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Patients choose to undergo scar revision procedures that remove or alter scar tissue for various reasons. In many cases, scars create cosmetic concerns due to their texture, color, size, and/or location on the body. Scars can also impede natural movements or cause physical discomfort such as itchiness.
Board-certified cosmetic dermatologist Dr. Jason Emer is a renowned provider of scar revision in Beverly Hills. He offers several minimally invasive treatments for scars on the face and throughout the body. For severe facial scarring, Dr. Emer entrusts his patients’ surgical scar revision to double board-certified facial plastic surgeon Dr. Akshay Sanan.
WHAT IS SCAR REVISION?
Scar revision procedures are intended to resolve cosmetic or functional issues related to scarring. Scar revision treatment options include topical modalities, minimally invasive procedures, and scar revision surgery. The best approach for you will depend on the depth of the scar, its specific coloration and texture, your skin type, and the location of the scar.
Scars are the inevitable conclusion of the wound-healing process. While they can be expected, their final iteration is unpredictable. Scars can be inconspicuous and practically blend in with the surrounding skin, or they can be very obvious. If located in a high-movement area of the face or body, scars can disrupt the natural motion involved with facial expressions or joint movements.
Right for you?
Who Is a Candidate for Scar Revision?
Scar revision can benefit patients of nearly any age. Candidates are often bothered by scars that are:
- In a highly visible location, such as the face
- Itchy or painful
Candidates must be free of serious medical conditions, especially those that impede the body’s ability to heal. Certain skin issues, such as active acne, in the treatment area may need to be resolved prior to a scar revision procedure.
Patients who do not smoke are ideal candidates. However, smokers who agree to abstain for a period of time before, during, and after their procedure, as directed, can also be candidates for scar revision.
Candidates must have a realistic outlook for the results of their treatment. They must understand that significant improvements can be achieved but that some visible evidence of the wound will remain.
What Is the Scar Revision Surgery Treatment Process?
Dr. Sanan offers surgical scar revision to address scars on the forehead, nose, cheeks, and other areas of the face. He has earned recognition for providing exceptional outcomes with scar revision surgery in Beverly Hills.
Dr. Sanan will meet with you for a consultation to assess the scar(s) you want to treat and determine the most effective revision approach for your needs. Scar revision surgery is typically best for deep, severe scars that will not respond to less invasive treatment options.
Scar revision surgery begins with administering local or general anesthesia, depending on the scar size and patient preference. Once the patient is under the effect of the anesthesia, Dr. Sanan will make any necessary incisions, so he can surgically remove scar tissue and discolored skin.
He will then close the skin with stitches. If a scar was particularly deep, a layering closure technique may be necessary to ensure the best possible outcome.
You will be given complete aftercare instructions, which will explain how to care for the treatment area and support optimal healing. You may experience tenderness, swelling, or discoloration in the treatment area for up to two weeks after your scar revision surgery. Over the next several weeks, the post-surgery mark will gradually fade as the healing process progresses.
Types of Scars
Depending on the patient and the nature of the wound he or she suffered, scars vary greatly in size, color, texture, depth, and consistency. Some of the most common types of scars treated by Dr. Emer and Dr. Sanan include:
A large number of Dr. Emer’s scar revision patients are concerned about acne scars. Dr. Emer has worked with countless acne patients and understands the impact this skin condition and the scars it leaves behind can have on a patient’s quality of life.
He has devoted much of his professional career to developing innovative, effective treatments that minimize the effects of acne and acne scars. You can learn more about Dr. Emer’s exclusive acne scar treatments here.
When a scar creates a pit or indentation in the skin, it is considered an atrophic scar. These concave scars are categorized as ice pick scars, boxcar scars, or rolling scars, based on their appearance. Facial piercing holes, chickenpox, mole removal surgery, and acne can cause atrophic scars.
Atrophic scar revision involves eliminating the depression to restore an even skin surface. A skin rejuvenation treatment or other minimally invasive procedure can then smooth away textural irregularities, if needed.
In contrast to atrophic scars, which sit below the surface of the skin, hypertrophic scars are raised above the skin’s surface. Redness, itchiness, and/or pain may accompany these scars.
Hypertrophic scars can develop from many kinds of skin wounds. They are more likely to form when the healing process is disrupted by inflammation, infection, or excessive motion. Such stressors can cause an overproduction of collagen, which thickens the scar.
Keloid scars grow upward and outward from the site of the wound, creating a protrusion that affects skin outside the margins of the original injury. Keloids are thick, elevated, and can be red, purple, or brown in color.
This abnormal scar tissue formation occurs when the body’s wound-healing process continues for longer than it should. Keloids may not stop growing for several months. Dr. Emer and Dr. Sanan are among a limited number of providers who are qualified to perform keloid treatments.
Our Approach to Scar Revision
An in-depth consultation is the foundation of our approach to scar revision. This valuable time is spent learning about your treatment goals, evaluating the scar(s) you want to treat, and reviewing before-and-after photos of previous scar revision patients whose concerns were similar to yours.
Based on that portion of the consultation, Dr. Emer or Dr. Sanan can identify your best treatment options and explain them to you. Your questions are welcome at any time during your consultation with Dr. Emer or Dr. Sanan, as they are both dedicated to helping patients make informed decisions for their care.
Maintaining our reputation for providing the best scar revision in Beverly Hills also involves a passion for innovation and a solution-oriented mindset. We treat many patients who have been told by other providers that nothing can make their scars less visible. Instead of writing off challenging cases, we embrace the opportunity to apply our expertise and develop an alternative or enhanced treatment approach that can deliver noticeable improvements.
Non-Surgical Scar Revision Treatments
It is possible to reduce the appearance of many scars without the need for surgery. Minimally invasive scar revision treatments include:
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections have demonstrated incredible value both as a medical and cosmetic treatment. PRP is an all-natural, restorative serum derived from the patient’s blood, which is drawn as it would be for standard blood work. After it is collected, the blood is separated into its distinct components to isolate the platelets and plasma.
A high concentration of platelets is added to the plasma, which can then be injected. Platelets are the element of the blood associated with wound-healing and cell regeneration. PRP is rich in growth factors that can have a significant positive impact on tissue repair by optimizing cellular turnover.
PRP has the greatest benefit as a complement to other scar revision procedures. Dr. Emer regularly uses PRP to enhance the results of laser skin treatments. PRP can also be injected after a scar revision surgery to ensure that the post-surgery mark is as discreet as possible.
Dermal fillers can be injected to smooth out concave scars. Repeat injections will be needed every three months or so to maintain the improved look.
Medical tattooing can be a great scar revision treatment for scars that are lighter-colored than the surrounding skin, are not raised, and are not exposed to sun on a regular basis. If you are a good candidate for scar revision with medical tattooing, Dr. Emer will connect you with one of his expert medical tattoo artists.
Dr. Emer often uses Cosmelan or Enlighten chemical peels as a pretreatment for laser scar revision. These advanced skin treatments encourage deeper laser penetration and can reduce the risk of post-laser skin discoloration (hyperpigmentation) in patients with darker skin tones.
Laser Skin Resurfacing
Dr. Emer is a leading authority in laser skin treatments, including the use of laser devices for scar revision. He has more than 30 laser devices to select from when planning a scar revision procedure for a patient.
- Fractional ablative lasers for scar revision – CO2 and Erbium are two ablative lasers that Dr. Emer frequently uses to minimize the appearance of scars. These powerful lasers work by eliminating the outermost layer of damaged, discolored skin cells. This process stimulates collagen production, accelerates cell regeneration, and leaves behind a fresh, healthy layer of skin cells.
- Fractional non-ablative lasers for scar revision – These gentler, non-wounding lasers can be a good option for superficial scars, including those that have a noticeably different texture than the surrounding skin. Lasers like HALO, Fraxel, and Clear + Brilliant can often be used to smooth out the skin’s surface and are safe for patients of all skin tones.
- Vascular lasers for scar revision – Vascular lasers target irregular blood vessels in the skin and can also decrease thickened collagen. Dr. Emer uses vascular lasers like Laser Genesis, Excel V, Aerolase, and the Yellow Laser to treat discolored scar tissue.
Hypertrophic and keloid scar treatments frequently include corticosteroid shots to ease the associated physical discomfort and to achieve aesthetic improvements. A series of steroid injections over several months can decrease the size of keloids and hypertrophic scars. Steroid injections are also used to prevent keloids from returning after a removal surgery.
Scar Revision Results
The degree of improvement and longevity of your results after scar revision will depend on the characteristics of the treated scar and the type of procedure performed. A scar cannot be completely erased, but Dr. Emer and Dr. Sanan can provide amazing, natural-looking results with their revision treatments.
For patients whose scars are related to a traumatic incident, scar revision results can go much deeper than the skin. Getting closure from such events is often difficult when patients see the scar every time they look in the mirror or when they feel that the scar is the only thing others see when looking at them. Scar revision can make moving forward more accessible for patients in this situation.
Unlike scar revision surgery, which is a one-time procedure that offers long-term correction, minimally invasive scar revision may require ongoing treatment to maintain improvements, such as with dermal fillers. It is also possible that a series of treatments spaced weeks apart may be needed to arrive at your desired result with laser scar revision.
Protecting the area from sun exposure is essential to avoid compromising your results. Dr. Emer can advise you regarding quality sunscreen products, such as those developed for his Emerage Cosmetics product line.
How Much Does Scar Revision Cost?
The location, size, and severity of the scar being treated will affect the cost of your scar revision treatment. The price of your scar revision procedure will be determined and reviewed with you during your consultation.
Schedule a Consultation for Scar Revision in Beverly Hills
Scar revision can help you reclaim a greater sense of confidence in your appearance, find relief from uncomfortable itching, and/or restore a more natural range of motion in the treated area. To find out your scar revision treatment options, contact our office to schedule a consultation.