Any time the skin is cut or injured, a specific type of growth cell called fibroblast produces collagen, which in turn leads to the appearance of scar. Nevertheless, LA plastic surgeons will make every effort to place the incisions within the natural folds of skin or in an area where they will appear inconspicuous.
A “good” scar is supposed to appear flat, thin, and “faded,” which is possible through the use of suturing techniques wherein the skin receives no or very little tension.
But despite all the best efforts, some plastic surgery patients are simply prone to scar tissue or more appropriately called as keloids and hypertrophic scars, which both appear raised and discolored. According to studies, dark-skinned individuals are more vulnerable to heavy scarring than fair-skinned people.
While keloids go beyond the original incision area, hypertrophic scars just remain within the injured site.
Steroid injection, specifically Kenalog, is one of the most common scar treatments used after plastic surgery. It works by breaking up the bond between collagen tissue, thereby shrinking the scars.
Despite the relatively high success rate of steroid or Kenalog injection, only a qualified practitioner should perform the treatment because its incorrect use could lead to depression and thinning of the skin. As a result, most doctors start with a low dose and they usually wait six to eight weeks before another session is performed, but only if there is a need to.
While it is possible to inject higher doses of steroid, once the skin depression occurs it is difficult, if not impossible, to correct.
The success of steroid injection also depends on the scar’s age. Conventional wisdom suggests waiting at least three months after plastic surgery so the swelling can resolve on its own. During this period, silicone sheet or tape can be used to prevent or minimize the formation of scar tissue within the dermis.
Meanwhile, Kenalog injection is particularly helpful in minimizing the swelling after rhinoplasty or nose surgery, which is most apparent in the tip area. This has also been found to prevent the formation of scar tissue especially among ethnic patients who are prone to keloids.
The treatment can also help minimize the appearance of post-surgical scars in patients who had facelift, breast reduction, mastopexy, gynecomastia surgery, body lift for after massive weight loss, and breast augmentation.