Why Scars Heal Differently on the Body

Have you ever noticed that you can have scars on different parts of your body and they look dissimilar? When an injury breaches the layer of the skin, the skin cells and blood vessels become damaged and the body sends excess collagen to quickly repair the region. This is the body’s way of forming a barrier to protect it from bacteria and germs. Depending on the amount of collagen sent, it can cause the wound to heal differently and result in scar tissue that looks and feels unlike the rest of the skin. Other factors that impact how a scar heals include:

  • Genetics
  • Age
  • Lifestyle
  • Size and depth of the wound
  • Treatment methods
  • Location of the wound

Abdomen Scar healing process

Here is a rundown of different areas of the body and how scars normally heal in these regions:

  • Knees and Elbows

The knees and elbows are prone to heavy scarring since they are constantly being stretched. Therefore, the skin cannot properly regenerate and heal. The scar tissue may constrict mobility over the joints since the tissue becomes tight and less pliable. Severely limited mobility or pain may require scar revision surgery to improve functionality.

  • Chest and Shoulders

Per the National Institutes of Health, the chest and shoulder regions have the poorest results when it comes to extensive scarring because areas of tension produce thicker scars which appear more noticeable.

  • Legs

Scars tend to be thicker and more prominent on the legs since the skin is normally tighter and tougher than other parts of the body. Scars on the legs are inclined to be hypertrophic scars. Hypertrophic scars can be red in appearance and are raised above the surface of the skin.

  • Abdomen and Stomach

Scars on the abdomen and stomach generally heal well leaving a thinner, flatter scar. Surgical scars can usually be placed below the waistline or bikini line and are rarely seen while wearing everyday clothing. Additionally, this placement keeps the scar protected from the sun for optimal healing and to avoid hyperpigmentation.

  • The Mouth

When it comes to scars, the inside of your mouth is the best at healing. The intraoral tissue stays moist and can regenerate quickly. However, it is critical to keep the area clean to avoid infection. An infection will slow down scar formation and may generate a larger, denser scar.

  • Ears

A scar on the ear is generally thick and more prominent than others. This type of scar is generally a keloid scar. Keloids can be found on any part of the body but are common after an ear piercing. Like hypertrophic scars, keloids are red and raised. Unlike hypertrophic scars, keloids extend beyond the edges of the wound. Keloid scars can be minimized with pressure and topical scar treatments.

Preventing and Treating Scars

To keep scars at bay, you should keep the wound clean and moist until it has healed. Serious burns or deep cuts should be evaluated and treated by a doctor. Post-op instructions should be followed as directed to help minimize scarring. Silicone scar treatments can minimize scarring or reduce scars that have already formed. There are many different types of scar treatments available and each type of scar may respond differently to certain treatments. Consult with your doctor about which treatment might be right for your scar.

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Removing Surgery Scars on the Breasts

Scarring after breast surgery.Patients who had surgery to increase their breast size, reduce their breast size or have undergone a mastectomy will normally see some scarring from the procedure. With most breast augmentation techniques, the scars may not be easily seen due to the fact that they are hidden beneath the bikini line.

Breast surgery incisions are usually made around the nipple, in the armpit or within the inframammary fold. The inframammary fold, or the natural fold below the breast, is the most popular technique as it provides many benefits. However, even incisions made in this region will divulge a scar when lying down. Many prospective patients are not necessarily concerned with the procedure itself but are more worried about the appearance of scars afterward.

Since each person heals differently, how well the skin heals is an important factor for the final appearance and severity of the scar. Even so, there are some methods which can be used to improve or remove scars on the breast.

Silicone gel treatments

Scarring on the breast tissue can be treated with silicone gel treatments. Simply paint the gel mixture onto the scar and leave it on. Some brands of silicone gel treatments are Scar Fade and ScarGuard. Talk to your doctor about what type of gel treatment he or she recommends.

Allium cepa

Scars need hydration to heal and patients can hydrate the scars using an ointment which contains Allium cepa. Allium cepa is extracted from onions and reduces the inflammation and redness of scars. Mederma is one brand of ointment which contains these scar reducing properties.

Rosehip oil

Apply rosehip oil every night before bed by massaging the oil into the scar site. After applying the oil, wear loose clothing to allow the oil to penetrate the skin. Continue this method for 2 to 3 months in order to fade the scar drastically.

SPF

Although scarring from breast surgery is generally covered by a bikini, any visible scarring such as the armpit should be treated with SPF sunscreen whenever going out in the sun. The sun can play a negative role in how noticeable your scars will appear. In addition, the sun can darken a scar long after it heals and this is especially true in people who already have a darker skin tone.

Laser Therapy

At times, scars from breast surgery can heal poorly and undergoing concentrated heat via laser therapy can remove prominent scars. In extreme cases, an additional surgery to excise the scar might be required. Be sure to learn about all the risks and benefits of these procedures beforehand.

Making the decision to have breast augmentation can be an easy one for some people and difficult for others. Patients should talk to their doctor about any concerns and medical issues and also follow all recommended instructions and restrictions. A well informed patient who follows instructions can be the key to a successful breast augmentation procedure as well as any scars healing nicely and being nearly undetectable.

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Scar Treatment and Removal Tips

Scars are unwanted things that can be a result of surgical procedures, burns, injuries and the removal of moles and acne. Scars develop due to any pull or tension that lasts for too long. Thankfully, there are a variety of methods to help reduce and remove scars.
Cosmetic surgery procedures can remove scars. There are a variety of methods and treatments that can be used to treat and remove scars including:

• A procedure called dermabrasion can lighten scars. An instrument called a wire brush is used to remove the upper layer of skin and, in turn, makes the scar light in appearance.

• Natural remedies used for dealing with scars include the use of lemon, aloe vera gel and onions. These items are rubbed on the scars and left on there for some time. Natural products like lemon, aloe vera and onion possess anti-inflammatory properties that help to reduce skin irritation. They are known to reduce scars and help new skin cells to develop. Natural remedy methods take more time to show their results.

• Silicone gel sheeting is known to reduce scars. It is applied to the affected area and should be used for 3 or 4 months to get rid of scars.

• Steroids are also known to lighten scars. Steroids are injected on the skin that has the scar and converts the raised part of the scar into a flattened one. This procedure takes longer than others to get rid of any scars.

• Laser procedures can be used to remove the upper skin that is affected by scars by making the scar lighter. The laser is also used to activate collagen that helps the new cells to generate and cover the scar.

• Concealers can be used to cover the scar temporarily. In this method, a concealer that matches the skin color is used to cover the scar. It will make the scar invisible for some time.

• Creams can be applied to the scars. If the scar is not very deep, it can lighten up in 3 or 4 months.

• Vitamin E is helpful in dealing with scars by regenerating the skin and redeveloping the treated area. Vitamin E supplements as well as creams and lotions that contain Vitamin E are available at almost any grocery store or drug store. After applying the lotion to the scar, the skin regeneration starts and the scar will disappear within some months depending on the deepness of the scar.

• Dermatologists can apply chemicals on the skin that peel the scar away and allow the new skin to develop. They lighten up the scar and it eventually disappears. Chemical peeling is the name of this method and the chemical used for peeling of the skin is light acid.

• Scrubbing is also a method for treating scars. Exfoliation with a scrub needs to be regularly performed on the scarred area. The scrub must contain alpha hydroxyl acid to help make the scar disappear. The scrubs should be used as directed by a physician after a careful examination of the scar and skin type.

Scars can be lightened, or even removed, by following the steps mentioned above. Sometimes it takes a good amount of time to diminish deep scars depending on the deepness of the scar and the regeneration ability of the skin. A patient should consult with a dermatologist before starting any scar treatments.

Lollipop Breast Lift

Lollipop IncisionA breast lift surgery, otherwise known as mastopexy, is one of the most commonly performed cosmetic procedures for the breast. Women find it an effective method of restoring the youthful appearance of their breasts. By adjusting the position of the breasts into a higher position, this procedure reduces sagging and makes the curves of the upper body look more defined.

There are many reasons why women want to undergo a breast lift. Some do it because they want tighter and fuller-looking breasts while others are simply bothered by sagging. Sagging of the breasts is usually a result of the aging process as well as giving birth and having children. One thing patients don’t want is the scarring associated with a breast lift. Thankfully, breast lifts are available with different techniques to suit the patient’s needs. One of the most popular among these techniques is the lollipop breast lift which is said to be an excellent compromise between the amount of incisions needed and the effectiveness.

A lollipop breast lift, AKA the vertical lift, is a cosmetic procedure that aims to reshape the breasts without changing its volume. The name “lollipop” is used to describe the incisions used for the procedure. They include a vertical incision that runs from the bottom of the breast to the nipple where a circular incision is made around it. This allows greater flexibility and adaptability while keeping the incisions to a minimum and not as visible as incisions used with other breast lift surgeries. Lollipop breast lift improves the appearance of a droopy breast by allowing it to have a more rounded shaped that looks fuller and more youthful.

Other than a lollipop lift, breast lift surgeries can also be performed using two other incision techniques: Benelli lift and anchor lift.

The Benelli lift, also called the periareolar or donut incision, is performed by creating an incision around the areola only. It is the best option for cases that require very minimal lift.

Inverted T IncisionThe anchor technique, also known as the keyhole or inverted T incision, involves a vertical incision from the nipple down to the bottom of the breast much like a lollipop incision. The second incision is created horizontally and runs along the breast fold, thereby creating a distinctive anchor pattern for which the technique is named.

The lollipop technique offers better results than a Benelli incision. The lollipop can also be performed without the extensive incisions required in an anchor incision. In general, the technique used to perform a breast lift depends on how low the breasts have sagged and how much tissue needs to be repositioned or removed. The lollipop breast lift technique is recommended in cases of mild to moderate sagging that requires a minimal amount of surgical correction. Women in their 30s and 40s who have had children are usually the ideal candidates for a lollipop breast lift.

A lollipop breast lift moderately elevates the nipple, reduces the size of the areola and removes excess skin with less noticeable scarring. The scar fully heals after about six months to one year. Recovery is also faster since the wound created is small. The typical recovery period is only one month.

The results of a lollipop breast lift can last for up to 10 years. The need for a follow-up procedure depends on the size of the breast or if the patient has had implants. For very minimal adjustments, the Benelli lift is usually performed. On the other hand, larger adjustments call for the anchor breast lift.

The lollipop breast lift is one of the most common breast lift procedures. Patients considering a lollipop breast lift should first consult with a plastic surgeon experienced in performing the procedure.

Sometimes Scars Are Not Visible On The Outside

It’s been estimated that the American public spends more than $12-billion dollars each year on procedures that change, alter and enhance their looks. Physical appearance is such an important component of daily life that a nip here and a tuck there play an important part in the way many people feel about themselves.

A February literature review from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania stated that scars resulting from skin cancer surgeries, on areas such as the head and the neck, can alter the psychosocial well-being of a person. In fact, the psychosocial impact of scarring resulting from scan cancer treatments impacts patients regardless of their age and gender. (1)

One technique being employed by doctors to reduce the visibility of scars resulting from skin cancer is the Mohs technique. This medical procedure is a micrographic form of skin cancer removal utilized in cosmetically sensitive areas like the face and hands. The Mohs technique allows doctors to pinpoint the cancer and remove a small amount of normal skin that surrounds the cancer. The end result can be virtually unnoticeable scars following surgery.

According to Joseph F. Sobanko, MD, director of Dermatologic Surgery Education, and an assistant professor of Dermatology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, the way patients feel about themselves can be greatly influenced by their final cosmetic look after surgery.

According to Sobanko, “What we’re learning now is that these scars are much more than skin deep, and given these possible repercussions, it’s vital that surgeons be able to provide patients with advanced treatment options to limit and avoid visible scarring.” (2)

While it’s sometimes hard to implement this practice in daily life, it’s important not to judge a person solely on their physical appearance. The scars on their outer appearance might be nothing compared to the scars they are feeling inside.

(1)http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25654193
(2)http://news.pennmedicine.org/blog/2015/05/beyond-skin-deep-how-scars-affect-psychosocial-well-being.html

Z-plasty for Scar Revison

Z-plasty is now being considered as a standard practice for scar revision. With doctors’ offices all over the world now using this technique, one would be hard pressed to find a different technique when it comes to camouflaging scars. This technique has been around for a century and yet, many people fail to realize how it works.

A Z-plasty works like this, at the end lengths of the scar, incision are placed horizontally so that the new incisions and the original wound/incision together form a Z. Once incised, the flaps of the flesh are sutured over and used to cover the wound overall, giving new less tense give to the skin in smaller units, and setting the transposed skin into overlapping “flaps” where their final positions are a three layered triangular fix.

This irregularity of wound closure causes a smaller, united scar that is less noticeable type of scarring that is better camouflaged than the straight line easily hyper-pigmented versions of incisions. This general realignment of the incisions can make for a better visual to surgery wounds.

The only other techniques that are comparable to a Z-plasty would be a W-plasty. A W-plasty, although slightly different, is just a variation of the Z-plasty technique, operating on the same basic principle of relieving overall tension on sutures and skin wounds to allow for a better healing process.

What is Partial Trichophytic Closure?

Trichophytic closure is a type of scar closure that is used in conjunction to a hair restoration. For many years, trichophytic closure has been used for scalp surgeries allowing hair to grow into the scar, improving the appearance. When hair is introduced into the scalp scar, it helps reduce the contrast of the scar and the hair area. Trichophytic closure can be done on the upper edge, lower edge, and double edge of the scar.

Partial Trichophytic ClosureScar tissue and the transection of the lower portion of hair follicles, on the edge of the scar, are what cause the lack of hair in the scar. Partial trichophytic closure, recently introduced by Dr. Parsa Mohebi, requires the hair transplant surgeon to observe the donor wound edges and calculate the width of the edge that needs to be removed at any area. The surgeon will use magnifying loupes in order to carefully observe the edges of the wound, making sure that there is no transection in the hair follicles.

Partial trichophytic closure assures that hair will grow into the scar from the upper edge in order to minimize the contrast between the scar and the surrounding hair areas. With this method the visibility of the donor scar is minimized drastically if done properly.

What is a Scar?

Many of us will have the experience of getting scars, but some may wonder what is a scar? Scars occur when the skin starts to heal itself. Once the upper layer of the skin is damaged, a person’s body begins to form collagen fibers to close the wound. Once the wound is completely healed, scars will begin to form. There are many factors that can cause scars to form different shapes and colors.

Pale scarScars start off by appearing red in color, which is when the blood vessels are inflamed and damaged. This part is known as hyper pigmented scars. Once a scar matures, the skin pigment will be lost and the color will change to white, which is known as hypo pigmented. Scars take approximately six to twelve months to completely heal and become white. The size, shape, and depth of the scar are all factors that contribute to how the scar will look after completely healing. In order to prevent darker scarring and infection, it is important to always keep the scar area clean and moist, during the healing process.

Although you can never get rid of scars, there are many treatment options now that can help to camouflage the look of the scar. Some types of treatments are topical creams, surgery, dermabrasion, steroid injections, laser resurfacing, and filler injections. Depending on where your scar is located and the size of the scar, your doctor can recommend you to try one of the treatments.

Scalp Scar Reduction

Scalp scars from any procedure such as scalp reduction, old plug surgery, trauma or neurosurgical procedures can be treated to minimize the look of the scar. Modern hair transplant yields natural, proven, and permanent results along with special wound closure techniques to minimize scars.

Here are some methods that a hair transplant surgeon can use to reduce the visibility of the scar:

Scar Revision

Left: Before Scar Revision, Right: After Scar Revision

1. Simple Scar Revision: This method can be used if there is a wide scalp scar due to the initial technical problem during the wound closure.
2. Scar Revision and Trichophytic Closure: This method allows the hair to grow inside the scar, which helps to minimize the contrast between the scar and the surrounding areas of the scalp.
3. Hair Transplantation inside the Scar: In this method, the hair will be harvested from other areas of the scalp and will be transplanted inside the scar to blend the scar with the rest of the hair. The hair will be harvested through the FUE hair transplant technique. The benefit of using this technique is that with FUE, follicles are extracted individually, giving the surgeon the opportunity to place them into the scar without having new scarring.
4. Scalp Micro Pigmentation on the Scar: By introducing dermal pigments into the scar, the visibility of the scar can be significantly improved because it helps reduce the contrast in color between the scar tissue and the surrounding scalp area.

In order to know which technique would fit your needs, it is recommended to visit an experienced hair transplant surgeon.

Scar Types

Skin is the largest organ of a person’s body. Any type of trauma including burns, injury, and surgery can cause a scar to appear on the skin. Scarring can happen on any part of the person’s body that the trauma occurred. Some scars may be small or in locations that aren’t visible to the public eye. However, some people may have scars that are visible, which bother them. There are treatments that can help improve the appearance of the scar, but you can never make it completely disappear.

Scarring happens when the healing process begins. The depth and the size of the wound are one of the many factors of how big and visible the scar will be. Other factors can be your age, ethnicity, genes, and location of the injury. When it comes to surgical scars, the way the surgeon closes the wound can affect the visibility and size of the scar.

There are different types of scars:

Different forms of scarring

Keloid Scar, Contracture Scar, Hypertrophic Scar, Acne Scar

1. Keloid scar: spreads past the original injury and begins to grow
2. Contracture scars: when you burn your skin
3. Hypertrophic scars: Red scars which are raised
4. Acne scars: forms when people have severe acne. Acne scars can vary, some can be deep and some can even have a little bump.

Acne scars can be treated depending on the size, location, and type of scar. Some scars can be treated by over the counter or prescription creams. Another form of scar treatment is by injections or by surgical removal. In order to find out what the best treatment is for you, it is recommended to see a physician. If you have a scar from surgery it is best to see the surgeon who performed the surgery. If you have acne scars, it is recommended to see a dermatologist.