With scar treatment, I help patients improve the appearance of blemishes left over from injuries. This includes scars that are:
- Broad, wide, or hard to the touch.
- Raised above the skin’s surface (hypertrophic or keloid).
The approach I use can work on scars in most locations on the body. With treatment, I’m typically able to create a smoother, less noticeable, and more aesthetically pleasing scar. Remember – totally removing a scar isn’t possible. Improving the appearance of a noticeable scar frequently is.
Why Scar Treatment?
Fairfax and Northern Virginia patients seek care because they want to improve the appearance of a scar. Reducing its size and softening its texture can also make patients more comfortable.
Understanding the history and circumstances behind the scar informs my approach to treatment. During the initial consultation, I ask about:
- A person’s genetics. Family history and a patient’s biology can determine how he / she heals from injury. If you and others in your family frequently heal with excessive or unattractive scars, we will work with that.
- The original wound. Traumatic and damaging injuries tend to create worse scars.
- Care and treatment. Some patients benefit from proper medical care after their original injury while others don’t. This can affect the scar’s condition.
- Healing. I want to know whether the scar healed correctly or whether it could have become infected.
- Exposure. Sun can damage an area of healing skin and leave behind a discolored, wide, and uneven scar.
Knowing about each of these factors allows me to understand what went wrong with an unfavorable scar and design a plan to correct it.
What to Expect with Scar Treatment
I offer four categories of scar treatment at my office in the Fairfax and Northern Virginia area. Each has its benefits:
Massage and topical silicone. If a scar is still young, this approach can aid in its final appearance. I typically delay more intensive treatments until a scar is fully mature since scars tend to shrink, flatten, and soften as they age. Frequently what looks like a terrible scar at one month after injury will be unnoticeable at 6 months or a year with only very minimal treatment.
Steroid injections. This approach can significantly soften a hard scar and improve its appearance. It can also improve symptoms in itchy or painful scars. Treatment takes place about once a month, and patients have injections between one and five times depending on how well the scar responds..
Laser treatment. Discoloration can make a blemish more noticeable. This method of scar treatment reduces redness within one-to-two treatments.
Re-excision. With surgery, I can frequently remove a raised, discolored, and unattractive scar and create one that is clean, linear, and much less noticeable. The downside to this treatment is that after the surgery, the scar is reformed. So all the things that went wrong when the first scar was made need to be improved to expect a better result.
Recovering from Scar Treatment
Each approach has its own type of recuperation. With steroid injections, I usually advise patients to massage the area a couple of times a day. Following excision, I recommend that patients ice the treated area and take over-the-counter pain medication for comfort. Patients should avoid sun exposure, which can discolor and thicken healing skin.
Most of the people I treat see significant improvement in their scar’s size, texture, and color. If a scar is a source of embarrassment or discomfort, the procedures I offer can effectively address these concerns.
Explore scar treatment in Fairfax and Northern Virginia. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Jespersen by calling (703) 992-7969 or completing our contact form.