Scars are one of the main reasons of complaints for people's look and thus self confidence and for some they bring unwanted or traumatic memories back and most of the time they cause itching and swelling. Therefore in plastic surgery, treatment of scars is important both for therapeutic and aesthetic purposes.
The goal of technological development for the treatment of scars caused by accidents, burns, surgical operations or self inflicted wounds (Razor blades, Knife, Glass cut) is to make scars as less visible as possible.
Scar treatment depends on multiple factors such as: how the scar is formed, time of scarring, treatment after the injury, type of injury, the reaction of the person's body to the injury. Scar treatment protocols vary depending on these factors. The goal of plastic surgery is to make the scar as invisible as possible. While research in this field is still ongoing, we, plastic surgeons aim to conceal scars and achieve the most aesthetic results possible in our operations. However, some scars after emergency surgical procedures incurred by accidents, sharp injuries, knife, glass, razor blade wounds that are not treated are simply unacceptable for the exposed individual. We try to make these scars less visible during treatment.
Timing of a treatment is planned according to the condition of the scar and the patient. While treatment can be initiated immediately for particular wound types, approximately 6 months should pass for other wound types allowing the wound to mature. Your consulting physician should decide on this.
How are scars treated?
First of all, the wound should receive an appropriate first treatment. The area of the wound/cut should be cleaned just as applied with surgical incisions, wound edges should be well defined and the wound should be closed with the most appropriate suture. After the treatment, the patient should follow his/her physician's program for wound care and controls. The possibility of scar formation is higher in areas where a wound can be under mechanical stress such as legs and arms. In these areas, positions to reduce stress will allow less scarring. Another important factor in prevention of scar formation is sun protection. The wound should be protected from the sun for approximately 18 months. The use of suitable sun protection products will allow you to have a positive result in scar treatment.
When should a scar treatment start?
For some wounds, treatment may start immediately whereas for others the wound should be allowed to mature first. Decision is made based on physical examinations. Therefore, every wound should be evaluated by an experienced physician as early as possible.
Does a scar change over time?
Depending on the person's reaction to the wound and treatment, the wound can be red and swollen and in time its colour fades and the wound gets less swollen. However for some people wounds are thick, raised, bright pink in colour and extend beyond the wound edges which is called a hypertrophic scar and more advanced types are called keloid scars.
Do scars heal the same in a similar manner in every part of the body?
In areas where mechanical stress is high such as legs and arms, extension of wound edges is more common. Hypertrophic and keloid scars tend to form more common on other body parts such as chest, shoulders, and pinna. Treatment of wound in these body parts should be planned more carefully.
In which body parts scarring is seen less often?
Scars are rarely formed in areas such as genital organs, upper eyelid.
What are the steps of treatment in emergency injuries?
1-First of all, urgent and correct treatment of the wound preferably by a plastic surgeon is essential.
2-Medical dressing for a suitable period of time and resting.
3-Protection from the sun, artificial tanning, chemical and mechanical trauma during the defined healing protection.
4-A balanced diet and no smoking.
5- Initiation of appropriate medication treatment and massage therapy during the healing process
6-When massage therapy is not sufficient, silicone bands and corticosteroid injections into the scar may be used.
7-And as the final step, scars are treated with appropriate laser treatments.
How are old scars caused by razor blades, knives, glass treated?
In the treatment protocol I use for my patients; if the scar is widespread on the arm, scar is removed with a technique called serial excision or if suitable in a single excision to achieve a surgical scar. After this, I try to complete the process with a laser treatment for suitable patients in order to make the surgical scar less visible. For some patients, I prefer to use laser treatment directly without any surgical procedure. And for some patients, I use medical makeup.
Which aspects are included in burn injury treatment?
Treatment of ambustion in the first stage of the burn is important for its healing. However in deep burns unfortunately scarring cannot be prevented. While other scar treatments may be used for suitable burns, specified large area burns, healthy tissue is expanded with the tissue expansion technique and pulled over to cover the scarred area in order to efface the scar.
Can laser treatment remove scars immediately?
Laser is the ultimate solution in scar treatment. As long as the patient's expectations are realistic, very good results can be achieved in suitable scars by means of laser treatment. One session of laser treatment may not be enough; the number of sessions and the interval between sessions will be determined according to your physician’s decision depending on your scar type.