Will Using Silicone Strips Help Heal My Scars?

Using Silicone Strips for Scar Minimisation

Scars are part of almost any surgery, yet cosmetic patients tell us the fear of scars is one factor that leaves them postponing their surgical procedures. Over time, scars tend to become a minimal concern. Emotionally they end up being less important, than the discomfort and distress of having something patients want to change. Plus, silicone strips and laser treatments can help with scar minimisation.

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Are your Scars a concern? Not for long!

In other words, when surgery scars heal and fade over time, the residual arm scar is less of a worry than constantly feeling self-conscious about  ‘bingo wings’ or sagging arm skin or folds of skin around the belly, thighs, breast, hips or upper back.

Using Silicone Strips for Scar Minimisation

Scars are part of almost any surgery, yet cosmetic patients tell us the fear of scars is one factor that leaves them postponing their surgical procedures. Over time, scars tend to become a minimal concern. Emotionally they end up being less important, than the discomfort and distress of having something patients want to change. Plus, silicone strips and laser treatments can help with scar minimisation

Are your Scars a concern? Not for long!

In other words, when surgery scars heal and fade over time, the residual arm scar is less of a worry than constantly feeling self-conscious about  ‘bingo wings’ or sagging arm skin or folds of skin around the belly, thighs, breast, hips or upper back.

CR Skin Dermal Clinicians

Coco Ruby Dermal Clinicians

To arrange an appointment with our Dermal Team for Laser scar reduction treatments in Melbourne, please send an Email or Phone 1300 599 990.

Silicone Strips and Scars: Investing in your scar result

Do Silicone Strips really work to help heal scars?

What can be done to help scars become less visible over time?

First, what causes scars?

Nearly every surgery will result in some form of a visible scar. Early incision lines often appear red or even angry looking (Proper wound care is important to help prevent infections, which worsen scars).

Second, how long before a scar matures and can you help it along?

  • Scar maturity typically takes approximately 12 months (sometimes up to 18 months).
  • Silicone Strips, Light/Laser Therapies, Dermapen and other modalities may be good options to help reduce the visibility of any post-operative scars after surgery.
  • Not smoking, eating nutritiously, staying hydrated and following post-op instructions precisely are also crucial to minimise post-op scar complications or stretched scar formations.
  • Everyone heals differently, but most scars fade over time.

Silicone Strips and Scar Reduction

Silicone has been shown to help reduce scars for some patients when used properly along with following all post-surgery instructions. However, other factors impacting your scar include:

  • the type of procedure you had.
  • the location of the scar on the body
  • the length and width of the incision line needed to get you a good surgery result, and
  • your bodies natural healing capacity

Having healthy skin and a good immune system can help a lot when it comes to healing well from a scar.

Genetics and Skin Health 

Your genetics and skin health plays a big role in how your scars will form.

  • Scars vary greatly in quality, depth, size, texture (elevated, indented or somewhat smooth) and shape.
  • A scar formation will somewhat depend on the nature of the injury or trauma, the location, depth and length of a surgical incision or cannula entry point for liposuction.
  • The scar will be highly impacted by internal and external conditions of wound healing.
  • Some of these conditions are controllable and some are not.
  • Genetics can have an impact on your scar healing capacity (some high-melanin skin types are highly prone to keloid scarring).
  • Richly pigmented skin (Asian, Middle Eastern, Indian, and others) may end up with more visible scars or raised scar tendencies known as keloid scars – ask your surgeon for details

Below is an example of an Abdominoplasty scar (less than 3.5 months after surgery) being strategically placed below the clothing line.

Scar Revisions

Scar revisions might also be an option. Your surgeon may recommend various treatments, including topical treatments of high-grade Vitamin E oils and balms to encourage healing.

How do I Minimise My Scars? 

What should I know about my scar?

Remember that everyone is different and scar formation isn’t fully predictable or controllable, even though there’s a lot you can do to help minimise their appearance.

Again, what you do matters. It’s critical that you do not smoke. Otherwise, you may compromise your surgery result, your healing and your overall health.  So what you do post-op is just as important as what your surgeon does to help you get a great scar result

It’s a collaborative effort to help keep scars as minimal as possible.

Silicone Strips and Scar Prevention

Scars after surgery are one of the things that leave many people putting off a surgical procedure. But often the scar is a minimal concern in relation to the discomfort or distress of having ‘batwing’ arms or saggy skin folds around the belly, thighs or upper back.  Or if you have lost a lot of weight, either unassisted or through Bariatric Surgery (Gastric Sleeve or Gastric Banding), you may be sick and tired of the chaffing of the redundant skin; and body contouring surgery can help you regain more natural contours, but you will have some sort of scarring.

What can be done about scars?

  • Scars will fade, but most surgery will result in some sort of visible scars.
  • Everyone heals differently and following post-op instructions like eating nutritiously and giving up smoking will be crucial to minimise your post-op scars.
  • Silicone Strips, Light Therapy and other methods may also help reduce scar visibility.
  • There are also several post-op scar minimisation treatments such as Dermapen Microneedling, Healite II, Light-based Treatments and Peels.
  • Revisions of scars could also be an option. eg: if your post-op actions stretched your incision area or increased the width of the incision scar.
  • Other methods might include topical treatments such as Vitamin E oils to help with healing.

Please remember, everyone heals differently and scars differently.  Scar formation is never predictable nor can be controlled, but there is a lot you can do to minimise their dark and or raised appearance.

What you do

Post-op is very important. You should not be smoking (your doctors can advise on way to give up for good) otherwise your surgery result, healing and your overall health will be compromised.  Listen to your surgeon so you get the most minimal scarring result as possible.

Your Overall Skin Health Will have an Impact on Your Scars

Scarring is the process by which wounds are repaired. Scars vary greatly in quality, depth, size, texture and shape. Damage to the deeper layer of the skin, the dermis, is required to produce a scar. Scars produce a structural change in the deeper layers of the skin. It is not just a change in skin colour. Fetal tissues and mucosal tissues have the ability to heal without producing a scar.

Understanding how and why this is possible could lead to better surgical scar outcomes. A scar formation will somewhat depend on the nature of the injury or trauma, the location, depth and length of a surgical incision, but the scar will be impacted by s number of internal and external factors of wound healing. Some of these conditions are controllable and some are not. Genetics can also have an effect (some high-melanin skin types are prone to keloid scarring).

Scars facts

  • Scarring in areas of increased skin tension or movement tend to be unsightly.
  • Scars occur when tissues have been significantly damaged and repaired.
  • Scars can occur after physical trauma or as part of a disease.
  • Poorly controlled wound healing can result in thick, unsightly scars that cause symptoms.
  • Genetics play a role in some people any may produce thicker, enlarged scars called keloid scars.
  • When wounds are produced surgically, surgeons utilise techniques to minimise scarring.
  • Scars result in changes that alter the physical architecture of normal skin or other tissue.

Reducing scars after your surgical procedures are of utmost importance to Dr Briggs. Hiding them below visible clothing lines and making incisions as small as possible.

Can Silicone Strips Help Reduce Scars?

Silicone strips are a topical treatment, but they have the ability to reach deeper layers of the skin to help reduce the presence of visible scars over time. They are not inexpensive and they require extra care during your healing period, but for some patients, they may help reduce scars over time.

What Silicone Scar Treatments Involve

  • Silicone strips are an ultra-thin sheet of silicone that are applied and are often worn for 24 hours per day.
  • Once approved to use these (be sure to ask your Surgeon or Nurse first), you’ll be able to place it over the scar formation area.
  • These strips have a self-drying technology that allows them to dry on the skin within about 5 minutes after application.

It is important to note that they might not work effectively for every patient, and not every patient’s surgery might be suitable for Silicone Strips. That noted some Silicone Strip product providers have reported these strips can produce up to:

  • an 86% reduction in scar-texture (e.g. helping with smoothness)
  • an 84% reduction in colour
  • and a 68% reduction in height (elevation) of the scars.

Dr Patrick Briggs Specialist Plastic Surgeons and Dermal Clinicians are keen to see more evidence-based, non-sponsored research being done to assess just how effective these treatments are and what patients might benefit most. But from what is known currently, it is likely that silicone strips might be an effective method for treating various scars after surgery for some patients.

What are the Pros and Cons of Using Silicone Strips?

When it comes to silicone strips to reduce scarring there are some pros and cons.

Pros:

  1. Silicone Strips can help heal scars faster than gels. That’s because your scar tissue is continuously in contact with the silicone – Where gels are easily wiped away.
  2. It is a non-invasive and painless.
  3. It helps to minimise redness, pain, bumps or itching of scar tissue while your skin heals.
  4. Blends well with your skin so it is not overly obvious when that you’re using silicone strips (it can depend on clothing and wear the strips are located).
  5. Silicone Strips are available in different sizes.

Cons:

  1. Strips need to be worn 24 hours a day and can be visible.
  2. Silicone strips are costlier than gels.
  3. Allergic reactions and sensitivity to the product are possible.

Silicone Strips FAQs

What Scars do Silicone Strip Work Best On?

Silicone strips are most suitable for elevated scars. They may work best to prevent or treat hypertrophic and keloid scars.

  • Hypertrophic scars are raised and remain within the boundaries of the injury or wounded area.
  • Keloid scars go beyond the incision and into the surrounding skin area.
  • Both types of scars may be itchy or painful.  In severe cases, these scars can affect one’s mobility.

Can Silicone Strips be used on old scars?

Most definitely. Silicone works on both old and new scars.

When Should I Begin using Silicone Strips?

For newly healed wounds, be sure to wait until there is no further bleeding, oozing or crusting on the area you are treating.  Ask your Surgeon for specifics as this is general information only, but for post-surgical scars, you might be able to begin using it 1 to 2 weeks after your sutures are removed – but don’t use it until and unless your Surgeon gives you clearance to do so.

Can I use Silicone Strips on any Part of My Body?

Yes, mostly. Silicone strips can be ideal for use on most body parts as long as the tissue has healed adequately.

How long should I use it?

  • Treatment duration will vary from person to person
  • Duration depends on the extent and severity of the scar and your skin’s healing and scar formation processes.
  • Sometimes the recommended duration of silicone strips usage is 8 to 12 weeks for new scars or 3 to 6 months for existing scars. That’s a fairly long protocol to follow but if you do, you may be rewarded by less visible scars (that noted, for many people but not all, scars fade a lot naturally within 12 to 18/24 months after surgery).
  • The results of these treatments may vary.

Is Silicone Strip Scar Treatment Safe?

Yes, it appears this is a safe treatment and the FDA even recommends silicone strips for the treatment and reduction of scars. There have been no reported side effects from using silicone strips because it is made of non-toxic, medical-grade silicone.  Every person is different, however, and you could have an allergy to it (rare but possible).

How will I use Silicone Strips Properly?

Dr Briggs or his Nurse will help teach you how to use your silicone strips, although here are some helpful tips:

  1. Massage gently only around the scar.
  2. Do not shower with strips, remove them beforehand.
  3. Swap out weekly (each strip may last for approximately one week – so it is recommended to change it weekly on average).
  4. Report any changes in your skin sensation, itchiness, redness, irritation, and other abnormalities in your scar tissue to your Surgeon immediately for further medical evaluation.

Having healthy skin and a good immune system can help a lot when it comes to healing well from a scar.

You’ll need to do your part, but Dr Briggs or his Nurse and can help you learn how to best prepare your skin for surgery and other treatments; they can also help your skin recover from incisions. Be sure you attend any recommended Healite II appointments – it feels great and helps rejuvenate and heal your skin.

Stimulating the skin’s natural healing mechanisms in the weeks or months before as well as after your surgery can help reduce the appearance of your scars.

The Process of Wound Healing

Scar Healing Symptoms

As your skin heals from a surgical incision or other skin wound, scars form; and along the way of skin repair (scar formation) you may experience:

  • itching
  • tenderness
  • warmth in the incision area (but let your Surgeon or Nurse know if the area becomes very warm or hot as this could signal an infection)
  • discomfort or pain
  • anxiety about the scar (especially if you’ve just had major surgery when your emotional reactions will be more sensitive than they might otherwise be)
  • sleep disturbance

Your wound could be infected if you experience any of the following.

  • Fever.
  • Delay in your healing.
  • Pus, redness, and pain getting worse.
  • Tenderness, warmth, and swelling near your wound.

Topical Scar Treatments

If your incision is thin and if you are careful not to interfere with it or over-stretch it during your healing period, your scars will tend to heal well over approximately 12 to 24 months.  They will often become barely noticeable, but a lot of their visibility after surgery depends upon:

(a) where you have the surgery incision (e.g. breast incisions are often hidden in the inframammary fold);

(b) your genetics including skin tone,

(c) your overall health

(d) whether or not you get a skin infection or other complication after surgery, and

(e) how well you follow your post-op instructions including, but not limited to having good nutrition, using the Rapid Recovery protocols, wearing the right garments as prescribed, avoiding strenuous activities as advised, caring for your bandages (and other sterilisation efforts and wound treatments), and your rest and recovery requirements.

Dr Patrick Briggs Specialist Plastic Surgeon

Dr Patrick Briggs
FRCS (Plas)

Specialist Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery Clinic in Melbourne

Dr Patrick Briggs is a Specialist Plastic and Cosmetic Surgeon. Both he and his team are dedicated to excellence in patient care and are committed to treating each and every patient with respect and privacy.

Not only does he offer high-quality results he also offers natural-looking plastic and cosmetic surgery results. Furthermore, he is experienced in Breast, Body and Face Surgery having performed over 4500 Surgeries in private practice. 

Dr Patrick Briggs is an expert in breast, face and body surgery for men and women.

How can we help?

Dr Briggs’ Patient Coordinators take pleasure in assisting you with any questions when considering a plastic surgery procedure. Please call the Hawthorn East clinic in Melbourne between 8 am – 6 pm on Weekdays.

Phone 1300 264 811Email us or Book a free 15-minute Call with Dr Patrick Briggs’s team.

What Next?

Want more information about your Procedure?

  • For more information about pricing and payment methods, please visit our page on Surgery Payment options.
  • Talk to our Patient Care Team from 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday on 1300 264 811.
Dr Patrick Briggs consultation

What to Bring to Your Consultation

  • If you like, please bring a friend or relative to help discuss the information and your choices.
  • Take a lot of notes and thoroughly examine the documents your surgeon provides.
  • You may need to undress so it’s a good idea to wear simple clothes.

How to Book a Consultation

  • Dr Briggs Consultation fee is $300.
  • A referral from your GP or your specialist is helpful but not essential. However,
  • To claim any Medicare or Health Insurance you will need a referral.
  • Please contact the Patient Care Team at Coco Ruby Plastic Surgery today to book your consultation.