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    Scar wars: Perception vs reality

    Reconstructive surgeons might choose Z-plasty scar revision because of the belief that by breaking a linear scar into multiple parts they can better camouflage it. But a recent study suggests the lay public prefers the look of linear scars to zigzag scars on the face, researchers report in the July/August issue of JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery.

    The authors compared the general public’s perception of the appearance of linear scars versus zigzag scars by asking people to compare and rate a computer-generated scar image, designed in linear and zigzag configurations, and laid over the faces of four Caucasian headshots. Survey respondents rated each scar on a 10-point scale, where a lower score indicated the scar was more similar to surrounding skin and a highest score indicated the worst scar imaginable.

    The 810 adult men and women in all age groups who responded gave significantly lower scores and better perceived cosmetic outcomes to the linear scars in every assessed group of pictures, including scars on the temple, cheek and forehead.

    In This Article

    Flawed Study?

    Strategic Incision Placement

    Perception vs Reality

    NEXT: Flawed Study?

    Lisette Hilton
    Lisette Hilton, president of Words Come Alive, has written about health care, the science and business of medicine, fitness and wellness ...


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