What is scar revision?

Scar revision is a treatment to reduce the appearance of scars, which are marks left on your skin after wounds heal. Scar revision can take several forms, ranging from creams you put on your skin to surgery.

The goal of scar revision is to help your scar more closely match the color and texture of your surrounding skin. But it won’t completely eliminate your scar. Scar revision is usually cosmetic, but sometimes, severe scars are painful or make it hard for your body to function. These scars need medical treatment.

How are scars treated?

Your healthcare provider will evaluate a variety of factors to determine what type of scar revision is right for your needs. Most scars need 12 to 18 months to mature, as new scars don’t usually respond well to scar revision.

Scar revision techniques may include:

  • Topical treatments.
  • Injectables.
  • Skin resurfacing.
  • Surgery.

How do topical treatments reduce the appearance of scars?

Your provider will apply topical treatments to the surface of your skin, so they don’t require a needle or any type of incision (cut). Topicals tend to be more effective as a wound heals, or for mild, newly formed scars.

Types of topical treatments include:

  • Polyurethane dressing: A self-adhesive polyurethane bandage or pad can reduce a scar’s hardness and size. It may also help the scar return to a normal color. Some people use this dressing with pressure therapy for better results.
  • Pressure therapy: You use a bandage or wrap to apply pressure to a wound as it heals or to a newly formed scar on your body. Pressure therapy can help prevent scars and may reduce the appearance of raised scars.
  • Silicone gel: You can apply flexible sheets coated with silicone gel to your wound or scar. This treatment may relieve redness, itching and irritation caused by the scar. It can also help prevent raised scars.