Facial Scars

Many Burn Survivors have facial scars. Because of its location, in general a facial scar is frequently considered a cosmetic problem, whether or not it is hypertrophic. In the Burn Survivor Community that is not the case. There are several ways to make a facial scar less noticeable. Often it is simply cut out and closed with tiny stitches, leaving a thinner, less noticeable scar.

The scar crossing the natural line, or crease, between the nose and mouth
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is removed and repositioned using Z-plasty. The forehead scar, located in the natural lines, is excised with tapered ends. The skin is then loosened and brought together with stitches.

If the scar lies across the natural skin creases (or "lines of relaxation") the surgeon may be able to reposition it to run parallel to these lines, where it will be less conspicuous. (See Z-plasty)

The repaired scars now lie partly within the natural skin crease, where they are less visible.

Some facial scars can be softened using a technique called dermabrasion, a controlled scraping of the top layers of the skin using a hand-held, high-speed rotary wheel. Dermabrasion leaves a smoother surface to the skin, but it won't completely erase the scar.

After scar revision

With any kind or scar revision, it's very important to follow your surgeon's instructions after surgery to make sure the wound heals properly. Although you may be up and about very quickly, your surgeon will advise you on gradually resuming your normal activities.

As you heal, keep in mind that no scar can be removed completely; the degree of improvement depends on the size and direction of your scar, the nature and quality of your skin, and how well you care for the wound after the operation. If your scar looks worse at first, don't panic-the final results of your surgery may not be apparent for a year or more.

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