“I don’t want to have a scar.”
“Will I have a scar?”
“My scar didn’t heal. You can still see it.”
These are many things I hear patients (or parents of patients) say. With the exception of the person who said, “chicks dig scars,” I think that most people would prefer their skin to be unmarred by trauma or surgery.
That said, any time there is trauma to the skin, a scar results. Sometimes these scars are well hidden, and, usually with time, they fade. But they are always there. Even if a plastic surgeon is the one involved in making the scar (as in cosmetic or reconstructive surgery) or in repairing the injury.
Scars can be in favorable locations—hidden in a skin crease, lying parallel to the way an underlying muscle creases the skin, or near an anatomic border. A cut from a scalpel will scar differently than a laceration from blunt trauma or with abrasion or a blast. Unfortunately, some scars resulting from trauma or after treating cancer or other diseases may lie in more obvious places or unfavorable locations.
Heredity may also contribute to scar formation, so if members of your family make thick or wide scars, it is possible you may, too. Some parts of the body tend to create scars that are thicker than others. The central chest and upper back are places where scars tend to be raised, wide, or red.
Does time heal all wounds? Yes, and usually time helps all scars. Scars may stay red or immature for a year or more, depending on how the scar came to be. Massage, sunscreen, and topical silicone are all things that can help the scar improve. There may be a role for laser treatment of some scars as well. But be wary of anyone who promises “scarless surgery.”
If you have any questions about scars contact our office today. We want to make sure you are comfortable post-procedure.