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Reader Question: Scar Improvement

Posted Dec 22 2009 12:00am

Reader Question:

Is there anything to do for white pigmented scars post surgery, do they usually resolve themselves? Is cortisone cream helpful? Also a small strip of skin going down from incision has turned whiter, perhaps from tension?

You have several issues here:

(1) Pigment – The color of scar tissue and normal skin is different. Trauma and bleeding in the tissues can also introduce color changes. The lack of pigment is a white color which is probably scar (if you are Caucasian.) If this area is wide you might be a candidate for a scar revision.

(2) Timing / Non Operative Care- Scars do improve over the first year or so after the wounding that caused them to form. They do so better if kept out of the sun or if sun screens are applied. Silicone sheeting and/or massage can be helpful as well as the scar matures or remodels.

(3) Tension – Tension usually does not cause long term color changes in a scar unless there is quite a bit of it.

(4) Steroids – Steroid creams are not always helpful. I would avoid them unless professional advice recommends their use.

It sounds like you need an evaluation to figure your next best move.

Best Regards,

John Di Saia MD

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