Scar revision

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Updated: 4/11/2007 2:46 pm
Scar tissue forms as a natural part of the healing process. When the skin has been broken, whether by accident or by surgery, a scar will usually form. The extent of the scar may be affected by the size, depth, and location of the injury as well as by a person's age, hereditary factors, and characteristics of the skin. A scar that is initially large and unsightly may diminish to an acceptable size and appearance. For this reason, it may be beneficial to wait several months or even a year after a wound has initially healed before you decide if treatment is needed. It is also important to limit sun exposure on a fresh scar in order to prevent a permanent darkening of the scar. It is difficult to generalize types of treatments. Some scars can be reduced, smoothed down, and blended to the surrounding skin by injecting certain medications or by a surgical scraping procedure known as dermabrasion (derm-uh-BRAY-shun). In another method of treatment, the scar is excised (X-sized) or cut out. Another technique, known as Z-plasty, involves the rearrangement of the skin for more favorable placement of scar direction. Burn scars or areas where a considerable amount of skin has been lost could possibly be treated with skin grafts or by a treatment known as a flap. Early scars may also benefit from application of silicone (sill-UH-cone) gel sheeting. For more information about scar revision, contact a cosmetic or plastic surgeon.

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