What Is The Best Method To Get Rid Of My Facial Scars?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I’m currently seeking to get rid of a facial scar from trauma (long, hypotrophic, discolored, widened vertical cut on the cheek about 3cm long running perpendicular to the RSTL and a “v” shaped hypertrophic, discolored scar on the jaw line below) that’s over a year old now. Treatment thus far has been with silicone tape on and off. I’m not sure if w-plasty, z-plasty or laser resurfacing would be the best option? I’m not sure if you specialize in these types of cases. Any suggestions/advice/thoughts would be greatly appreciated. I was searching online and came across your website. Thank you.

A: There are two important features of your right vertically-oriented facial scars; they are both wide and they are actually parallel (not perpendicular) to the RSTL in that area of your face. Because the scars are wide, they are not improveable by any form of laser or skin resurfacing. Wide and depressed scars by definition need to excised and reclosed to be made more narrow. The only question is whether they should be closed in a straight vertical line or in an irregular pattern like a running w-plasty. The irregular scar revision pattern is aesthetically preferable for better camouflage.

As a final note, the concept of getting rid of a facial scar is not possible. The scar can be made less conspicuous but it can never be completely removed. 

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana