Acell and Scar Revision

Q: Dr. Eppley, I have an old scar on my shoulder that is about 3”x1.5” and I’ve been wanting to get rid of it for some time now. I saw your post about using Acell products after searching for info about Recell. I was interested in Recell after doing some research but if Acell can provide similar results then that would be something I would be very interested in. I guess what I am wondering is, if you do use Acell products are you essentially performing a skin graft and using the Acell product in the place of grafted skin? 

A: Thank you for your inquiry. To provide clarification about scar revision in general:

1) Scar revisions are performed by cutting out the scar and reclosing the wound. Skin grafts are never used for scar revisions.

2) The goal of scar revision is to improve the appearance of the scar….but there will always be a scar but hopefully one that is more normal. But its length will always remain. There is no such outcome as ‘getting rid of the scar’ or complete scar removal.

3) The use of accelerated wound healing agents in scar revision or wound healing in general, while highly marketed by their manufacturers, remains theoretical in its benefits. They are not magic powders that can just make wounds or scars disappear.

4) Scar revisions across moveable joints, like the shoulders, are challenging to improve no matter what is done because of the motion across the scar revision site.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indiaapoliss, Indiana