The severity of scarring depends on many different variables, including the size, depth, and amount of blood being circulated to the wound. Many scars can be permanent and have a less than pleasant appearance. Keloids are thick clusters of scar tissue that can grow beyond the boundaries of the wound. Hypertrophic scars similar to keloids, except that they remain within the edges of the wound. Contractures, or burn scars, are those that pull the edges of the skin together.
In any case, plastic surgeons use both surgical and non-surgical techniques to improve the appearance of the scar. Non-surgical techniques include the application of topical treatments, pressure dressings, or the injection of steroids. These treatments need to be continued for some time before results can be seen. Surgical techniques include excising the scar tissue and repositioning the incision so that it heals less visibly, using skin grafts or flaps to replace the scar area, or dermabrasion. These procedures usually require local or general anesthesia and recovery takes about one to three weeks.