Scar formation is a natural and vital part of the body’s healing process. It repairs damaged tissues, seals open wounds and prevents microorganisms from entering the body.
As helpful as they may be, scars are not a welcome addition for most individuals, as they can often appear unsightly and disfiguring. Worse, some scars become a permanent fixture on the skin, which can lead to mental repercussions.
Scars come in varying colors, sizes, and forms depending on their cause. Some of the most common reasons to have a scar include an injury, burn, or a result of a treatment procedure, such as surgery.
During major surgical procedures, it’s common for doctors to utilize stitches to close up large wounds. However, this can leave obvious scarring on the skin, affecting one’s cosmetic appearance and self-esteem.
Fortunately, there are ways to manage these scars and achieve your desired aesthetic appearance.
What are stitch marks?
Surgical stitches or sutures are specialized threads used to close lacerations or repair deep wounds. They facilitate healing by holding the injured tissues together, allowing the body to form blood clots and new layers of collagenous tissues to seal the injury.
As the wound and skin heal, it’s normal for sutures to leave scars or markings in their wake, which are called stitch marks. All surgical procedures leave stitch marks. These scars are a normal part of the healing process as cell alignment gets disrupted by the injury and new tissues grow over the injured ones.
Are there different types of scars from stitches?
Bodies heal differently and react differently to stitches. So, the appearance of stitch marks can vary and depend on one’s body and a whole lot of factors, such as:
- The type of wound or injury you have (e.g., shallow, deep, or jagged).
- The suture technique used to close the wound.
- The location of your stitches.
- If proper wound care was observed during the healing phase.
Therefore, stitch marks have varying appearances, such as a pale brown line, a crisscross, or an overgrown, raised scar.
Are stitch marks permanent?
Surgical sutures may leave more permanent scarring on the skin than superficial wounds or bruises. This is especially true for major procedures, such as mastectomy, appendectomy, or facial surgery after an injury.
Sometimes, large suture wounds can develop into hypertrophic or keloid scarring. These thick and raised scars occur as an abnormal response to wound healing. This can typically happen for injuries sustained from direct trauma, burn, or surgical procedures.
Can scars from stitches be removed?
Small, superficial scarring from sutures may fade over time. Your doctor may also instruct you about proper wound care and recommend topical ointments to minimize scarring. Dermabrasion, chemical peel, and laser therapy may also do the trick of improving stitch marks.
However, these are only possible for certain injuries. Non-invasive techniques won’t be enough to remove scarring that covers large portions of the skin. Such stitch marks will require more aggressive procedures such as surgery.
How do you get rid of old scars from stitches?
Stitch marks are an unavoidable result of surgical procedures. After the wound has healed, a scar will remain, often appearing noticeable depending on its size and location. Fortunately, these types of scarring may be improved with the help of an expert plastic surgeon.
There are multiple ways to surgically reconstruct noticeable and prominent scars, and that is through scar revision procedures.
Scar revision refers to a variety of procedures that aim to aesthetically enhance the appearance of any type of scar, such as old stitch marks. This may also improve function.
Scar revision involves various techniques, such as surgical scar removal, laser surgery, cryotherapy, skin graft, tissue expansion, and more. The methods used will depend on the type of scarring your old stitch marks developed into.
For example, if the stitch marks develop into large hypertrophic or keloid scars, your surgeon may opt to remove the raised scar surgically. This will allow them to reconstruct the surrounding tissue either by skin grafting or suturing.
Another way is to reposition a noticeable scar into a location where it’ll be less conspicuous. Your surgeon may also align the scar tissue along the body’s natural contours so it won’t be as noticeable as before.
Can old scars be improved by plastic surgery?
Yes. Doctors perform plastic surgery through scar revision to remove old, unsightly scars. Plastic surgery can do the following:
- Reposition a scar by creating another incision within the natural folds of the surrounding tissue.
- Perform skin grafting to cover up scarring.
- Allow the scar to blend with the color of its surrounding skin.
- Reconstruct dimpled or sunken scars.
- Perform skin expansion to reconstruct burn scars.
Where to find the best facility for plastic surgery for scars in Miami?
Dr. Thomas J Zaydon of the Plastic Surgery Institute of Miami specializes in scar revision and reconstructive surgery. He has been helping patients with traumatic scars for over 20 years using innovative techniques and state-of-the-art equipment. Dr. Zaydon is also an expert in various fields and practices of plastic surgery, such as:
- Facial plastic surgery
- Plastic surgery for burns
- Plastic surgery consultant
- Plastic surgery expert witness
- Plastic surgery independent medical exam
- Plastic surgery peer reviews
Contact us now so we can help you achieve the best version of yourself!
The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.