least visible scars, most normotrophic scars develop from “good” healing. These scars are discolored, but not very visible.
Surgery of any kind has the potential to leave a scar behind, but with proper home care and/or scar revision, many scars can be greatly improved.
Options for Scar Revision
Some scar revision procedures will require general anesthesia, but most will only need local anesthesia. Steroid injections may be used in conjunction with your scar revision to help achieve optimal results.
- Dermal Fillers: Indented scars can often be made less noticeable with dermal filler, which is a temporary treatment that is injected into the skin to add volume.
- Shave Excision: A shave excision can be done to remove the top of raised scars to achieve a smoother, flatter appearance.
- Skin Grafting: Sometimes a skin graft is needed for larger sections of skin. A skin graft removes healthy skin from another area of the body to be used in closing the wound once the scar has been removed.
- Scar Revision Surgery: In surgical scar revision, the entire scar is removed, and the skin is then re-joined. Any laceration (cut) or surgical incision will leave a scar, but the goal is to make a new scar that is less apparent.
Scar Revision with Dr. Reitzen
If you have a scar or scars that you’re interested in lessening, we encourage you to contact us to set up your consultation with Dr. Shari Reitzen. With locations in Tribeca and Manhattan’s Upper East Side, Dr. Reitzen is now more accessible than ever. As a double board-certified surgeon in Plastic Surgery and Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery-Dr. Reitzen puts her patients first and closely listens to achieve their desired results. She is known for her professional, straightforward manner and warm bedside manner. If you’re in the Tribeca or Upper East Side area, reach out to us today.