Part of the aftermath of having an invasive surgical procedure is the resulting scar. Scar tissue is made of myofibroblasts and collagen fibers, which are the same tissues of the skin it has replaced, but with a different fiber composition. The new alignment of collagen scar tissue is typically inferior, making it appear worse.
The body may over-produce collagen to try to repair the damage of an injury, which may result in a scar that is raised above the normal skin level. These adverse scar conditions can happen at any time following an incision during a reconstructive surgical procedure.
The most undesirable scars are keloids and hypertrophic scars. Keloids occur less often than hypertrophic scars and are more difficult to treat. Knowing what kind of scar has occurred is vital in its proper treatment.
These irregular looking scars grow to be larger than their original borders, becoming raised and bubbling up outside the original incision. This makes them harder to remove than hypertrophic scars. Sometimes having a cauliflower-like appearance, keloids can either form right after a procedure or take several months to form. Dark-skinned people are more susceptible to this type of scar, and the probability of getting this type of scar is hereditary.
These scars develop in wound closures that are tightly stretched. This happens in places that have a lot of movement, expanding the wound. These scars typically form within 4-8 weeks. The scar is raised, but its borders are not extended. These scars are typically linear and can be removed with surgery. There are varying degrees of this type of scar, but it occurs in 40%-70% of people.
Either type of scar can develop after an incision in the skin. Two two types of scars have an equal distribution between sexes and are most common when one is in their teens or 20s.
Prevention and Treatment
It is important to reduce the tension of an incision while it is being closed. To reduce tension at an incision, a surgeon can distribute the tension by closing the wound deeper in the skin.
Wearing compression garments following a procedure also helps reduce post-operative swelling. Additionally, steroid injections, radiotherapy, silicon gel sheeting, laser therapy, and Madera can relieve scars. Hypertrophic scars are more prone to success from these treatments than keloids.
Scarring is a common concern following a cosmetic procedure. Look at your family history to determine if you may be at risk. If scarring complications do occur, there are treatment options available. Contact our office today to learn more about scar and keloid removal techniques.