A scar is a natural consequence of any tissue injury and the body’ healing process. Some areas such as the mucosa heal with imperceptible scars, the rest of the skin, not so much. Planned surgical scars should ideally mature to flat, barely visible thin lines, especially in the elderly and in pale skins or in areas of plentiful skin laxity.
In younger patients, those with darker skins and across areas of skin tension or movement (joints) then scars can be more challenging.
As a woman of colour herself Dr Rozina Ali has a deep professional and personal interest in optimising scarring.
Plastic surgery is very much about planning to prevent poor outcomes. So scar management begins prior to any surgery with correct incision alignment, gentle tissue handling and proactive wound management in order to achieve the very best aesthetic outcome.
Not all scars are planned and those secondary to injury or disease are often the most troublesome. This includes acne scars (pock marks), hyperpigmented scars, Keloids (scar tissue protrudes and projects beyond the original injury and is typically more pronounced in colour and more sensitive or painful), hypertrophic scars (raised scar due to excess collagen), and Burns scars.
There are various treatments available to optimise scar appearance and function. Most are deployed in the planning stages (stopping smoking, good vascularity, surgical technique) Depending on the type of scar you have incurred, your treatment may vary from simple dressings,silicone and compression, through to steroid injections, technologies such as microneedling, intralesional cryotherapy or fat transfer. Later stages of scar revision involve further surgery (intralesional or extra-lesional excision, releasing incisions, Z, Y or W plasties, scar re-alignment, skin resurfacing or soft tissue interposition.
The aim of any intervention is to achieve a better looking and more functional outcome.