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Scar Treatment in Austin

Austin Face & Body has a wide variety of options available to treat different types of scars. From scar revision surgery to medical-grade scar correcting skin products, we can create a customized scar treatment plan just for you. 

What is a scar?

A scar is the body’s natural way of healing and replacing lost or damaged skin. A scar is usually composed of fibrous tissue. Scars may be formed for many different reasons, including as a result of infections, surgery, injuries, or inflammation of tissue. Scars may appear anywhere on the body, and the composition of a scar may vary—appearing flat, lumpy, sunken, colored, painful, or itchy. The final look of a scar depends of many factors, including the skin type and location on the body, the direction of the wound, the type of injury, age of the person with the scar, and his or her nutritional status.

How can a scar be minimized?

Scars usually fade over time. Makeup can help cover the scar while it is healing. Some scars can be minimized by certain techniques; however, treatment can only improve the appearance of a scar. It cannot completely erase it. Specific procedures to minimize scars can be determined based on:

  • Age, overall health, and medical history
  • Severity of the scar
  • Type of scar
  • Tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies
  • Expectations for the course of the condition
  • The patient’s opinion or preference
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Different types of scars and treatment

Abnormal scars sometimes form after the wound has healed. There are many different types of scars, including the following:

Keloid Scars

Keloid scars are thick, rounded, irregular clusters of scar tissue that grow at the site of a wound on the skin, but beyond the edges of the borders of the wound. They often appear red or darker in color, as compared to the surrounding normal skin. Keloids are formed from collagen that the body produces after a wound has healed. These scars may appear anywhere on the body, and they occur more often in those with darker skin. Keloid scars may occur up to one year after the original trauma to the skin.

Scar treatment for keloid scars varies. There’s no one simple cure for them, and recurrence after treatment is common. Treatment may include the following:

  • Steroid injections: Steroids are injected directly into the scar tissue to help decrease the itching, redness, and burning sensations that these scars may produce. The injections can also sometimes actually decrease the size of the scar.
  • Pressure therapy: A pressure appliance is worn over the area of the scar. The appliance may be worn day and night, for up to six months.
  • Surgery: If the keloid scar is not responsive to non-surgical options, surgery may be performed. One type of surgery directly removes the scar formation with an incision, and stitches are placed to help close the wound. Sometimes skin grafts are used to help close the wound. Skin grafts are performed by taking a piece of healthy skin from one area of the body (called the “donor site”) and attaching it to an area that is missing skin.

Hypertrophic scars

Hypertrophic scars are similar to keloid scars; however, their growth is confined within the boundaries of the original skin defect. These scars may also appear red, and are usually thick and elevated. Hypertrophic scars usually start to develop within weeks after the injury to the skin and may improve naturally, although this process may take up to a year or more. 

In treating hypertrophic scars, steroids (which may be given as an injection or by direct application) may be the first line of therapy, although there is not one simple cure. Hypertrophic scars may also be removed surgically, and often steroid injections are used alongside surgery and may continue up to two years post-op to help maximize healing and decrease the chance of scar recurrence. 

Contracture scars

Contracture scars tighten the skin and may go quite deep, which affects muscles and nerves. They are often caused by burns. There are many different surgical treatment options for contractures, including the following:

Skin graft/skin flap: Skin grafts or skin flaps are performed after the scar tissue is removed. Skin grafts take a piece of healthy skin from an area of the body and attach it to the needed area where skin is missing. Skin flaps are similar to skin grafts—only with the skin flaps, the skin that is retrieved has its own blood supply. The section of skin used includes the underlying blood vessels, fat, and muscles. Flaps may be used when that area with missing skin doesn’t have a good supply of blood because of its location or damage.

Z-plasty: A Z-plasty is a type of procedure that is used to revise a scar by using a Z-shaped incision to help decrease the amount of contractures of the surrounding skin. It also may attempt to relocate the scar so that the edges of the scar look more like the normal lines and creases of the skin. Small stitches may be used to help hold the skin in place.

Tissue expansion: Tissue expansion is a newer technique being used, and involves a process that increases the amount of existing tissue available for reconstructive purposes. This procedure is often used in addition to skin flap surgery.

Common Scar Minimizing Procedures

Our Austin scar treatment has many methods and techniques. Some of the most common treatments include:

Dermabrasion

Dermabrasion may be used to minimize small scars, minor skin surface irregularities, surgical scars, and acne scars. As the name implies, dermabrasion involves removing the top layers of skin with an electrical machine that “abrades” the skin. As the skin heals from the procedure, the surface appears smoother and fresher.

Chemical peels

Chemical peel are often used to minimize sun-damaged skin, irregular pigment, and superficial scars. The top layer of skin is removed with a chemical application to the skin. By removing the top layer, the skin regenerates, often improving the skin’s appearance.

Injections

Cortisone-like and 5-fluorouracil injections can help soften, and then shrink, hard scars.

Scar surgery

Surgical scar revision involves removing the entire scar surgically and rejoining the skin. Although a new scar will form, the goal of the surgical technique is to create a less obvious scar. Surgical scar revision is usually reserved for wide or long scars, scars that healed in an unusual way, or scars in very visible places.

Recovery from scar revision surgery

As with all surgeries, it is important to carefully follow the instructions we provide you with to help maximize recovery and healing from your scar treatment. We will advise you on all activity restrictions, depending on the type of surgery that was performed. It’s important to be aware that scars cannot be removed completely. Many factors will be involved in the degree of healing of a particular scar, with some scars taking more than a year to show improvement in appearance following surgery.

Schedule a consultation with us

If you’re interested in scar treatment in Austin, please schedule a consultation with us. Austin Face & Body is made up of a passionate team of specialists whose goal is to help you look and feel your best, while always keeping your health and wellbeing in mind first and foremost. From consultation to post-care follow-ups, you will love your experience with Austin Face & Body. To schedule a consultation, please call 512-559-3544 or contact us online.

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