Risk of Scarring
Scarring is a common concern after plastic surgery procedures. While surgeons strive to minimise scarring, it is an inevitable part of the healing process. Factors such as genetics, skin type, and the extent of the procedure can influence scar formation.
Scars typically fade and improve over time, but will still remain somewhat visible. Proper wound care, adherence to post-operative instructions, and avoiding sun exposure can help promote optimal scar healing.
It’s important to have realistic expectations and discuss scar management options with your surgeon to ensure the best possible outcome.
Adhering to the following during recovery may help minimise the appearance of scars;
- Following proper wound care instructions
- Keeping the incision site clean and protected
- Wear your support garment and keep dressings in place.
- Limit movement, to avoid injuries that could worsen the healing process.
- There are some vitamins and supplements you may want to consider taking before or during recovery time – vitamin E is one of them
- Avoid excessive sun exposure
Additionally, some patients may have results from scar treatment options such as silicone sheets/strips, topical creams, or laser therapy.
Consulting with a qualified plastic surgeon and adhering to their recommendations can help minimise post-surgical scars.
Support garments and keeping your scars dressed.
- Wear a supportive bra/compression garment.
- Keep your scars covered with bandages or dressings (avoid rubbing).
- Limit movement, especially in areas where there are scars.
- Avoid activities that pull on your skin like stretching, sneezing, coughing and heavy lifting.
- Don’t do anything that pulls on the scars, such as heavy lifting or any repetitive bending.
- Be careful with your stitches: don’t pick at them and be gentle when changing dressings (if you have to).
- Avoid excessive stretching that put pressure on you incisions.
Post-op scar management
If you have scars that are more than a year old, then it is likely they will not improve with scar revision. However, if your scars are less than 12 months old and the skin type is compatible (skin colour, thickness) there may be an improvement in appearance following surgery.
The key to good post-op scar management is doing all or any of the following:
- Keep scars moisturised with a good-quality oil or cream.
- Massage scars daily for at least 5 minutes.
- Avoid heavy creams that block the skin and inhibit healing. This includes thick night creams, oily makeup and sunscreen.
- Consider using silicone gel sheeting to help improve scars.
- Wear your support garment for as long as your surgeon advises you.
Limit sun exposure after surgery on our scars
Sun exposure is a major culprit in the development of scars. UV rays can cause hyperpigmentation, leading to discolouration and uneven skin tone.
It’s important that you protect your scars from being overexposed to the sun for extended periods.
The information provided in this article is for educational and informational proposes. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in this article. The author and publisher of this article make no representation or warranties with respect to the accuracy, applicability, or completeness of the content of this article. The information contained in this article is strictly at your own risk.