When the skin is injured from a laceration or even a controlled incision, the body heals by forming scar tissue. Unfortunately, scars and wound healing can be unpredictable. The way a scar develops depends on many factors including how one’s body heals, the type of original injury, the blood supply to the area, the direction of the scar, the thickness and color of the skin, etc.
The appearance of a scar can range from nearly invisible to very obvious and disfiguring. They can be wide, sunken, red, raised, pale or even cause distortion of other parts of the face like the eyes or lips.
While no scar can be removed completely, Dr. Lieberman can often improve the appearance of the scar, making it less obvious.
When can a scar be revised?
Many scars that appear large and disfiguring initially may become less obvious over time. In some cases Dr. Lieberman may suggest treating a scar with steroid injections to reduce the nodularity of it. Because there are subtle changes to a scar as it heals, he recommends waiting some months before deciding to have a revision procedure. Dr. Lieberman will explain the options available and what is realistic in terms of a final result.
How are scars treated?
There are different ways to make a facial scar less noticeable. The procedures can be performed in his office with a local anesthetic. The treatment is determined largely by the size and location of the scar as well as the underlying reason for its presence.
Often a scar is simply excised and sutured closed, leaving a thinner, less prominent defect.
If the original scar lies across natural skin creases, Dr. Lieberman can make it look less conspicuous by repositioning it to run parallel to these lines. The goal is to make the scar more closely conform to the natural lines and creases of the skin. This is a special surgical technique known as a Z-plasty. In the Z-plasty procedure, Dr. Lieberman excises the old scar and makes new incisions on each side of it, creating small triangular flaps of skin. These flaps are then rearranged to cover the wound at a different angle, giving the scar a “z” pattern, thus better camouflaging the precipitating defect.
Some scars, especially those that are raised or caused by acne may be improved with dermabrasion resurfacing. While the scar will remain, it will feel smoother and be less visible.