Scars can be very noticeable and many people are also scared. Fortunately, there are many ways to remove or reduce scars, such as peeling, laser treatment or bandages. On this page you can read about the possibilities and the expected results.
Scar correction: removal and fading of scars
If the skin gets damaged, scarring can occur. Damage to the skin can occur due to, among other things, cuts, abrasions, lacerations, burns and bites. But also for example due to inflammation or acne.
The wound healing is different per person and there are many (genetic) factors that jointly determine what a scar will look like. People with dark skin and people with very light skin and reddish hair more often have excessive scarring after skin damage. Also, skin damage at certain places on the body is more likely to form a scar.
There are several problems that can arise with scarring:
- The thickening of the scar (hypertrophic scar) , which can also prevent redness and itching, but which often changes automatically.
- Growth of wild meat and hard scar tissue (keloid) around and outside the limits of the original scar that does not stop automatically.
- The contraction of the skin and the underlying tissue during healing (scar contractures). This can be painful and cause movement limitation if the scar runs along a joint. Scar contractures occur when there is a lot of tissue loss, such as with burns.
When a wound is not well healed, you can choose to have the scar improved by the plastic surgeon. There will always be a scar. Also little can be done on the size of the scar. The plastic surgeon tries to improve the shape of the scar and make it less conspicuous. The result of a scar correction is uncertain, because as mentioned (also the new) scar formation is difficult to predict.
During the conversation with the doctor you have the opportunity to ask questions and ask for explanation or more information. The plastic surgeon will ask why you want a scar correction and what you expect from the surgery and the result. The following issues can also be discussed during the consultation:
- Your medical history.
- Your current health, allergies & medication use.
- Questions that relate to possible risk factors.
- Viewing your scar and possibly taking pictures of it in your file.
- Discussing the expected result and possible complications.
- An advice for the most appropriate treatment.
The scar correction
Time is the best treatment for new, still active scars ; eventually, scars will become less thick and paler.
Also, hypertrophic scars can be over time thinner and light in color.
For the treatment of badly healed scars, different options are possible. Together with your doctor you can decide for which treatment you qualify. Sometimes only a small amount is needed for a large effect and in other cases a combination of treatments is required. The possibilities for scar correction are:
Scars caused by acne are often treated with laser.
- Corticosteroids plasters, tape or injections
Corticosteroid stops the production of collagen and slows the growth of scar tissue.
- Laying silicone layer over the scar
The application of a silicone layer can considerably reduce the size of a hypertrophic scar. How it works is unknown.
- Pressure therapy with bandage Pressure
therapy can be applied to large scars on the back and abdomen. For this you get a special pressure suit that exerts pressure on the scars.
- Chemical peeling with acne scars
Skin transplantation in (large) burns
Medical tattoo for hiding the scar.
therapy Laser therapy can be a very effective treatment for scars. It is mainly used for acne scars treatment and other smaller scars.
- Scar correction, surgical
This option is discussed in detail below.
Surgical scar correction
If there is a big chance that a newly made scar will look more beautiful than the existing scar, a surgical scar correction can be performed. An existing scar can be badly healed by complications in initial healing or by the circumstances in which the scar has developed.
With scar removal treatment, the old scar is removed. This happens under local anesthesia. The new wound is repaired with the aid of various plastic surgical techniques. In doing so, care must be taken to place the scar in such a way that it stands out as little as possible. This can be, for example, in an already existing skin fold. The duration of the procedure depends on the size and location of the scar.
The pain after the procedure is usually minimal. Attachments in the face are usually removed after 4 to 6 days. Sutures on a different spot on the body are usually removed after about 7 to 10 days. Use is also made of soluble sutures that do not have to be removed.
Restore after the scar correction
The burden of non-surgical treatments such as the corticosteroid tape is minimal and therefore there is no question of a ‘recovery after treatment’. The surgical scar correction is somewhat more stressful, but this is also a slight procedure. The pain after the operation is often small. If you do suffer from this, you can take paracetamol here.
The possible swelling and pain can last for about two weeks after the procedure. The healing of the scar is slow. Fading the scar can take six months to a year. Scars can be sensitive to the sun. The proper use of sunscreen is a solution for this.
Risks and complications of removing a scar
The surgical scar correction usually takes place under local anesthesia. Therefore, there is no question of the risks of a general anesthetic. The possible complications are:
- Allergic reaction to anesthesia
- A thick, red, itchy scar
- Less good healing than the ‘old’ scar
- Changes in sensory sensation
The expected results depend on the chosen treatment method.
The non-surgical treatments provide an accelerated healing process and a result in the longer term. If this yields too little result, it is still possible to opt for an operative scar correction.
In surgical scar corrections , a new scar is formed. Because it is a new scar, it will first be red and possibly also slightly set up. The duration of the scar fading depends on your skin type and on the location of the scar. For the total healing of the scar is 6 months to a year. The doctor will make the scar so that it is less ugly and / or noticeable than the old scar.