The treatment of facial scars at my cosmetic plastic surgery practice in the San Diego area depends upon many factors. These factors include the age of the scar, status of the underlying structures, location, skin type, scar dimensions, and the surrounding skin quality. All of these factors play an integral role in the appearance of the scar and the likelihood of a significant improvement in the scar.
Avoiding excess sun exposure and using a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 will prevent the scar from exposure to the ultraviolet rays of the sun which may result in prolonged redness or brown discoloration of the scar.
The treatment of facial scars depends upon many factors. These factors include the age of the scar, status of the underlying structures, location, skin type, scar dimensions, and the surrounding skin quality. All of these factors play an integral role in the appearance of the scar and the likelihood of a significant improvement in the scar.
There are multiple treatment options for facial scars at my cosmetic plastic surgery practice in the San Diego area. Often multiple modalities may be used to obtain the maximum improvement in the appearance of a scar. These may be done simultaneously or at separate sessions. Once a scar has matured or, in other words, has not changed appreciably within the past 12 months then permanent options can be considered to improve the scar. However, premature treatment of facial scars with lasers or surgery may actually create a more noticeable scar and compromise the final aesthetic outcome.
Facial scars which are relatively shallow may sometimes be improved with laser resurfacing. This is a means of smoothing down the edges of the scar and the surrounding skin to allow the scar to blend in with the surrounding skin. Lasers can also be used to remove unwanted blemishes and tiny blood vessel’s that are located in or near a scar to make it blend more evenly with the surrounding skin. If this car is significantly depressed this may be due to a loss of the underlying soft tissue.
Temporary fillers which contain hyaluronic acid (JUVÉDERM®, Restylane®) may be useful to determine the success of using a permanent autologous filler such as dermis or fat. If the scar depth is markedly improved with a temporary filler then the underlying deformity can often be permanently corrected with the use of a patient’s own tissue such as fat or fascia. This is a technique often performed under local anesthesia with a high success rate at our practice.
Surgical treatment may be indicated for scars that are relatively wide, irregular or uneven and could not be corrected with lasers or fillers. Surgical options include excision of the original score with a layered closure. On occasion scars that are close to natural landmarks of the face can be hidden or moved into these locations. Such anatomic locations include:
- The hairline
- Existing facial lines or wrinkles of the face
- Junction of the nose, lip, or ear
Some scars can also be camouflaged if they exist along the hairline by newer hair transplant procedures like NeoGraft®. This allows the transplantation of single hair follicles into and in front of the scar to often completely hide the scar when the hair follicles grow.
In conclusion, each facial scar must be evaluated individually by your plastic surgeon. Make sure to find a highly experienced plastic surgeon who is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. Seeing an experienced and board-certified plastic surgeon ensures you receive the best medical and surgical treatment options available to minimize the appearance of facial scars. Learn more about Dr. Chaffoo by viewing his Curriculum Vitae.
Contact us with your concerns and questions or call (858) 623-6333. We are here to help.