I had a strip surgery many years ago which left me with a large scar. I want to wear my hair short. But I am afraid that the scar will show. Is there a way to make the scar look less noticeable than it is now? Fred D.
Many patients have been able to sport extremely short styles, like buzz cuts through revision surgeries that use Follicular Unit Extraction. With FUE, tiny punches are used to individually remove natural groupings of 1-4 hair follicles from the surface of the scalp. These grafts can then be inserted into the scar tissue.
From the patient’s point of view, it is important to understand the factors that make the strip scar so noticeable. Therefore, strategies should aim to address these issues in order for the results to be successful.
First, the strip scar does not have hair growth. This can be referred to as a line of emptiness. Scar tissue is basically thickened collagen fibers. It develops as a form of healing to fortify the skin after it has been injured. However, hair will not naturally grow in this tissue environment. This is where the grafts harvested using Follicular Unit Extraction can be quite instrumental. Covering the line of emptiness with hair will make this linear area look like the rest of the head.
A second variable that causes the scar to be noticeable is that it is often a different color from its surrounding area. Strip scars are usually white or pink. They are even more noticeable in patients with dark hair. One technique that can reduce this effect is to inject tattoo ink into the area which is a similar color to the hair.
Those who have already undergone strip surgery procedures do not have to feel like they have to wear their hair long for the rest of their lives. These techniques offer patients a much greater range of options for their personal style.
Dr. Sanusi Umar is a pioneer in hair transplant surgery and is widely published and recognized in his field. Dr. Umar is certified by the American Board of Dermatology and the founder of DermHair Clinic in Los Angeles, CA.