The presence of a scar on the scalp area might represent a problem for hair transplant surgery. It also might be an inconvenience. It all depends. A lot of people actually look for hair transplants on scar tissue they have on their scalp. But is it possible to be done?
Find out once and for all in this article.
Hair Transplant and Scar Tissue: Possible?
First of all, it is necessary to understand that scar tissue is still skin, but a different kind of skin. Scar tissue is a combination of skin and collagen that forms after an injury, cut, incision, or anything that breaks the skin in some form. In order for a scar to actually form, the cut itself must be, to some extent, deep and/or wide.
The tissue of the scar is fibrous, which is different from the smoother skin tissue it replaces. There are several kinds of car tissue.
- Hypertrophic scar. When the body creates an excessive amount of collagen to fix the scar, this results in a thick, puffy scar that protrudes notably from the surrounding skin. They can be of a reddish colour for the first weeks after appearing.
- Keloid scar. Common among people of darker-colour skin and similar in nature, keloid scars can actually grow beyond the boundaries of the original wound. Their looks might be alarming, but they are only inert masses of collagen and, thus, are harmless.
- Atrophic scar. When a section of the skin is sunken, it gives the scar a measure of depth. Scars from surgery and burns are a perfect example of this.
Each different scar requires a different technique for treatment thanks to their own individual characteristics.
Decisive Factors of Hair Transplant on Scar Tissue
The three following characteristics of the scar determine if a hair transplant on the scar tissue is actually viable.
- Scar thickness. If the scar itself is notably thick, it might not be possible to graft hair on it. However, a couple of techniques can reduce it somehow. Surgical removal of bits of the scar or/and corticosteroid injections directly into the site can thin it to a degree. Hypertrophic scars are an example.
- Scar thinness. As counterintuitive as it may seem, a scar that is too thin also prevents the grafting of hair. The thin skin makes it difficult for the graft to take due to it requiring a different angled incision to insert the graft. This happens mainly with the atrophic scars.
- Blood supply. Regardless of its nature, scarring reduces blood supply. The surgeon will measure the blood supply available to assess a scar’s viability and if it can receive treatment for improvement.
Keloid scars are usually not able to receive hair grafts since cutting them risks the formation of even more keloid, which could damage the graft.
Hair Transplant on Scar Tissue
It is done just like any other follicular unit excision (FUE) hair transplant. This is done by extracting healthy hair follicles from the back of the scalp to graft them into the scar you want to grow hair on. In fact, this is a common procedure for former patients of a strip surgery hair transplant. They look to disguise the long, horizontal scar with which the previous procedure left them.
We’ve treated a variety of scar patients with success in the past, disguising the scars that formerly troubled them so much. Contact us to see if you can get hair to return to your scar tissue.