Treatment of Self Harm Scars as well as their change into a form acceptable for the society is possible, by means of the Laser-Aided Skin Peeling and Thin Skin Patch Technique.
This surgical procedure developed by Prof. Dr. Cengiz Açıkel et al. was published in the American Journal of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery in 2005, under the title “Camouflage of self-inflicted razor blade incision scars with carbon dioxide laser resurfacing and thin skin grafting”, and consequently took place in the international medical literature.
What is Dermabrasion and Thin Skin Grafting (Patch) Technique?
The principle of this treatment procedure is to remove the 50-150 micron top skin layer of the area of the scars, in such a way as to include the normal skin between the scars, by means of laser or dermabrasion devices, and to cover the application area with very thin skin patches of 0.2-0.3 mm taken from thighs or other conceivable areas. Since the skin patch covers camouflages the color difference between the underlying self harm scar and the normal skin, the self harm scars do not be seen as separate scars, and that area looks in only one color, which is a little bit different from the surrounding normal skin. The difference of color tone between the surgical site and the normal skin is more noticeable in the first months, but as from the 6th month, it gradually decreases, and after a year, it looks almost normal that it can be noticed only when viewed carefully. The most important advantage of this procedure is the ability to eliminate the typical appearance of self harm scars that are unique and easily noticeable; and/or the ability to transform them into socially acceptable, less noticeable and more innocent scars such as burn scars.
The surgery is performed under local or general anesthesia, depending on the size of the area to be treated, and the patient stays at hospital for one night. The surgical site should remain dressed for a period of 10-14 days. Afterwards, the surgical site should be protected from mechanical traumas and direct sunlight for a period of 1 year. And the area, from where the skin patch has been taken, is dressed. It heals spontaneously 2 weeks after the operation. This area is also pink colored at the beginning, and averagely one year after the operation, it gains a less noticeable appearance. A scar remains to a certain extent varying depending on the skin colors and healing properties of patients.