At times, scars are considered badges of honor–reminders of an exciting adventure, or a sign that you beat the odds to overcome something like a traumatic injury or serious illness. Other times, a permanent scar is not so celebrated. The scars in this category can draw unwelcome attention and become a source of self-consciousness. Such scars can change the shape of a facial feature, cause physical pain and discomfort, or restrict movement.
At Wellspring Craniofacial Group, our surgeons are uniquely equipped with the latest technologies and procedures to optimize a scar, since we are able to incorporate techniques from our cosmetic practices and apply them to our reconstructive practices. While no scar is completely erasable, we can often help make the scar less noticeable and worrisome for your child.
Scars are the result of a wound (such as a cut, burn, animal bite, or surgical incision) that has healed. A scar’s development and ultimate appearance can be unpredictable. Some wounds heal neatly and leave thin, flat scars that are consistent with the undamaged skin. Bad scars can develop because of severe trauma, poor repair, genetics or a combination of these. Others leave more scar tissue than normal skin, generating a scar deformity.
Some of the most common scar deformities that we see include:
These scars are usually on the surface of the skin and take on a pigment much darker than that of the child’s regular skin tone.
Hypertrophic scars refer to thickened scar tissue at the wound site that is raised and red. They can actually grow and also become wider over time. Our patient’s often describe these as feeling “irritated” and uncomfortable.
Keloids are usually larger than regular hypertrophic scars and are often painful and itchy. They are more common on the neck, ears, chest, or shoulders, and occur when the scar grows outside of the initial scar.
The key to optimizing a scar is identifying the reason a scar is a bad one in the first place, and then customizing therapy to address these reasons. Treatments can include scar revision, dermabrasion, laser therapy, micro-needling, and topical scar management. Depending on the cause, we can make the lines of a scar appear smoother and finer.
Perhaps the most challenging scar revisions we encounter are to the face. A child’s delicate skin and facial features are ever-changing and must be treated gently and strategically.
At Wellspring Craniofacial Group, we believe that a wound traumatic enough to cause a physical scar need not be the cause of mental scarring too. Please let us know how we can help you optimize the appearance of a scar.
American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (https://www.aafprs.org/)
American Society of Plastic Surgeons (https://www.plasticsurgery.org/)