Possible to Surgically Remove Self-inflicted Burn Scars on Arms?

I have a couple very embarrassing self-inflicted burn scars on my arms. One is on my forearm and cannot be easily covered up so I am desperate to get rid of it in whatever way possible. What are my options for removing (or improving the appearance of) this scar? By the way, the scar is flush with the surface of the skin

Doctor Answers 6

Scar revision

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Scar revision works well for wide scars in the setting of loose skin.  If there is insufficient loose skin in the area of the scar, the closure will be tight which will lead to a wide scar--which is what you're trying to avoid in the first place!  I suggest a consultation in person so that the surgeon can examine you and determine if scar revision is likely to improve your scar.  Good luck!


Dr. Singer

Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Scar Revision

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This looks good for scar revision. It is a wide scar and revision can bring that down.The pigment difference between the scar and the normal tissue is the problem. Removal of as much scar as possible and coverage of the wound with the normal tissue nearby works reliably.


Best Regards,


John Di Saia MD

John P. Di Saia, MD
Orange Plastic Surgeon

Best option for scar

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With the size of the scar, I am concerned that surgical excision would leave a worse looking scar. I would look into laser scar treatments such as fractional ablative or fractional non-ablative procedures like Fraxel restore and Fraxel repair.

Burn scars

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Best treatment is tattooing to camouflage them. The color must match the surrounding skin in order to achieve a good result.

Mohsen Tavoussi, MD, DO
Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon

Surgical removal of burn scar

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I would recommend against surgical removal of this kind of scar.  You would be likely to end up with a worse-looking scar than what you currently have.  Safer approaches would be phototherapy to help re-pigment the scar and medical tattooing to camouflage the white discoloration.

Bryan K. Chen, MD
San Diego Dermatologist

Old scars from cutting or self-inflicted burns

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Old scars from cutting and self-inflicted burns can be reduced and improved using fractional co2 laser and scar revision.  These are often hypopigmented and I have gotten long term results that are excellent.

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 95 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.