7 Tips on How to Minimize Scars After Surgery
If you have had to undergo surgery, you know that the experience can be daunting. Not only are you dealing with the physical and emotional trauma of a possibly life-changing event, but also the aftermath—which can include scarring from stitches or bandages that you may not want. While it might be impossible to completely erase scars for good, there are steps you can take toward diminishing their appearance.
In this blog post, we will explore practical ways in which you can reduce the visible signs of surgery scars to help your skin regain its original smoothness and texture. Read on if you would like to learn more about decreasing surgical scar visibility!
Causes of Surgical Scars
Scarring is a common risk whenever the skin is damaged. Whether it’s from an everyday occurrence like children skinning their knees or as a result of surgery, trauma can cause hypertrophic or keloid scars to form as the skin heals.
Scar tissue replaces normal healthy tissue and marks that area permanently because, in many cases, scar tissue isn't able to stretch or move like regular skin and it may be discolored or raised compared to the surrounding area. While some hypertrophic and keloid scars can be minimized with treatments like steroid injections, laser therapy, and cryotherapy, preventing scarring in the first place remains the best solution.
How to Reduce the Appearance of Surgical Scars
As certain surgeries, like skin cancer removal, are often accompanied by scarring, some people may feel anxious when thinking about their skin’s appearance after the procedure. Fortunately, the following techniques have been proven to expedite wound healing and improve cosmetic outcomes: used either on their own or in combination, they can provide some assurance to those who are worried. After all — while a scar may not be ideal for some, it certainly beats having an active malignancy on your body!
Use Adhering Tape Across
When undergoing surgery, it can be frustrating to bear the scarring that may follow in its wake. For up to six months after surgery, applying adhesive tape over a healed wound can help reduce the visibility of hypertrophic scars. This is because circulation around the scar area is improved, allowing for more even healing results.
Scar formation is caused by a combination of factors such as the location and size of the wound or incision, the amount of tension present during healing, and genetics. This tape application helps create compression over the area, which reduces hypertrophic scarring and prevents forming keloid scars. Although it’s not a foolproof method, taking this step as part of your healing process will put you one step closer to having a smoother complexion!
Use Strong, Deep, Absorbable Stitches
Cosmetic surgery can be an excellent way to improve the aesthetics and functionality of various areas of the body. However, one thing that many people worry about is the appearance of scars after cosmetic or plastic surgery. One step that night help with the appearance is using certain types of stitches.
Referred to by doctors as 'deep dermal sutures', these sutures are placed beneath the skin where they are not visible, but help prevent stretching of the healing wound as you go about your day-to-day life. This can help reduce and minimize scarring in the surrounding skin. It's worth asking your doctor if they will use these hidden deeper stitches, which dissolve over a longer period to add strength and reduce scarring when your wound is most vulnerable.
Medicated Creams or Gels
Surgical scars are often very visible and difficult to disguise. Fortunately, there are a variety of ways to reduce their appearance using over-the-counter medications. An effective treatment for managing surgical scarring is silicone gel, which helps restore your skin’s natural look and texture by absorbing moisture from the atmosphere.
If itching or sensitivity from your surgical scar prevents you from feeling comfortable, antihistamine cream can alleviate the symptoms while it helps your skin heal. Corticosteroid creams are an efficient option for both preventing and reducing existing scars as long as you incorporate them into a regular skincare routine that also involves proper hygiene and healing techniques. With careful attention to your skin's needs, you can be well on your way to minimizing the appearance of surgery-related scars!
Eat a Healthy Balanced Diet with Plenty of Protein
Eating a balanced diet with plenty of protein is essential for healing skin. Protein-rich foods such as meat, fish, eggs, pulses, and tofu provide the body with the amino acids it needs to heal wounds properly. Healthy healing and reduction of the appearance of surgical scars can be enhanced by incorporating daily vitamin C and zinc supplements into your diet — ideally in the weeks leading up to and directly after surgery. Therefore, it's important to make sure you get enough nutritious food to speed up healing and reduce scar visibility.
Chemical Peel or Dermabrasion
Chemical peels and microdermabrasion can be great tools for reducing the appearance of severe scarring on your skin. By buffing away the top layers of skin, it can take deeper scars and bring them closer to the surface. It's important to know that when the peeling process is complete, your skin may have a reddish or swollen appearance that could last anywhere from one week to multiple weeks before returning to normal. It's a great option to consider if you're looking for a way to reduce deep scarring on your skin.
After a wound has healed, scar massage can be beneficial for some people. This massage helps break up the collagen building in the tissue underneath the scar and can help improve its texture and flatness of it. Sometimes, tight strands or cords of rope-like tissue form underneath the skin. Massaging and stretching these cords gently can relax them, making them less visible when looking at the scar itself. If you feel like your scar may need this kind of treatment, make sure to speak with your doctor, who can advise on whether massaging it is necessary and how to do it properly.
Make Sure to Inform Your Doctor if You’re Prone to Excessive Scarring
To assess your risk of keloid scarring, your doctor will take into account the region where you have undergone surgery. Afterward, preventative treatment such as silicon gel or sheet dressings may be advised once sutures are removed. Although successful treatments for keloids exist, prevention is far more beneficial in terms of achieving a desirable cosmetic result.
Surgery scars can be a big source of insecurity for a lot of people. But with the right knowledge and treatment, like topical treatments, it is possible to reduce their appearance significantly. The tips we’ve provided in this blog post should help you get started on your journey to better-looking skin. Do you have any other tips for reducing the appearance of surgery scars?