Scars are the body’s way of recovering from an injury, trauma, or surgical wound as they repair the damaged skin and underlying tissues. But at the same time, scars can negatively impact body aesthetics, especially when you get them in visible areas.
While some scars fade away with time, others remain persistently prominent. More specifically, post-surgical scars can be stubborn and may adversely affect your appearance.
Fortunately, various post-surgical scar treatments are available nowadays to help you achieve improved skin appearance with reduced scar visibility.
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What Causes Post-Surgical Scarring?
When the skin heals from a surgical incision or injury, the body produces tissue that helps repair skin damage in the wounded area. Collagen – a natural protein that binds skin tissues together – plays a vital role here as it repairs damaged skin. However, an irregularity in collagen production can result in noticeable scarring.
The following factors may influence collagen production at the incision site
- Incision’s location.
- Incision’s depth.
- Skin type.
- Aging, results in skin inelasticity.
- The degree of tension in the skin area where the incision was made.
Common Types of Post-Surgical Scars
The most common types of surgical scars are as follows
- Hypertrophic scars: These scars appear as thick, raised, red bumps that do not spread beyond the boundary of the incision. Hypertrophic scars are caused by collagen overproduction.
- Keloid scars: Like hypertrophic scars, keloid scars appear as red, raised, and thick bumps on the skin and are caused by collagen overgrowth. But instead of remaining within the incision’s boundary, these scars spread beyond the wound’s symmetry.
- Atrophic scars: These are indented or depressed scars that occur when the skin doesn’t heal properly due to the lack of collagen production.
Treatments for Post-Surgical Scars
Both surgical and non-surgical procedures are available for treating post-surgical scars. Here is a quick overview of the ones practiced more frequently across Dubai.
Your doctor may choose a surgical option to treat your post-surgical scars. The most common options include the following.
Incision placement is a preventive measure to help minimize scarring during surgery. It involves making a surgical incision in a strategized manner, which can be done in the following ways
- Incision’s location – choosing the area that remains hidden or less visible, such as creases, skin folds, or sites that get covered by hair or clothing.
- The direction of the incision – making surgical incisions along or parallel to the skin’s tension lines.
- Incision’s length – keeping the incision as small and precise as possible.
- Closing the incision in layers – sealing the deeper layers first while ensuring that the tension is distributed evenly.
Scar revision through excision is highly effective and one of the most common ways to improve the appearance of raised surgical scars. It involves the removal of scar tissue and then suturing the surrounding ends together.
Based on your requirements and certain other factors, your doctor may choose skin grafting to improve the appearance of your post-surgical scar. This method involves harvesting skin tissue from a less visible body area, processing this skin tissue, and grafting it in place of or over the damaged scar tissue.
Z-Plasty is a surgical procedure involving incisions to create two triangular skin flaps in order to redistribute tension or reduce tightness along the length of the scar. The incisions are then sutured back strategically, improving the scar’s appearance and reducing restriction on tissue movement. Z-Plasty is considered an ideal treatment for scars that cross the skin’s tension lines.
Autologous Fat Transfer
Sometimes, the loss of subcutaneous fat tissue at the surgical incision site is so significant that it results in a profoundly depressed scar. The scar draws in as it matures and becomes a noticeable indentation. Not only does it affect the appearance, but it also leads to an underlying tissue adhesion due to the absence of the required subcutaneous fat tissue.
The appearance of such scars can be improved with autologous fat transfer, which involves using your own body fat as a filler. When injected into the scarred area, this fat fills the subcutaneous region and prevents adhesion.
Various non-surgical options exist to help improve the appearance of post-surgical scars and reduce discomfort or irritation associated with those scars.
Topical solutions most commonly used to reduce the appearance of post-surgical scars include
- Silicone sheets or gel
- Topical vitamin E
- Hydrocortisone cream
- Topical retinoids
- Topical antibiotics
It is pertinent to note that the above-mentioned topical solutions should be used only after consulting with a qualified practitioner.
Intralesional cryotherapy is a minimally invasive technique intended to reduce a scar’s appearance by selectively destroying scar tissue. The procedure involves injecting liquid nitrogen into the scar, causing localized tissue damage and promoting skin healing. This leads to a reduction in scar appearance over time.
Non-Ablative laser treatment
Non-ablative fractional lasers can be an effective treatment option for some post-surgical scars. When directed at the scar tissue, these lasers promote tissue coagulation in microscopic columns, invoking a healing response. This treatment helps remodel scar tissue by stimulating collagen production, which can continue for several weeks after treatment. The final result is typically a reduced scar appearance.
Ablative Laser Treatments
Ablative laser therapy is an effective treatment for various types of post-surgical scars. This therapy uses a focused beam of laser light to remove the top skin layer and promote the growth of a newer, more rejuvenated layer. The removal of the top skin layer reduces the appearance of the scar.
CO2 and Er: YAG are the types of ablative lasers commonly used to treat post-surgical scars. Ablative lasers stimulate collagen production, prompting a healing response that improves scar appearance over time.
Soft-tissue fillers are a temporary solution for post-surgical scars that are significantly depressed. When injected into the target area, these fillers elevate the depressed skin surface, improving the scar’s appearance.
The most common soft-tissue fillers used to treat post-surgical scars include
Aftercare and Recovery
The recovery after post-surgical scar treatment significantly depends on the procedure you have undergone. Recovery will generally be more prolonged and require an individual to be more cautious after a surgical procedure.
On the other hand, non-surgical procedures result in minimal recovery and downtime. You may return home or to work right after the treatment.
That said, following your practitioner’s advice after the treatment is imperative to ensure the best results.
Cost of Post-Surgical Scar Treatment
The cost of post-surgical scar treatment in Dubai starts at AED 1000. The final price of the treatment may vary from person to person, depending on the following factors
- The type of treatment.
- Size and severity of the scar.
- The geographic location of the clinic.
- Practitioner’s expertise.
Consult an Expert
At Dubai Cosmetic Surgery Clinic, we offer a wide range of treatments for post-surgical scars. During the consultation, our highly qualified and experienced practitioners thoroughly analyze your scars, skin type, and other factors to determine the treatment best suited to your needs. With their expertise, you can eliminate those displeasing scars and achieve a stunningly smooth and scar-free skin appearance.
For more information, call us at +971 4 348 5575 or fill out the form below.
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