After a car accident, injuries eventually heal, but if your face or head were severely impacted, you may still have some scarring. Although some people decide to just live with and embrace this scarring, that approach is not for everyone. The scarring may remind you of the crash every time you look in the mirror, or it may make you feel self-conscious while in public. Usually, the solution lies in visiting a cosmetic surgeon, who may recommend one or more of the treatments below.
If your scars are shallow but have a lot of discoloration, your cosmetic surgeon may actually recommend a non-surgical procedure called dermabrasion. The procedure involves abrading away the outermost layer of your skin, using a brushing tool. Your face will be red and sore for a few days after dermabrasion, and then you will develop some flaking skin and peeling. Within about two weeks, though, you will have a new, fresh layer of skin, and the scars will be much less prominent. Most patients need several dermabrasion treatments to experience the level of fading they desire. This procedure is a lot less invasive than surgery, but it won't work for deeper and more highly textured scars.
If your scars are deep, one option your surgeon may recommend is called microneedling. This process involves injecting an irritating substance, often one that contains dextrose, into the skin. Many small injections are made, and they are not made too deeply — just into the surface of the skin. This triggers the body's healing process, and part of that healing process is the production of collagen. The collagen helps fill in the hollow, scarred area. You will need to have several microneedling procedures in order to see substantial results. The procedure does cause significant irritation and swelling, but that goes away within a few days.
The final common option is a small, in-office surgical procedure to remove or reduce scarring. This is often the best option for raised scars or for those that are deeply discolored and highly textured. Your cosmetic surgeon will use surgical tools to remove the affected skin. Depending on the size and location of the incision, they may or may not need to apply stitches to the area. You will be left with a scar from this procedure, but it will be a lighter, less noticeable one. The next step can be to treat that lighter scar with the methods described above.
If you have facial scarring from a car accident, don't dismay. You have options for treatment; explore them with a cosmetic surgeon near you.