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Scars may develop on the skin because of accidental injury or from a surgical procedure. The development of a scar in one person may be completely different than on another, as we are all unique in the way our bodies heal. Scars will vary, depending on the depth and size of the original wound, the unique characteristics of the skin, direction of the scar and the amount of blood supply to the injured area. A scar may be large or small, but if it bothers you, revision may be the ideal treatment.
Skin surgery in our Washington D.C. practice may help you regain greater confidence in your appearance by significantly decreasing the prominence of a scar. Dr. Burgess also offers non-surgical treatments for scars such as steroid injections or topical solutions. The best way to treat a scar is discovered during a comprehensive consultation in which the scar is examined and options explored based on skin particulars and the type of scar.
Scars in which skin is thick and puckered, where scar tissue has grown beyond the boundaries of the original wound, are called keloid scars. These scars develop because of the overproduction of collagen, a fibrous protein made in the skin to promote healing. Keloids are often darker or red in color standing out from surrounding skin.
A dermatologist may treat keloids with injections of steroid medication, applied directly into the scar. The application of steroids should reduce itching, burning and redness and may shrink the scar. If the scar does not shrink with steroid injections or it has been determined that steroids would be ineffective for the desired outcome, the scar may be revised by surgical removal of tissue. The procedure is usually very quick, performed after the area has been numbed with local anesthetic and patients are back to their normal routine in a few days.
Because they can be raised and red like Keloids, hypertrophic scars are often mistaken as such. The difference between the two lies in that hypertrophic scars tend to remain within the boundaries of the wound. Some people who develop hypertrophic scars will experience improvement naturally, though this can take a year or more. This type of scar can be treated with injections or surgical revision that removes excess tissue.
Dr. Burgess is an experienced dermatologist who provides her patients with one on one attention to accomplish their goals. Contact Center for Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery if you have a stubborn scar that you would like to diminish.