Scarring and Scar Removal
Scars are the body’s way of healing injuries. They happen both inside the tissues and outside in the skin. Unfortunately, scars of the skin can be unsightly. They can be too large, they can be raised, too wide, or even indented. This is where Scar Removal comes in.
Scars can be revised, meaning the Plastic Surgeon can treat them with scar removal techniques to make them look better. However, once a scar is present, there will always be some sort of scar, even if it’s minimal… at least for now.
Dr. Schneider provides scar removal treatment for prominent scars using a variety of different methods depending upon where the scar is located, the age of the scar, the age of the patient, and the type of scar that is present.
We typically classify scars as either normal, hypertrophic, or keloids.
A keloid is a scar that grows outside of the normal boundaries of what a scar should. This means it can actually grow like a tumor producing a large mass.
A hypertrophic scar is a large thick scar but it does not grow outside of the scar margins.
Many patients come in to see Dr. Schneider for scar removal and say that they have a keloid. In reality, most of these patients have hypertrophic scars.
A normal scar may even produce an unsightly appearance. The scar may be too wide or it might be indented.
Scar Removal Treatments
Dr. Schneider utilizes a variety of different techniques and procedures depending upon where the scar is located and how it appears. These include:
- Candella Laser
- CO2 Laser Resurfacing
- Surgical Scar Revision
- Kenalog (Steroid) Injection
Some scars may effectively be treated in one session. Other, more complex scars may take a variety of treatments.
Candella Laser is used by Dr. Schneider for the treatment and scar removal of hypertrophic scars, keloids, and stretch marks. The laser targets the blood vessels of the scar. Treatment with the laser takes about ten minutes and does not require any anesthetics. It leaves a small bruise on the scar that resolves in about 10 days. The effect of the laser is to shrink the scar or eliminate a stretch mark that is red. Some patients will require more than one scar removal treatment.
CO2 Laser Resurfacing
CO2 Laser Resurfacing is typically used for scar removal to smooth a raised scar or re-contour a depressed scar like that caused by acne. It may be combined with other treatments to produce an improved overall result. The laser requires an anesthetic and it typically takes 10 days for the area to heal.
Surgical Scar Revision
Scar Revision is a scar removal technique where the old scar is surgically removed and a new incision is created. This is sometimes performed where other treatments have been inadequate, or if Dr. Schneider believes this will create the best result for the individual. Scar revisions are usually performed just with a local anesthetic and patients can usually return to work the next day.
Z-Plasty is a scar removal technique that allows Dr. Schneider to either change the direction of the scar, making it appear better, or change the length of the scar so that it fits a contour better. Like all scar revisions, this is performed with a local anesthetic.
Kenalog (Steroid) Injection
Kenalog is a scar removal technique that utilizes a type of steroid that decreases the thickness of collagen that makes up a scar. Dr. Schneider sometimes uses Kenalog in addition to laser treatments to decrease a scar, or he may use it in combination with scar revision to decrease the risk of poor scar formation.