Frequently Asked Questions - Scars

» Scar Revision Surgery
» Mole Excision
» Dermabrasion
» Skin Grafting
» Chemical Peeling

» Scar Revision Surgery
› Will the scar disappear completely?
No, it will improve a lot and become very faint- visible only on close inspection.

› Will the result be immediate?
No, scar takes time to mature and improve after surgery. Give it 6 months time.

› Do I need to follow any precautions after surgery?
Yes, regular follow up visits for 6 months are important apart from certain creams.

to view article on how to minimize scar after surgery

› I am told that result differs from person to person according to skin type and healing quality. What does it mean?
There are 6 types of skins. Fairest and delicate Scandinavian skin is type one and thickest dark African skin is type 6. In between these are other skin types from fairer to darker. Tendency of scarring is least in fair, type one skin and maximum in dark type 6 skin. Indian skin is type 4-5. Fairer skinned people have better scars than darker people generally.

› What is keloid scar?
Keloid is a type of scar that does not stop growing even after the skin is healed. It may grow bigger with time, may be elevated, hard, red and itchy and sometimes painful. Keloid can sometimes occur after a pinprick, a pimple or without any noticeable injury or surgery. Keloid is more common on shoulder, chest and back.

› What is the treatment of keloid scar?
Prevention is better than cure. After any injury or surgery if the scar is becoming elevated and itchy consult your plastic surgeon immediately. Fresh keloids can be treated without surgery by injecting steroids into keloid many times, application of pressure and silicon sheet. Surgery is done only for a few cases because any surgery will cause further keloid. This can be prevented by doing surgery and injecting steroid into the scar after surgery 3-4 times and follow up with plastic surgeon for a long time to detect and suppress early reformation of keloid.

› What is hypertrophic scar?
Hypertrophic scar is an elevated bad looking scar, and a milder form of keloid. Treatment is same as keloid.

› My father has a keloid scar. Does it mean I also have keloid tendency?
You may have keloid tendency.

› My previous operation scars are fine, what are my chances of developing bad scar after my next surgery?
Chances of bad scarring are very low but results also vary from area to area and some areas of body are more prone to scarring than others.

› I had met with an accident some years ago and the scars on my arm are not good. I am now Planning to have a plastic surgery. Am I likely to have bad scars again?
Scars plastic surgery is better than other scars.

› Do self absorbable stitches give the best result?
Plastic surgeons stitch the wound in layers. Absorbable stitches are used in deeper layers and fine non-absorbable stitches on the skin surface. Outer stitches are removed in 4-5 days. These special nonabsorbable stitches are very smooth, do not leave marks and are not painful during removal. Absorbable stitches on skin are not preferred because they absorb slowly and may leave marks. Sometimes absorbable stitches under the skin alone are used and no stitches are applied on skin. Your plastic surgeon is the best person to decide which kind of technique will suit you the most.

› Is it better if my skin is closed with glue rather than the stitches?
Plastic surgery stitches give the best result and do not leave stitch marks. Glue is only for uncooperative children.

› My daughter had stitches on her face due to fall. Now she is 6 years old. What is the right age for scar revision surgery?
If she is not very affected by scar and if you can wait it is best to delay the surgery as late as possible that is 16 years or later. There is a chance that the scar may fade significantly on its own. Grown ups are not scared of local anesthesia and also with maturing of skin healing tends to be better. If the scarring is too bad and child is being pointed out by others and developing psychological problems, then surgery can be done earlier.

› Is laser better than surgery for scar removal?
Different scars respond to different treatments. Scars that respond to surgery do not respond to laser and vice versa. Generally speaking very few types of scars respond to laser.

» Mole Excision
Can mole be removed without surgery?
Some moles that are superficial, harmless and elevated can be removed with radiofrequency burning.

› Are there scars after mole removal surgery?
Whatever marks of surgery are there they are not as visible as the mole. There may be a faint line like mark or spot.

› Are moles dangerous?
Yes, some moles can be dangerous like the moles that are growing and those that are itchy or crusty. These can be basal cell carcinoma or melanoma, both of which are cancers. Suspicious moles are removed with wide margins and sent for biopsy.

» Dermabrasion
Can dermabrasion make my skin completely smooth?
Your skin may not become completely smooth. 50-80 percent of improvement can be expected.

› Is one sitting of dermabrasion enough?
That depends on depth of scarring. More than one sitting may be required for deeper scars.

› Will i get pimples again after dermabrasion?
Dermabrasion will not stop new pimples from coming. Good medical treatment is available to control them.

Are there any side effects of dermabrasion?
Side effects are unusual but possible. Hyperpigmentation (dark colour) or hypopigmentation (light colour) may occur, which may take long time to match. Rarely more scarring can occur.

› Will the new skin look natural?
Yes

› How long does it take for the skin to become completely normal?
Skin heals completely in a week or two. It is completely normal except in two aspects- it is lighter in colour and more sensitive to sun. Colour matching happens slowly over 1-4 months depending on depth of dermabrasion and persons original colour. It takes longer if pits are deep and person is dark. Since the skin is otherwise normal special cream of matching colour can be used to get a normal look, till natural matching occurs.

› What if I get exposed to sun after surgery?
New skin may burn and develop darker colour.

› Can I get my cheek skin removed and get new skin put there by plastic surgery?
That is not a good option and may make you look worse with a patchy unnatural look.

to view articles on skin grafting myths and reality

» Skin Grafting
Can the skin be taken from another person's body?
No

› Will the grafted skin match completely?
Hundred percent matching is rare. Generally matching can be 80 percent or less. It takes 1-2 years for that much matching to occur.

› How does the grafted skin look?
It looks darker, also the margins of graft may be visible.

› My right cheek was burnt and looks scarred. Can skin grafting improve it?
Skin grafting can improve it. Matching will take 1-2 years and 100 percent matching will not occur.

› Can laser remove old burn scars?
No

› Can skin grafting make burnt face look normal?
To some extent it can, but not completely. There is no technology available to make a burnt face completely normal.

» Chemical Peeling
Are chemicals harmful for skin?
Chemicals used for peeling are scientifically prepared and applied under supervision for short periods. They improve the skin.

› Are there side effects of chemical peel?
Uncommonly pigmentation can occur which is usually reversible and temporary.

› Are chemical peels suitable for Indian skin?
Some deeper peels like phenol are not suitable for Indian skin. Milder peels like glycolic, salicylic and TCA are suitable.

› How many sittings are required?
4-10 at 2 weeks interval.

› Does the skin gets burnt and then peel off?
Skin does not get burnt. It looks normal and peeling is very subtle.

› What precautions are required?
Sun protection is required.