Most of us have a scar here or there on our bodies. It may have occurred from a fall when we were kids, or it could be the reminder of a traumatic injury or a former surgery. Some of these scars can be in unfortunate areas where we can’t cover them and keep them out of the public eye.
That’s where Dr. Beaty can help. As a board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Beaty can improve various types of scars. While you cannot completely remove any scar (when human skin has a cut it develops a scar as part of the healing process), Dr. Beaty’s expertise can dramatically improve its appearance. This is scar revision surgery.
Here are the different types of scars and the typical way Dr. Beaty can improve them.
Keloid scars are thick, puckered, itchy clusters of scar tissue that grow beyond the edges of the wound or incision. They are usually red or darker than the skin surrounding them. Keloid scars develop due to the collagen that heals the wound. In these scars, the production of collagen continues after the wound has fully healed. They are the most common on the shoulders, over the breastbone, and on the earlobes.
Dr. Beaty first treats keloid scars with steroid injected directly into the scar. If this doesn’t help, the scar tissue can be cut out and the wound resutured. A skin graft is normally used.
Hypertrophic scars are often confused with keloids because they both tend to be raised, thick, and red. But hypertrophic scars stay within the boundaries of the original incision or wound. Steroid applications or injections often improve the appearance of these scars.
If those conservative approaches aren’t working, Dr. Beaty will remove excess scar tissue surgically, and he may reposition the incision so that it heals in a less visible pattern. Steroid injections afterwards can prevent a thick scar from reforming.
Burns or other injuries resulting in the loss of a large area of skin may form a scar that pulls the edges of the skin together. This is called contraction and it may affect the adjacent muscles and tendons, restricting normal movement.
Correction of a contracture usually involves cutting out the scar and replacing it with a skin graft or a flap. Physical therapy may be needed afterwards to regain full function.
Facial scars, due to their location, are usually considered cosmetic. Dr. Beaty can improve their appearance usually by cutting out the scar and closing it back with tiny stitches, creating a thinner, less noticeable scar. Or, if the scar is near a natural crease, he may reposition it to align with the crease.