Sutures can be painful, but many a times, the injury demands the skin to be stitched together so that the cut/wound can heal faster. When the marks left behind by the stitches are present in prominent on skin, they can be embarrassing. These marks can impact your self-esteem and refrain you from stepping outside. However, there are several advanced treatment procedures which can help in stitch mark removal.
What Is A Stitch Mark?
When a cut or wound is deep and the chances of it healing by itself are low, doctors opt for sutures in order to sew the edges of the skin. This promotes faster healing of the cut because when the skin cells reproduce to fill the gap, the close proximity of the edges makes it easy for it to be sealed. Stitches often leave behind marks along with a scar at the skin area that was sewn. This is because the natural arrangement of the skin cells is disrupted because of the cut and the healing process does not restore the skin to its former state completely. A stitch mark often remains as the evidence of the trauma.
Sutures Or Stitch Marks On The Body
Depending on the type of wound, the doctor decides to either use traditional skin closure techniques such as stitches or the more contemporary one called staples. These methods leave stitch marks behind in the form of white dots or those that resemble train tracks. Stitches can be done on part of the body based on its occurrence as follows –
• On face including forehead, cheek, etc.
• On arms or hands
• On upper body like chest, abdomen, back, etc.
• On lower body such as thigh, calf, foot, etc.
Can Stitch Marks Be Removed?
Most individuals find stitch marks aesthetically displeasing. Nothing can be done to prevent stitch marks, but there are ways to fade its appearance. Dermatologists and plastic surgeons often remove stitch marks on the face, forehead, cheeks or any other area where they are prominently visible. Depending on the age and location of the mark, appropriate treatment can be given in the form of topical creams, chemical peels, laser treatment and dermabrasion.
Why Is It Tricky To Evaluate Your Stitch Mark?
It is tricky to evaluate the old stitch marks as the exact method used to perform the sutures cannot be known. Nevertheless, based on the current skin condition, the dermatologist can make a satisfactory decision from the physical evaluation and an in-depth history provided by the patient. It is important to provide all the information correctly during this initial consultation process, in order for the doctor to make the right decision regarding the treatment.
Also Read: How To Remove Old Scar From Face And Legs?
How To Remove Old Stitch Marks?
Cosmetic procedures range from over the counter creams that are specifically recommended by dermatologists to scar revision surgery, and these can reduce the appearance of stitch marks greatly –
Marks left behind by sutures can be lightened to a good extent by opting for chemical peels. A chemical peel is a mild concentration of a plant extract based acid that is applied on the skin to exfoliate it thoroughly under controlled medical conditions. This exfoliation process removes the damaged upper layer of the skin and brings a fresh and renewed skin from beneath. Stitches that have healed completely can be treated with this, to lighten any marks that the skin may have developed there. Stitch marks on the face and forehead are often treated cosmetically with peels.
This is the most advanced cosmetic treatment available for removing stitch marks. The energy from the laser light is used to resurface the skin and improve skin texture at the affected site. Controlled beam of laser are targeted to the deformed skin tissues and they are rendered ineffective, thus stimulating cell regeneration thus bringing out clearer skin from beneath. The thickness and appearance of scars from stitches can be improved drastically with laser treatment, without damaging the superficial skin layers or the surrounding skin. The downtime after laser therapy is minimal and the risk or side effects are negligible. This makes laser treatment for stitches mark removal, the most popular option.
This is another cosmetic procedure that can help to fade away stitch marks on face and body by means of exfoliation. It is an invasive and abrasive procedure. A special instrument is used to remove the top layers of the skin and in this process, the stitch marks are also lightened to a great extent. A major disadvantage of dermabrasion treatment for stitch marks removal is the downtime it possesses. After the treatment, the skin can take 10 to 12 days to heal completely.
Scar Revision Surgery
When the stitch marks cannot be removed by any of the above methods, a plastic surgeon can perform scar revision surgery to minimize the marks and make them as unnoticeable as possible. This surgery can be expensive depending on the size of the scar and the techniques being used during the surgery.
Stitch Mark Removal Cream
To remove stitch marks from the skin, various formulations are used in topical creams and gels to enhance the healing process and to lighten the marks. Ingredients include peptides, silicones, and at times, even steroids to fade away the stitch marks. Even though these creams are often prescribed and are comparatively cheaper than the other methods, the results obtained may not be long term and as desired. Also, religious usage is advisable to see noticeable results, following the dermatologist guidelines in application and process.
Also Read: How To Remove Wound And Cut Scars?
What Is The Success Rate Of Stitch Mark Removal?
When all the methods are compared, OTC creams seem to show the most inconsequential results to remove stitch marks. Chemical peels and dermabrasion provides adequate amount of success, especially in the case of newer marks. Laser treatment, by far, has the highest success rate as any type of scar or mark can be removed with it. The age of the scar will only affect the number of sessions required to remove it, but not the success rate of this therapy.
What Is The Cost Of Stitch Mark Removal In India?
The cost of stitch mark removal in India varies based on the prescribed treatment method.
- Laser skin resurfacing – Rs. 15,000 to Rs. 30,000 per session
- Chemical peeling – Rs. 3,000 to Rs. 7,000 per session
- The topical creams – Rs. 50 to Rs. 500 per unit
- Scar removal surgeries – Customized by plastic surgeons
However, the price may vary depending upon the size, age, strength and depth of stitch marks; along with the experience of dermatologist, skin type and other health condition.
What Factors Should Be Considered While Selecting A Skin Clinic?
Your skin and its appearance are of prime importance. So it is important to select a cosmetic clinic in such a way that the best results are ensured at the end. Here are the key points to be kept in mind during your selection process –
1. The skin clinic should have a personalized treatment for each client
2. It is important to have an experienced dermatologist who has dealt with similar cases.
3. The clinic should only use FDA approved laser equipment to perform the treatment.
4. Proper hygiene and sterile procedures must be ensured along with stringent protocols to avoid any unwarranted side effects.
5. Check for customer reviews of the clinic on social media channels to know more about the first hand experience people have had.
Stitches are essential to suture the cut and wounds which may get severe otherwise, but they are often the culprits that can leave adamant marks behind. If you suffer from stitch marks on your face or on any other part of your body, speak to a dermatologist to know more about the treatment options that would work best for you. Eliminate these marks from your skin and regain your confidence, as they can be faded drastically.