Can My Lip Scar Be Improved By Some Type Of Scar Revision?

Q:  Dr Eppley, I was involved in a car accident several years ago which left me with a big ugly scar on my upper lip. The scar connects with a scar on my nose. It seems like I don’t have that line (margin) of the lip as it is flat. The scar has been revised several times but there has been no improvement. I was wondering if anything can be done to make that line/margin of the upper lip? I know the scar won’t disappear but at least just to have some improvement. Your help will be greatly appreciated.

A: While I would have to see pictures of the lip scar to be certain, it sounds like you are talking about loss of the philtral height or the philtral ridge. When a scar crosses it, it will likely lose its height or prominence. A skin scar revision alone will not restore the height of a philtral ridge. I have found that an allogeneic dermal graft placed under and along the philtral column underneath the scar area is necessary to resist scar contracture. Please send me some photographs of the scar for my assessment.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana