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Medihair Dr. Sternberg Thumb
Dr. Sternberg Written by David Stelzer Published on 2 Feb 2021
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Hair Transplant Scar

Medihair Dr. Sternberg Thumb
Medically reviewed by Dr. Sternberg Written by David Stelzer on 2 Feb 2021

Scarring is one of the most undesirable side effects feared by hair transplant patients. Modern, advanced techniques have made the large, raised scars left associated with hair transplants a thing of the past. However, some scarring does still occur especially with the FUT hair transplant method. Here we detail the various options patients have to reduce or conceal the appearance of scars after the hair transplant.

Hair Transplant Techniques

Hair transplants have progressed very far from their origins in the 1940s, when chunks of hair were crudely transplanted and large unsightly scars were left behind. This scarring would turn many candidates suffering from hair loss away from the procedure. Unfortunately, even with modern techniques and advanced research scarring is inevitable however, the scars are very minimal and much different than the scars from the first hair transplant procedures.

Most common hair transplant method

The different hair transplant techniques leave behind different kinds of scarring as a result of the differences in removal.

The FUE hair transplant technique involves removing the hair follicles in natural groupings of one to four with a thin, hollow needle. This minimally invasive method leaves behind small, round holes scattered across the donor area. These holes will generally heal to tiny, pink dots in roughly five days. Finally, they will turn into little white scars hidden very easily by the remaining hair in the donor area. These scars are relatively unnoticeable, making this method preferrable for patients who like to wear their hair very short.

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The FUT hair transplant technique involves extracting a strip of skin with densely packed hair from the donor area at the back of the head. This strip is then dissected into the individual hair follicles used to cover the balding areas in the scalp. A long, thin wound roughly the width of a pencil is left behind. The surgeon will stitch this closed when the transplant is done, the stitches are then removed roughly two weeks later. The scar left behind from the procedure is slightly more noticeable than the scars left from the FUE method. Longer hairstyles work better for disguising the scar from this surgery.

More patients will elect to have scars from the FUT method removed or concealed than with the FUE method. Patients have requested concealing treatments or medication for scars from both methods though.

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Hair Transplant Scar Removal

There are procedures available to lessen or reduce the appearance of a scar left after the FUT hair transplant. These procedures are not able to completely remove the scar however as some of the damaged tissue is impossible to completely remove. Especially as a patient ages, the skin on their head will begin to sag and exaggerate the appearance of the scar as it widens.

Interestingly, according to the medihair hair transplant research not scarring is the most often complaint after a hair transplantation but a lack of density of the transplanted hair:

Most common complaints after a hair transplant

When a patient isn’t fully satisfied with their initial FUT hair transplant, they may seek out a secondary hair transplant. As long as the patient’s scalp is viable for the procedure, the surgeon will reopen the original FUT scar and take a portion of the surrounding skin to use for donor hair. This method can also be used to improve the appearance of the scar from the original transplant by removing damaged tissues and stitching the new wound together properly.

Scar tissue can also be thinned using different forms of medication. Steroid injections are a common method of flattening the scar tissue, this makes the scar more viable to transplant hair into to cover the scar.

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Techniques Used to Conceal Scars

While there are no ways to completely remove scars, there are various methods used to conceal scars.

The preferred method to conceal scars from an FUT hair transplant is to use an FUE hair transplant technique to cover the scar. Unfortunately, not all scars are viable for hair transplantation. Keloid scars, for instance, are a form of raised scarring which grow beyond the width of the surgical scar originally left behind from the cosmetic procedure. This form of scarring is difficult to transplant hair onto as the grafts cannot access the blood supply from the scalp which is necessary for their future growth.

Male celebrity with the most beautiful hair

Alternative methods to conceal FUT scars are forms of micropigmentation. Scalp micropigmentation (SMP) involves depositing ink directly into the scalp to give the appearance of hair. This procedure is very similar to a tattoo process which is why it is also referred to as medical hairline tattooing or scalp hair tattooing. Like any other form of tattoo, this procedure is permanent. This can cause some issues when the patient’s hair begins to gray as the ink will not fade at the same rate. This method is sometimes used as an alternative to hair transplants, especially for thinning hair rather than balding hair.

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A semi-permanent form of scalp micropigmentation is Tricopigmentation (TMP), the ink is deposited only into the top layer of the dermis as opposed to SMP where the ink goes several layers deep.  The effect from this procedure will last anywhere from six months to three years.

Laser treatment therapy is another form of treatment for scarring, and it is often used along with SMP or TMP for the greatest results. The lasers remove the damaged tissues from the surface of the scar and stimulates the collagen production in the area. The collagen will improve the elasticity and appearance of the skin, reducing the damaged appearance of the scar.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do hair transplant scars go away?

Can you transplant hair into a scar?

How do I get rid of scars from hair transplant?

How long does it take for hair transplant scar to heal?

Sources

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