What Is Facial Scarring?
When the skin is in the process of recovering from an injury, whether the result of an accident, surgery, a burn, or acne, scarring can occur. Many people are self-conscious about facial scars. Some people may also experience diminished facial function and movement.
Is Facial Scar Treatment For You?
Careful discussion and evaluation by your doctor is very important to determine if scar revision is right for you. There are many treatment options including observation, injections, topical medications, and surgery.
Expectations of the surgery must be realistic. A person considering facial scar revision must understand that there is no way to remove scars completely. The goal is to improve the appearance of the scar either by disguising it, relocating it, or minimizing its prominence. Skin color and type, age, and the type of scarring, are all important factors that must be part of the discussion prior to surgery.
Different types of scars respond to different plastic surgery techniques. Timing of surgery is another important choice. Dr. Chopra usually recommends scar revision after a waiting period of one year post-injury.
The General Procedure
Different scars require different treatments. All surgical possibilities will be discussed in the initial consultation along with risks involved for each type of scarring. It is important that you and your surgeon both agree on how to proceed. Depending on the options chosen, Dr. Chopra will inform you about the anesthesia, the surgical facility, any supportive surgery options, and costs.
Because scars are highly individualistic and the patient's attitude toward scars is so personal, maximum improvement in facial scars may require more than one procedure, and more than one technique may be employed.
The Recovery Process
Discomfort, swelling, bruising, and redness are common after facial scar revision surgery. Dr. Chopra feels that decreased activity after surgery is important and will usually instruct patients to keep the head elevated when lying down, to use cold compresses to reduce swelling, and to avoid any activity that places undue stress on the area of the incision. Depending on the surgery performed and the site of the scar, Dr. Chopra will explain the types of activities to avoid. It is important to remember that scar tissues require a year or more to fully heal and achieve their maximum improved appearance.