Your body forms scars after an accident or surgery as a way to heal lost or damaged skin. However, scars can often be itchy, painful, tight or thick, limiting your movement. That’s when scar revision treatment can help. In addition to improving the appearance of a scar, revision treatment can reduce pain and make the surrounding skin softer and more elastic.
Why choose Johns Hopkins?
- Our Scar Revision Clinic uses laser therapy — the latest and most effective technique to flatten, soften and reduce pigmentation of scars.
- Our team of scar specialists on the plastic and reconstructive surgery team have extensive experience matching their research and expertise with individuals’ medical needs.
- Our scar experts treat a wide variety of scars, including those resulting from burns or traumatic injury, as well as keloid scars and hypertrophic scars.
The Scar Revision Clinic at Johns Hopkins Bayview provides relief for severe scarring through compression, silicone and laser treatments. Although it can’t erase the scar completely, treatment can improve the appearance of a scar, reduce pain and improve your range of motion. Our scar revision experts work with you to develop the best treatment plan to meet your needs.
Scar Revision Treatment | FAQ with Dr. Scott Hultman
Plastic surgeon and director of the Johns Hopkins Burn Center, Dr. Scott Hultman, answers frequently asked questions about the medical and surgical management of scars, including how lasers (pulsed dye or fractional CO2) are changing the way scars can be treated.
Scar Treatment Options
The type of treatment a plastic surgeon recommends will vary depending on the scar and the goals the patient has for the treatment. It may be possible that a single treatment will provide satisfactory results, or the patient may need several treatments to minimize the scar’s appearance.
The types of treatments the plastic surgeon may recommend include:
- Topical treatments, which include compression bandages and gels.
- Injectable treatments, which are used with concave scars. Several injections may be required over the course of time.
- Surface treatments, which can decrease the appearance of the scar. They may include dermabrasion, laser therapy, chemical peels, or skin bleaching. Learn more about skin treatments.
- Compression garments apply pressure and reduce blood flow to the scarred area, which can reduce the thickness and minimize the appearance of your scar. Garments also can relieve the itching, burning and pain caused by a scar.
- Silicone sheets act like an extra layer of healthy skin on your scar. The silicone hydrates and softens the scar tissue, which can improve its appearance or — in some cases — cause it to fade.
- Laser therapy uses state-of-the-art technology to improve the elasticity of skin. Scars react over time by gradually flattening and softening. Scars that are dark tend to lose some of their pigment and, in many cases, lighten up to better match the surrounding skin. Many scars also appear less red, less swollen and less itchy.
- Surgery may be necessary depending on how complex the scar is. Options may include excision (cutting out the scar), revision and/or tissue expansion. Your provider will discuss what treatment may be best for you.
Our scar revision surgeons
Assistant Professor of Surgery
Burn Fellowship Program Director
Clinical Director, Face Transplant Program, Johns Hopkins Comprehensive Transplant Center
Clinical Co-Director, Penile Transplantation, Johns Hopkins Comprehensive Transplant Center
Burn Center Director, Vice Chair of Strategic Planning
Professor of Pediatrics
Interim Director, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Director, Pediatric Plastic Surgery
Director, Cleft Lip and Palate Center
Clinical Director, Genitourinary Transplant Program
Co-Director, Brachial Plexus Clinic, Kennedy Krieger Institute
Associate Director, Pediatric Burn Program