Scar Revision - What is it?
Scar revision is about improving and not removing scarring. I always start with that, because unfortunately, complete scar removal just isn’t possible. But, it is possible to significantly improve the look and feel of your scars.
Scar revision is often used to refer to surgical options, but also covers non surgical option too. In this blog, we’ll look at non surgical scar revision treatments, and there will also be links to other blogs that explain the wound healing stages, and specific treatments.
Scar revision with medical microneedling
Scar revision with medical microneedling was where my scar treatment all began! It was how I treated my scars in the beginning, and it continues to blow my mind how much these treatments can improve your scars.
Now, to be very clear – this is NOT the same microneedling that beauty therapists offer, with the skin pens. That type of microneedling, whilst great for skin rejuvenation, will do very little for your scars – other than perhaps some very low level acne scarring.
Medical microneedling targets your scar tissue, breaks it down and stimulates healthy collagen and elastin, to replace it. It can also trigger the production of melanin in your skin, to help your skin return to it’s normal skin tone. As far as scar revision treatments go, medical microneedling forms a part of most scar improvement programs, at my aesthetics clinic in Hampshire.
Non surgical scar revision - who can have it?
Non surgical scar revision treatments are suitable for most types of scarring. Whether you’ve had surgery, an accident, have self harm scars or acne scars – there are a number of treatments that can be beneficial in improving your scars.
The exception to the non surgical scar revision treatments I offer, are true keloid scars and some hypertrophic scars. Now, this type of scarring is very often mis diagnosed. Raised WHITE scarring is not keloid or hypertrophic.
Keloid scarring is where scar tissue is formed, and continues to grow OUTSIDE of the initial wound site. It’s often red/purple in colour and can be itchy and uncomfortable.
Hypertrophic scars are similar to keloid, but the scar tissue is INSIDE the original wound site.
Neither of these types of scarring can be treated be me, I would recommend you see a Dermatologist, as injections can help. Please let me know if you’d like a recommendation.
Acne scars are my exception to the medical microneeling rule, when it comes to scar revision. Hands down, the most powerful treatment I have found for acne scars, is radiofrequency microneedling.
You get the collagen boosting effects of microneedling, but a supercharge of radiofrequency (thermal/heat). This not only boosts even more collagen and elastin, but also helps to level out skin that is pitted.
Radiofrequency microneedling is something I often combine with MCA for all other types of scarring, as it’s highly effective at flattening raised scars, and raising up sunken scars and stretch marks.
Scar Revision with Laser
Now, fractional laser would have been my ‘go to’ scar revision treatment for acne, prior to radiofrequency microneedling. Fractional laser remains a popular choice at many clinics, and the treatment can be very effective.
The reason I stopped using fractional laser for scarring, is because radifrequency microneedling was so much more effective, with quicker results, and considerably less downtime.
The downtime with fractional laser was often something that put clients off having treatment, as it was 10-14 days, whilst the skin crusts and the ablated skin cells come away.
The downtime with radiofrequency microneedling is usually less than 24 hours for visible signs you’ve had treatment, save for a few tiny little pin prick marks, that can only really be seen under a magnifying glass! It is also much more comfortable during the post treatment phase.
Scar Revision with topical products
There can be a benefit to using scar removal cream (including silicone patches) in the early stages of your scar healing, but they are by no means a scar revision option.
Both keloid scars and hypertrophic scars have been shown to benefit from scar removal cream, as it helps to reduce to inflammation and promote healthy cell regeneration. Keloid scars are scars which are raised, where the scar tissue grows outside of the original wound site, and are usually red in colour. Hypertophic scars are similar in appearance, but do not go outside of the original wound boundary.
Never apply the patches or cream on fresh wounds, that’s very important. Always read the instructions for each product carefully. The two that I have found to be beneficial in the UK are RegimA Forte Scar Cream and Dermatix Scar Gel – Dermatix also have a silicone sheet too. Find out more about scar healing and how to support your scars with healing, by downloading my Ultimate Scar Guide.
My scar revision
I am often my own guinea pig on scar revision treatments, with over 14 operations and a childhood accident, which left me a significant facial scar – I’ve had plenty to treat! My scars on my knee were around 7 years old when I started treating them. My knee has had around 5 medical microneedling treatments, 4 RF microneedling and a couple of fractional laser treatments.
The best way to improve scars isn’t with treatment alone – although having the RIGHT treatment is very important. But the best results come from respecting the magnificent organ that your skin is (the largest one of your body), and maximising your results with lifestyle, nutrition and supplements. IOOI = my ‘Inside out and outside in’ approach! If you’ve downloaded my Ultimate Guides, you’ll have already learnt how to maximise your results, and also improve ALL of your skin, for the long term. For now, lets have a look at treatment options, and my top 5 scar tips.
My top 5 scar treatment tips
1. Download my Ultimate Scar Guide (click on the button below), so you can understand how your body heals from trauma. You’ll also find LOAD of helpful information in there, with guidance on how to look after your skin from the inside out too.
2. If you have a wound, make sure you’re giving your body the best possible chance to repair. Make sure that you are sleeping 7-9 hours a night, as this is when your body repairs and regenerates.
3. Eat a healthy diet, which contains lots of foods that support healthy collagen production, and promote healing in your body. You’ll find nutrition advice in my guides, but focusing on foods that are rich in vitamin C are a must. Eat plenty of protein, as that’s essential to healing and eat foods rich in beta-carotene, such as pumpkins and butternut squash – as this will help to support your collagen production, skin health and also helps to protect your skin against UV damage.
4. Always apply sunscreen to your scars. When your skin is damaged, it’s more vulnerable to external damage from UV rays. This can result in increased inflammation and can show up as hyperpigmentation, where darker patches of skin develop. This is because your body produces melanin as a natural defense to UV rays, for skin that is already vulnerable, this can mean it over produces melanin in the surrounding tissue, in a bid to protect it whilst it’s healing. Treat your scar gently when it’s healing.
5. Only use scar removal cream in the initial healing stages, and know that creams will never remove scars fully. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as total scar removal, but you can significantly remove your scars, to the point that you have have the freedom to get on with your life, without constantly worrying about them. If your scars have fully matured, then scar removal cream is of little benefit to you. I’d recommend considering scar improvement treatments. Please speak to a professional about these. Both keloid and hypertrophic scars should only ever be treated by a Doctor, as these are complex scars to treat. Often, the best results come with steroid injections, but should only be administered by a trained medic. Whichever treatment path you’re considering, question, question and question again – your practitioner should be able to answer all of your questions!
Scar revision is possible
If you had told me 10 years ago, that I was going to be able to enjoy my life, without constantly focusing on my scars, I wouldn’t have believed you. I’d spent a small fortune on products and treatments, none of which had worked.
My scars on my forehead and my knee had a significant impact on my life. I always covered my knee scars up, I always hid my facial scarring behind my hair, or a pile of makeup, hoping no one would spot either, not wanting to answer any questions about them. I hadn’t realised how much they had affected my life, until I didn’t have to worry about them anymore.
After I had treated my scars, I felt more comfortable going makeup free. I wore shorts and skirts for the first time in nearly a decade, and I found myself forgetting about my scars, more than I worried about them.
There are still times when I notice them, and wish they were completely gone. But, they are SO much better, and I’m so happy about that. It’s given me such a sense of freedom, and really helped me with my confidence. And, I’d love to help you achieve that too. My happiest moments are when my clients share their moments of ‘freedom’ with me, from going makeup free for the first time ever, or wearing a short sleeved top for the first time in 20 years. It’s a great feeling!
Would you like to improve your scars?
I hope you’ve found my blog on scar revision helpful. Please do download the Ultimate Guides, because there’s lots more advice in there too.
If you’d love to improve your scars, once and for all, then please get in touch – I’d love to be able to help you.
My aesthetics clinic is based in Alton, Hampshire. I am on the Hampshire/Surrey border, 15 minutes from Basingstoke and Farnham. I’m also at the end of a direct line from London Waterloo, and a 5 minute walk from the station.
If you have any questions at all, then click on the ‘get in touch’ button. If your scar is over one year old, you can also book a consultation with me HERE.
I look forward to hearing from you. Best, Nikki