Treatment Options For Surgical Scars

A scar is an area of fibrous tissue that forms after an injury to the skin. It can result after a cut, scrape, burn, or ulcer. The appearance of a scar can vary depending on various factors, including the depth of the wound, the location of the wound, genetics, and age. Most scars will tend to fade over time but may never go away completely.Some patients are more prone to developed raised, or hypertrophic/keloid scars. These are scars where the tissue extends past the original wound. These scars do not tend to regress over time, and often will return even with excision.

There are various treatment options that may help minimize the appearance of the scar. Some treatment options are outlined below:

Occlusive dressings

Silicone gel sheets or dressings have been used to reduce the appearance of scars by hydrating and occluding the scar.

Corticosteroid therapy

Steroid injections into the scar help to reduce inflammation and helps to reduce activity of cells that produce the scar. Topical steroids can also help thin the tissue and reduce inflammation in the scar as well.

Laser therapy for the treatment of scars

There have been various studies outlining the successful reduction in scar appearance with the use of various lasers. Non-ablative lasers work to reduce scars by heating up the scar to break up fibrous tissue that has built up in the scar while also promoting new collagen production that helps to remodel the skin. Several treatments may be necessary to get the desired effect.

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Initial Scar

Initial Scar

3 weeks after laser treatment #1

3 weeks after laser treatment #1

3 weeks after laser treatment #2

3 weeks after laser treatment #2

3 weeks after laser treatment #3

Excision of scar

Scars that are painful and raised can be excised, but this will only cause a new scar. If there is a painful scar on the bottom of the foot, certain plastic surgery techniques can be done to rotate skin in order to move the scar to a less painful area of the foot.

To prevent recurrence of a painful and thick scar, scars that are excised should be closed with the skin edges under minimal tension. Excision of scars can be helpful in combination with other modalities discussed above.


Scars can be an unpleasant reminder of a prior injury and some may not completely resolve on their own. Some scars on the bottom of the foot can be very painful to walk on. There are various treatment options available to those who would like to make their scars less prominent and painful.

Dr. Sydney K. Yau

Dr. Sydney K. Yau

Dr. Yau received his initial medical training at Temple University in Philadelphia where he specialized in diabetic limb salvage, sports medicine, foot and ankle reconstruction and trauma.

He then went on to complete his surgical reconstruction fellowship with the University Foot and Ankle Institute, one of only a few fellowships recognized by the American College Foot and Ankle Surgeons.

Now playing an integral role at the University Foot and Ankle Institute, Dr. Yau’s treats various sports injuries, including sprains, arthritis and fractures. He also is passionate about helping diabetic patients avoid amputation through correction of deformities and wound healing.

Dr. Yau is available for consultation at our Simi Valley location.
Dr. Sydney K. Yau

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