If you have a scar that you dislike, there is a good chance that we can help to improve its appearance. If your scar is raised, lumpy or wide-spread then we can help, and this page will explain the options you have to minimise the appearance of the problematic scar.
If your scar is very fine and lightly coloured – this is almost certainly a normal scar. Many people think that lasers and other treatments can remove scars completely but this is not the case. Scar tissue is hard fibrous tissue and can never be totally “removed”.
If you are not sure if your scar can be improved, but would like to find out – email a colour photograph to us and we will be able to let you know!
How do I know if my scar is normal?
A good quality scar should be flat, not puckered or raised, and should fade to either just a shade lighter or darker than your skin tone.
Scar maturation takes 18 months to complete, though most of the healing occurs in the first 6 months.
If it is clear that the scar is not healing as normal, revision may reasonably be performed after the first 3 months.
What can I do about a scar that I dislike?
If you’re unhappy with the appearance of your scar, and it has been there for more than 3 months, we would recommend an appointment with Dr McGovern to discuss the various methods of treating your scar.
How do you treat problem scars?
We always try non-surgical options before surgery.
The first step would be to try a Silicone gel applied to scars twice daily.
These clear gels need to be in contact with the skin as much as possible, so we recommend applying to clean dry skin twice daily.
With continued use for more than one month you will notice that the scar flattens and the redness starts to subside.
You can also chose to use silicon sheeting, but this needs to be taped onto the body and most males prefer the convenience of the gel.
We recommend Kelo-cote as it has an SPF and for your convenience we can post this to you. Just call our friendly staff on our free-call number 18000 80001 or email us.
If you have tried Silicone gels with no success the next step is a series of steroid injections (generally Kenacorte A10) into problematic scars
These are spaced at monthly to 6 weekly intervals and usually result in flattening of the scar and reduction of itching and pain.
Most scars respond after between 3 and 6 treatments.
Hypertrophic scars often respond completely. and these are the most common type of problematic scar that we see.
Keloid scars can be more resistant and recurrences can occur. However true keloid scarring is rare and most often occurs where you have a family background from the islands of the Pacific Ocean eg Torres Strait , PNG , Polynesia etc
Cortisone injections for problematic scars are performed here in our rooms. Medicare rebates apply to this treatment.
Surgical treatment of problematic scars
If your scar is widespread, then the only means of reducing this is with surgery.
Scar revision surgery can be performed under local anaesthetic in our rooms, or in a day hospital if you prefer.
Medicare and health insurance will also contribute to the costs of scar revision.
Scar revision surgery will give you a fine scar in place of the widespread scar you disliked. The scar will be red and new for at least the first few months and will slowly settle and fade. The scar will never “disappear”, though it may be difficult to see after 12 to 18 months.
If you have a history of hypertrophic or keloid scars, Dr McGovern will inject some of the steroid Kenacorte A10 into the edges of the skin at the time of surgery. This helps to prevent repeat problems.
Many factors will influence the quality of a scar and include:
- The nature of the injury or surgery causing the scar
- The location of the scar. Areas such as joints (knees,elbows), the upper chest and back scar poorly as the skin in the area moves constantly.
- The person’s innate wound healing properties
- Your racial background
- Any disease or health problems you may be suffering
- Smoking (is a vasoconstrictor so inhibits the healing process)
- The qualifications of the person performing your surgery and the technique of wound repair used.
If you would like to discuss the treatment of a scar that you dislike, call us for a consultation. You will need a referral from your GP to claim a Medicare rebate for your consultation and any surgery.