Scar Treatment

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Our team is made up of experts and leaders in the art and science of plastic surgery. To learn more about our services, call 310-825-5510.

The UCLA Scar Treatment Program is a multi-modality subspecialty service with a focus on treatment of all types of scars including burn scars, keloids, hypertrophic scars, surgery related scars, contracture related scars, trauma related scars, and minor scars.

What is Scar Revision?

Patients may have a scar caused by an accident, injury, surgery (including c-section), and burns. Patients may desire a scar revision because of the way it looks (cosmetic/aesthetic reason) or because the scar causes contracture or disfigurement.  Scars may have symptoms such as itching, discomfort, or tightness.  Scars may limit the range of motion of the affected area of the body. Scar revision involves various modalities such as surgery, steroid application, compression garments, silicone gel sheeting, or laser skin resurfacing to improve symptoms.

The first step is to come in for a consultation.  Your surgeon will discuss the options available and expectations, tailored to your specific goals. 

Procedures available:

Upon initial consultation, your surgeon will personalize and tailor treatment options based on the type of scar and the individual needs of the patient.

Laser Skin Resurfacing

Various lasers are available to improve the uneven surface of scars.  UCLA Medical Center is one of the few institutions on the West Coast to offer Ultrapulse CO2 resurfacing of scars.  Laser skin resurfacing can be used with other modalities described below.  Other types of laser are used for hyperemic or red scars.  Therapy is individualized depending on the patients' needs and goals. 


Z-Plasty and related tissue-rearrangement techniques are available to re-orient and reposition scars.  Z-plasty can be used to improve contractures, or areas of tightness along affected areas.

Tissue Expansion

A "balloon" is placed beneath normal adjacent skin and is used to stretch normal skin over a period of time by filling the tissue expander with saline solution.   After weeks or months, the skin is adequately stretched, and the scar is then surgically removed.  The stretched skin is used to close the scar defect.   

Skin grafting

A thin layer of skin is taken from a healthy part of the body and is transplanted to the scarred region.  Skin grafts may not appear identical to the surrounding skin with regard to color or thickness; however, they provide an option to restore function to severely affected scar regions.


This modality is used to smooth out surface irregularities by removing the topmost layer of skin.  In essence the top layer of the scar is 'sanded' with a wheel or rotating wire brush until the desired depth is achieved.

Collagen Injections

Collagen is a natural protein, and is injected to fill in areas of depressed scars.  The purpose is to fill in uneven areas to improve the appearance of a scar.  The results of collagen injections are immediate, but are not permanent and the scar will eventually need to be retreated.

Fat grafting 

Much the same as collagen injection, fat grafting uses a patient's own fat to transfer to an affected area that is depressed or sunken in.  The purpose is to fill in uneven areas to improve the appearance of a scar.  Like collagen injection, the results are immediate.  However, these treatments often require multiple applications to achieve the desired result.

Steroid application and injection

Steroids are used to flatten and reduce the activity of hypertrophic and keloid scars.  Steroids can be injected into the scar tissue in clinic, can be used at the time of surgery, or can be used topically with laser modalities. 

Silicone Gel Sheets

Silicone gel sheets can help flatten hypertrophic, keloid, and active scars.  They are placed on the scar daily and typically worn for 24 hours.

External Referrals

Our partnership with health professionals in the community is key to our success at UCLA Health.  It is our goal to assist you with referring a patient to UCLA and ensure they receive the care they need. Referral team members are available to assist referring physicians and case managers access services at UCLA Health by calling 1-800-UCLAMD1 (800-825-2631). Or, send an email to [email protected].

Internal Referrals

In CareConnect, referrals can be routed to Plastic Surgery – 60420 SURG PLASTICS MP2 or 70136 SURG PLASTICS SM.  For assistance, please contact us at (310) 825-5510 or send an email to [email protected].