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Scar Revision

Scar revision treatments can produce remarkable improvements in visible scars. Laser treatments, regenerative therapies, and aesthetic treatments can camouflage, smooth, or remove visible scars, whether surgical scars, acne scars, or trauma scars.

What is scar revision?

Scar revision is a custom procedure and may involve a combination of treatments to produce the best results. The location, size, and type of scar will determine how the treatment will be performed. Advanced aesthetic and surgical technology, used in combination, can produce a significant improvement in the appearance of visible scars. The types of techniques include:

  • Z-plasty: An advanced surgical technique for scar revision, Z-plasty may be used after a wound has healed. The “Z” refers to the shape of the incision, which is placed through the scar tissue and into the surrounding skin, leaving triangular pieces of skin, which are sutured to create greater flexibility in tight scar tissue, while reducing the visibility of a larger scar.
  • Dermal fillers: Visible acne scars can be made less noticeable with injections of dermal fillers.
  • Chemical peels: A chemical peel can be applied to remove the upper skin layer to create smoother skin and reduce the appearance of facial scars.
  • Laser treatments: Laser treatments trigger natural cell regeneration and increased collagen production to reduce the appearance of surgical or trauma scars with skin resurfacing techniques.
  • Dermabrasion: A rapidly rotating device that removes the upper layer of skin, dermabrasion can reduce the look of facial scars (acne, trauma), as the new skin grows back will be smoother.
  • Skin grafts: Larger scars can become far less noticeable with a skin graft to replace damaged skin, often used in reconstruction after skin cancer treatments or burn scars.

What does scar revision treat?

Scar revision can treat visible or uncomfortable scars, including:

  • Acne scars
  • Facial scars
  • Surgical scars
  • Trauma scars
  • Skin cancer removal scars
  • Injury scars
  • Disfiguring scars
  • Keloid scars
  • Hypertrophic scars
  • Stretch marks

Candidates for scar revision

If you are embarrassed by visible face scars, you are likely a very good candidate for a custom scar revision treatment at Rousso Adams Facial Plastic Surgery Clinic. The first step is an evaluation of your scars to determine the best approach. Treatments that reduce the appearance of facial scars are often life-changing.

How is scar revision performed?

Each type of scar revision procedure varies in how it is performed. The size and extent of the scar will determine the type of treatment, which can range from simple, easily-performed dermal filler injections to complex skin graft procedures. You may require a combination of treatments to achieve superior results.

Anesthesia: In some scar revision treatments, local anesthesia along with intravenous sedation is needed. For larger, constricting scars, such as burn scars, MAC anesthesia (Monitored Anesthesia Care) Twilight Sedation may be administered.

Incisions: For the Z-plasty technique or skin grafts, incisions are necessary. The Z-plasty scar revision technique involves an incision through the scar tissue and into the surrounding skin in a Z-shaped incision, which is then closed with sutures. Skin grafts require harvesting healthy skin from another body area, with the incisions placed where the surgical scar will be hidden from view.

Recovery after scar revision

Depending on the extent of your procedure, the recovery may require a few hours to several weeks. The recovery times for each procedure is as follows:

  • Dermal filler injections: No real recovery time, although minor swelling and bruising are possible.
  • Z-plasty: Wound to two weeks for incisions to heal, and up to a year for the scar to fade.
  • Laser skin resurfacing: The initial recovery time is about three weeks, with some residual redness that fades in two to three months.
  • Chemical peels: The skin will peel for three to ten days, with smoother, pinker skin now on the surface. You should plan on a week for recovery, after which you can apply gentle cosmetics.
  • Dermabrasion: Expect seven to ten days for the treated skin to heal. You may need up to three months for the new, pink skin to fade and appear natural in tone.

Scar revision at-a-glance

  • Procedure time: From minutes to hours, depending on the procedure
  • Anesthesia: None needed, local, intravenous sedation, or general
  • Typical recovery time: Immediate, from one to two weeks, or longer for more intensive scar revision techniques such as skin grafts
  • Added procedures: A combination of several procedures may be required to achieve the best results


Can deep, uneven acne scars be made less visible?

Yes. If your facial skin is uneven, pitted, or discolored, significant improvement can be made with laser skin resurfacing, a chemical peel, dermabrasion, or injections of dermal fillers.

How long will it take for a scar revision to heal?

You may experience swelling, discomfort, and bruising after some scar revision treatments, which will fade within one to two weeks in most cases.

Are there risks with undergoing scar revision?

In most cases, the risks are minimal. It is possible, in some cases, for skin discoloration to be a side effect. For surgical scar revision, standard risks such as infection or reactions to anesthesia rarely occur.

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