We offer both surgical and non-surgical treatments to help improve scarring from injuries or an operation. How much we can do depends on how you got the scar and how well your body heals.
We deal with two main kinds of problems with scarring:
- scars that are healing abnormally
- scars that cause you physical discomfort or distress you in the way they look and make you feel
How scars heal
Many different things influence how your scars heal, and therefore how they behave and finally look. These influences include:
- what caused the scar
- whether the scar healed naturally or with suturing
- what your skin tissue is like
- your genetic background.
Scars causing discomfort or distress
Scars sometimes cause pain, burning, or itch. Poor scarring may look unsightly and that may cause you to feel bad about yourself. Some scarring can cause functional problems, for example, a burn scar may tighten and shorten across a joint restricting movement.
In these situations, scar revision is a useful procedure to consider.
Scar revision usually involves re-operating on the scar. We may also use non-surgical treatment such as steroid injections and silicone dressings.
Our aim is to improve the appearance of the scar and any symptoms it causes. We can't make a scar completely disappear, and scar revision surgery has the potential to worsen a scar.
A consultation with one of our surgeons is always necessary to allow us to identify the problem and to be very clear about what is achievable.
Conditions producing abnormal scar tissue
In some cases, the body produces excess scar tissue which is called hypertrophic scarring. It is often associated with delayed initial healing. Hypertrophic scar tissue will usually settle down over a long period of time, but in the process it can be itchy or even painful.
Hypertrophic scarring often requires treatment with silicone dressings or steroid injections.
Keloid scarring is when you get scar tissue that "spreads" onto the surrounding normal tissue. The scarring is far in excess of that expected with the original injury or operation. Keloid scarring often runs in families and has a strong association with your ethnic background.
Keloid scarring can be extremely difficult to treat, and we often need to try many different options.
You always need a consultation with us to find out the best course of treatment for these abnormal types of scarring.