John K. Mallen, MD
 Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon  
 Cosmetic Surgery


Scar Management and Revision

Scar management and revision are intended for patients seeking to improve the appearance of a scar.  Objectionable scars can be caused by severe injuries, infection, poor healing, or post-operative complications such as bleeding or separation of the skin edges.  These scars may have characteristics of contour irregularity or depression, which may cause shadowing.  Scars may also be raised, thickened, widened or have abnormal pigmentation.  Proper care of scars immediately following injury can greatly improve their appearance.

Scar Management

Precautions such as avoiding strenuous activity, contact sports, sun exposure and certain types of bathing are recommended in the acute period, i.e. the first few weeks after a new scar is formed.  Depending on location of the scar and nature of the injury, antibiotics may also be recommended.  Treatments such as topical agents and sun shielding creams and/or steroids that help to minimize, soften and flatten a scar and are often recommended during the first 2 years following the injury.  Protecting scars from the sun helps to prevent pigmentation issues which result in an unsatisfactory appearance of a scar.

Scar Revision

Scar revision surgery may be appropriate to treat scars over 2 years old.  This surgery may coupled with a procedure known as dermabrasion to help flatten the scar and improve areas of irregularity and disfigurement.   These procedures are commonly used with steroid treatments to improve scarring.


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