A scar is (also called cicatrices) is an area of fibrous tissue that replaces normal skin after injury, surgery or disease.
A scar results from the biologic process of wound repair in the skin and other tissues of the body. Thus, scarring is a natural part of the healing process. With the exception of very minor lesions, every wound/surgical incision (e.g. after accident, disease, or surgery) results in some degree of scarring.
Surgical scars are the unfortunate, but necessary, trade-off of many surgeries. Many of these scars heal as only a feint white line. Some scars are unsightly or even tender (e.g. hypertrophic, keloid, etc.). There are four major factors that contribute how a scar will heal:
Surgical technique: Dr. Guillot pays a great deal of attention to precisely close the incisions in a manner to help them heal with the best scar possible.
Genetics: Some people create great scars and some people heal with poor scars. Generally, elderly patients heal with good scars.
Generally, individuals with darker skin and children heal with less favorable scars.
Location of surgery: Some areas on the body are prone to poor scarring such as the sternal area, shoulders and back. Areas with tension or motion such as the knees generally heal with poor scars.
Post-operative care: Postoperative care in general is a team effort. Dr. Guillot depends on his patients to follow his well-planned and thoughtful instructions.
These instructions are designed to optimize the healing process so that we do everything possible to reduce the chances of an unsightly scar.
Of these, only the surgical technique and post-operative care are controllable.
Many patients swear by a certain cream or ointment for scarring because their previous surgical scars faded. In reality, scars generally fade over the first year after surgery no matter what you do.
Post-operative care of scars includes prevention of bad scars and treatment of bad scars. Scars can often be improved, but scar removal is unfortunately not possible.
Come in for a professional consult if you are interested in scar revision at Mandeville’s SLENT Medical Spa.