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Self-Harm Scar Treatment by “Dermabrasion and Thin Skin Grafting Method” is a unique surgical procedure invented by Prof. Dr. Cengiz Açıkel et al.

Before & After The Surgery

The photos of a self-mutilation scar patient before and after the treatment with “dermabrasion and thin skin grafting.”

What is Dermabrasion and Thin Skin Grafting Technique?

Most of the people who have self-harm scars over their bodies are seeking the best treatment method to get rid of them. The “dermabrasion and thin skin grafting technique” is the most effective surgical method to hide them permanently. The aim of the operation is to change the appearance of the self-harm scars into a socially acceptable and less noticeable scars such as “an old burn scar” or “tattoo removal scar”. The principal of this surgical treatment method is to create a raw surface by removing the uppermost skin layer of the scarred area by mechanical dermabrasion, revision of wide scars and covering the dermabraded skin by thin (0.1-0.2 mm) skin grafts (patches) harvested from thigh region. Since the skin patch camouflages the underlying scars, the treated area is seen as a patch with homogeneous color. The color tone difference between the treated area and surrounding normal skin is more noticeable in the first months, however this color discrepancy gradually decreases after 6 months and it looks near normal after approximately 1 year. There will be a slight scar on the skin graft donor area. The rate and quality of the healing (normalization) process of the operated areas may vary depending on the wound healing properties of the patient.

The surgery is performed under i.v. sedation and local infiltration anesthesia and takes 1-3 hours. The patient stays one night at the hospital. The skin grafted area and the donor site heals in 2 weeks. Afterwards, tubular bandage and some creams are used at least for one year to get the best aesthetic result.


Prof. Dr. Cengiz Açıkel

Conversion of self-harm scars into inconspicuous and socially acceptable scars by “dermabrasion and thin skin patch technique” is possible.


This surgical procedure developed by Prof. Dr. Cengiz Açıkel et al. was published in the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (Official Journal of American Society of Plastic Surgeons, ASPS)in 2005, under the title “Camouflage of self-inflicted razor blade incision scars with carbon dioxide laser resurfacing and thin skin grafting”.

Prof. Dr. Cengiz Açıkel’s private office is authorized for international health tourism by the Republic of Türkiye Ministry of Health.

How the Treatment of Self-Harm Scar Process Works Step by Step?

You are supposed to fill the questionnaire in the website and upload the photos of all scars that you want to get rid of. Dr. Cengiz Açıkel will determine whether you are a good candidate for his treatment method or not. You will receive an e-mail including detailed information about the procedure and treatment fee if you are eligible for the surgery.

The date of surgery has to be set at least one month before the considered date. No advance payment is required for this procedure. You can cancel or change the date whenever you want. You are supposed to refer to the hospital for anesthesiology consultation at least 1 day before the surgery date.

You are supposed to read the information forms about preoperative precautions carefully and start to practice at least 2 weeks before the surgery date. Birth control pills should be quit at least 1 month before the operation because of deep vein thrombosis risk.

You are supposed to have some blood and Covid-19 tests before coming to İstanbul. You will have the same tests in İstanbul also before the surgery. You will do an interview with Dr. Cengiz Açıkel at his office and with the anesthesiologist at the hospital before the surgery.

The surgery will be performed at Acıbadem Ataşehir Medical Center (Acıbadem Ataşehir Tıp Merkezi) which is located at Ataşehir District of İstanbul Asian side. You will stay at the hospital one night. The surgery will be performed under i.v. sedation and local infiltration anesthesia. It will take 1-3 hours depending on the extent of the scarred area.  

Four days after the surgery, you will come to the office of Dr. Cengiz Açıkel for the first control. The splint and sutures over the skin patch will be removed and a thin bandage will be applied. The skin graft donor site will not be opened. It will heal spontaneously in two weeks. After the first control, if there is no general or local complication, you can prefer to fly to your home country or stay in İstanbul for the second control which is done 7 days after the first control.

The bandages over the surgical sites will be removed 7 days after the first control by Dr. Cengiz Açıkel or by yourself. If you prefer not to stay in İstanbul you will do it by yourself at your home as described to you. You will use a tubular bandage over the skin grafted area.

You will send the photos of treatment sites to Dr. Cengiz Açıkel on monthly basis and he will advise you which creams you should use. If there are much trapped hairs under the skin graft or hypertrophic scar formation then you will revisit Dr. Cengiz Açıkel’s office for “unroofing” procedure or “intralesional corticosteroid injection generally 3-4 months after the surgery.  


One of my patients from a European country has written an e-book about her happy journey with my surgical technique “dermabrasion and thin skin grafting” for self-harm scars.

Disclosure: Prof. Dr. Cengiz Açıkel has no financial interest with the web site or e-book.

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