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It goes without saying that cosmetic surgery is still invasive surgery, which means that incisions will be made in the skin.
And while many men and women are excited for the various cosmetic improvements that plastic surgery offers, the resulting scars are some of the most common worries that potential patients have. The reality is that there will be some form of scar (with the size and appearance of the scar(s) being determined by the type of cosmetic procedure performed).
The reality is that surgical scars will heal and fade over time, but if you desire to speed up your recovery and help your scars heal and fade as quickly (and as much) as possible, then here are some different steps you can take…
1. Stay Out of Direct Sunlight
We all know that some sunlight is a necessary positive to our skin and lives; however, too much can have a negative effect on our bodies, and this is especially true when you have surgical scars.
The UV rays in the sunlight can cause post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation or hypopigmentation (which is a darkening or lightening of skin and scar color).
These pigmentation issues can last for months and draw more unwanted attention to your scars.
To make sure that this doesn’t happen, you will want to stay away from direct sunlight and make sure to cover your scar. Covering your scar can be easy if you have had a breast procedure (breast augmentation surgery or breast lift surgery), but it can be more difficult if you had a procedure on a more visible part of your body, like facelift surgery.
If you need to be out in the sun, make sure to wear sunscreen with a high SPF, reapply the sunscreen when directed, and only stay in the sun for short amounts of time.
Additionally, while many people think that direct sunlight is only something to worry about when outdoors, your skin can also receive direct sun exposure indoors (through windows). Because of this, it is recommended that you cover your scar with sunscreen on a regular basis, both inside and out.
2. Use Silicone Sheeting
We recommend that you begin to use either silicone sheeting or BIOCORNEUM® on your scar starting three weeks after your plastic surgery procedure. These treatments can be used for three to 12 months to help diminish your resulting scar(s).
Silicone sheeting is a thin adhesive strip that is made up of 100% silicone. When placed over a surgical scar, the silicone helps to regulate the amount of collagen produced (which helps to improve the skin’s overall quality and health) as well as maintain moisture in the applied area. This helps to minimize the appearance of your scar while also relieving any discomfort you may feel with the scar (such as itching)
BIOCORNEUM® Advanced Scar Treatment is a cream that essentially creates a secure silicone shield over the scar to help prevent any external factors, including the sun, from negatively affecting the skin and scar. One of the ways that BIOCORNEUM® works is by including SPF factors in with silicone.
3. Consider Cosmetic Treatments
If you are still frustrated with the appearance of your cosmetic surgery scar(s) after 12 months, there are cosmetic treatments that you can undergo. These non-surgical treatments help to minimize the appearance and presence of scars while helping you feel more confident about the way your skin looks.
Some of these treatments include:
- Fraxel® DUAL laser treatment: Laser light is directed at the surgical scar. This laser energy penetrates the skin to promote collagen production, which helps with scar removal. Because collagen is a protein that is responsible for the health and strength of the skin, the Fraxel® laser is merely jumpstarting your body into correcting itself. Take a look at some before and after photos of the Fraxel® laser scar removal treatment.
- Chemical peel treatment: Dr. Wilson offers several different chemical peel options that can help to minimize the look and feel of plastic surgery scars on your body. Chemical peels are used to remove the outer layer of old and dead skin to reveal new and fresh skin. When this happens, collagen growth is promoted, which helps to heal the scars (while improving the quality of the surrounding skin).
Interested in Learning More
If you are interested in learning about how you can reduce the appearance of cosmetic surgery scars, then contact Dr. Patrick Wilson at (256) 551-2002 to set up a consultation.