Posted in Scars
Scars have the potential to develop whenever there is damage to the skin. This is common after plastic surgery, even in the hands of a highly skilled surgeon. While scars are an expected side effect of surgery, they are often not a welcome one. Fortunately, there are things you can do to minimize the severity of scars.
Apply Pressure to the Incision
One of the reasons patients wear compression garments after undergoing plastic surgery procedures like tummy tuck surgery, breast augmentation, and body lifts is to minimize scars. Compression garments place pressure on the incision and help to decrease scar formation. Fast-healing incisions usually look better than slow-healing wounds, so when it comes to scar management, the goal is to help your incision heal as quickly as possible.
Avoiding stress is a significant benefit to your healing process—and this does not only mean emotional stress. Physical stress is the act of putting any additional pressure or tension on the healing incisions. Bending, lifting, carrying, or exercising are all activities that place strain on the body. These activities can pull the healing incision apart, which can not only prolong the healing process but can also increase the width of your scar.
Stay Out of the Sun
Ultraviolet rays can permanently darken scars, so it is best to protect your incisions from the sun. While this may be easy to do with incisions that are usually covered by clothing, it can be more difficult when an incision is on the face, such as after a facelift or eyelid surgery. To protect facial incisions, wear a hat or scarf, and avoid peak hours whenever possible. Once the incision heals, be sure to wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher every day.
Drink Lots of Water
Water helps deliver nutrients and oxygen throughout the body, moisturizes the skin, and lubricates the tissues, allowing the body to heal quicker. While drinking water will not remove scars, it helps keep the skin looking healthy and provides additional health benefits.
Do Not Smoke
Smoking increases your risk of scars tenfold, which is one of the reasons you are asked to stop smoking both before and after your surgery. Smoking will delay the healing process, which can make the resulting scar more noticeable.
Silicone scar sheets and silicone gel are effective in reducing the size and coloration of the scars. They are also useful in minimizing the risk of keloid or hypertrophic scars, which are raised or stretched markings. Silicone sheets and gel are applied to the incision once it has closed to help protect them from stress and contamination. These reusable bandages gently adhere to the skin but do not harm the surface when you remove them. You can find silicone sheets at most drug stores.
Follow Your Doctor’s Orders
Proper wound care will not only speed up the rate in which you heal but will also reduce your risk for infection. Dr. Schlechter will give you instructions on how to care for your wound after your procedure. By following these instructions diligently, you can have a quicker recovery and help minimize scarring.
To learn more on how you can minimize scars or to start your plastic surgery journey, schedule a consultation with Dr. Benjamin Schlechter at North Shore Aesthetics. Call us today at (847) 737-5036 or fill out our online contact form.