Surgical Scars

Scar treatments At A Glance

  • Best Results1-5 treatments
  • Treatment Recovery0-5 days
  • Procedure Time10-60 min
  • Skin SpecialistNurse, Dermatologist
  • Duration of ResultsYears++
  • AnaestheticNumbing cream, blocks, sedation
  • Back to WorkImmediately to 7 days
  • Cost$-$$$$

Surgical Scars

Scarring is part of the natural healing process after injury to the skin. The appearance of a scar is dependent on many factors including the location of the wound, your healing process and type of injury. Scarring, no matter how severe can be improved by various methods including the use of silicone gels, lasers & anti-inflammatory injections. Depressed scars can be treated with fillers or fat transfer. Matching the procedure to the scar type will give the best outcomes.

FactsFacts on surgical & traumatic scars

  • Scarring can present in many ways
  • Some scars are depressed, some are raised and itchy
  • Some scars turn brown, whilst others turn purple or red
  • Genetics, scar location, and ethic background all play a role in scar formation
  • The type of treatment is dependent on the type and location of the scar
  • The majority of scars can be improved.
  • Surgical scars can be reduced or prevented by early treatment
  • Pressure tapes or silicone sheets after surgery can reduce scaring
  • Scars on the face respond much better to treatment than scars on the limbs

Can scars be improved or removed?

Yes. The majority of scars can be improved in some way. Scars from surgery, car accidents, dog bites, or trauma can all be improved. Scars on the face respond best to treatment, whilst old scars on the limbs respond slowly. Surgical scarring (especially facial scars) can be improved by 70-90% with lasers, creams & in some cases surgical treatments.

What can be done following skin cancer surgery scaring?

Lots! If your scar is raised, I use an Erbium laser to flatten out the scar line. In some cases I use anti-inflammatory creams or injections. Most patients will require only one treatment. If redness is present I use a V BEAM laser. I work in with Plastic Surgeons in Brisbane, Gold Coast and Toowoomba to revise surgical scars following skin cancer surgery. In most cases I can improve scars by at least 70-80%.

Depressed scars can be treated with subcision, dermal fillers or in some cases autologous fat transfer.

This example shows what can be done with laser and injections. Plastics removed the skin cancer, I reconstructed the lip line and reduced the scars.

Can self-harm scars be effectively treated?

Unfortunately, self harm scars are very difficult to fully treat- however in the vast majority of cases treatments can improve these types of scars. These require more treatments compared to facial scars due to several factors, including the site (forearm scars = scarring on limbs, a difficult site to treat), the colour of the scar (these are often white, so pigment can not be placed back into the scar line), & thirdly the areas are often wide spread (hence laser resurfacing has to be conservative or skin will not heal).

Fractional CO2 laser can be trialled on these scars. Expect a 25-50% improvement after 3-5 sessions. Fraxel & LaseMD together with Tixel are other devices we employ to treat self-harm scars.

Additionally scars that are white are harder to improve, as lasers can not replace loss pigment. The surrounding skin can be treated to make the scar less obvious, but the colour of the scar will remain white indefinitely. In some cases I employ micro grafting techniques to transfer pigment cells to the scar tissue.

Why do I scar and some people do not?

Scarring is a natural process of skin healing, however in some people excessive healing occurs- this lead to keloid or hypertrophic scars. In others, a lack of collagen occurs, and this leads to atrophic or depressed scars.

Genetics, age, ethnicity, wound site, and the type of wounding all play a role in the type of scarring that occurs.

Davin’s viewpoint on treating scars

Almost all forms of scarring can be improved. Scar treatments are challenging as we have to be experts in all forms of scar revision. This means training in surgical methods such as subscion, excision and revision, in addition to being proficient with all forms of lasers. Some scars require chemical such as steroids to flatten them out, whilst depressed scars require either fat grafting or replacement with dermal fillers. Each scar presents as a unique challenge with an optimal treatment. Matched correctly some scars can be completely removed.

Scar revision is my favourite procedure, as results really do change lives.

‘Scars have the strange power to remind us that our past is real.’

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