A scar can vary in size, shape or color, depending on how your body heals and the surgical skills of your doctor. There are many factors that can impact the severity of scarring, including the thickness and color of your skin, depth of a wound, blood supply to an area and direction of a scar.
Scars cannot be completely removed, but most New York dermatologists such as Dr. Ariel Ostad can diminish the appearance of a scar. Effective procedures often consist of injections, application of certain steroid medications or surgical procedures. These procedures usually cause the scar to appear less visible, and it may take some time before you see the full effect.
Keloid scars are characterized by a thick cluster of scar tissue that will grow beyond the edges of a wound or incision. These types of scars usually occur when the body is constantly producing collagen, even after a wound has healed. Keloids can appear throughout your body, but they are most common around the breasts, earlobes and the shoulders. People with darker skin are also more prone to develop these type of scars. As people age, they are less likely to develop Keloid scars.
An effective treatment for reducing the appearance of Keloids at Dr. Ostad’s office is injecting steroid medication directly into the scar tissue. This will reduce the redness, lower the itching and burning sensations, and may shrink the scar. An alternative treatment is to cut out the scar tissue under local anesthesia.
Regardless of which treatment is performed, Keloid scars have a tendency to recur. Several procedures may be required in order to effective remove the scar for longer periods of time. Sometimes we may advise you to wear pressure garments over the scar for as long as a year.
Hypertrophic scars are sometimes confused with Keloid scars. However, unlike Keloids, these scars are usually within the boundaries of the original incision or wound. This type of scarring usually can heal without any medication, but this may take up to a year without the assistance of steroid injections or applications.
If you want more immediate results, Dr. Ostad often recommends surgical removal of the scar. He will remove excess scar tissue and then reposition the incision so that the scar will heal less visibly. This is usually a simple procedure that is done with local or general anesthesia, depending on the location of the scar and the judgment of Dr. Ostad.
There are many ways to make facial scars less visible. One technique can be to simply cut out the scar and stitch the wound to leave a less noticeable scar. Other scars can be treated by a technique called dermabrasion, where a machine is used to scrape off top layers of the skin to even the texture of the skin. Dermabrasion will leave a smoother surface but will not completely remove the scar. Certain scars contain areas that need to be filled with facial fillers. In other cases, Fraxel laser can be used to improve and minimize the appearance of scars. Dr. Ostad will examine the scar and offer a customized combination of treatments to achieve your aesthetic goals.
Z-Plasty is a technique that Dr. Ostad uses in surgeries to reposition a scar so it is closer to the lines and creases of the skin. This surgical technique will make the scar look less noticeable while relieving tension caused by contracture.
Z-Plasty consists of removing the old scar and making new incisions on each side to create triangular flaps of skin. The flaps will be rearranged to cover the wound at different angles to give the scar a “Z” shape. The wound would be closed with stitches that can be removed in a few days. The procedure is usually performed under local anesthesia. Results typically make the scar less visible but cannot make it completely disappear.
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