Can My Chin Scar Be Improved?

Q: Hi Dr. Eppley, I have a chin scar that I would like improved. I have lived with it for three years but it has not gotten any better. I fell over my bicycle handlebars and ran my chin into the ground. (ouch!) While it was stitched up in an emergency room, it did not turn out as well as I would have liked. It is on the left side of my lower chin and it turns inward. Do you think scar revision will help? I have attached some pictures for you to see what it looks like.

A: Thank you for sending your photos. The origin of your poor chin scar has to do with its geometry. It is essentially a Y-shaped scar pattern so that when it healed, scar contracture pulled downward towards the V portion of the scar. This is a classic scar healing process. Given that the Y is angulated in an unnatural position on the chin (there is no natural position for a Y-shaped scar on the chin), the resultant scar deformity that you have is fairly predictable.

Essentially you have an indented and downward pulling of the chin scar. This could definitely be improved by scar revision. In doing your scar revision, the scar lines would be opened up and a dermal or fat graft placed underneath to add volume. Then the Y pattern of the scar would be closed in a ‘shorter’ Y (V-Y advancement) so that the skin edges would be more level and the downward pull eliminated. While you would still end up with a scar, the goal is to have it smoother and not indented as it appears now.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis Indiana