How to Avoid Scarring After Surgery
Our bodies work to heal wounds after an injury or surgery. The appearance of the wound depends on how well the wound heals. Often times, scars form, and this is simply a natural part of the healing process. Some scrapes and cuts on locations of your body such as on your knees or elbows are often destined to leave behind scar tissue. However, there are some efforts you can take advantage of and know how to order to avoid scarring after surgery.
Risk Factors For Scarring
While there are preventative measures you can take, there are some things you simply can’t control.
- Age. As we age, our skin becomes less elastic and quite thin. Along with other lifestyle issues such as smoking, sun exposure, and exposure to environmental factors can cause scars to be more apparent.
- Genetics. If your parents or siblings tend to scar easily, the chances are that your body will also be more prone to that fact.
- Size and depth of the incision. The larger and deeper your scar, the longer the healing process will take and the greater the opportunity for scarring.
Types Of Scarring
Keloid Scars are a type of raised scar. It’s the result of an aggressive healing process and may require injury to remove the scar. Other treatments include steroid injections, silicone sheets, or cryotherapy.
Contracture scars are most typical after a burn. They often tighten skin and can impair your ability to move. Sometimes contracture scars may also go deeper, affecting muscles and nerves.
Hypertrophic scars are similar to keloid scars but not to the degree or height of a keloid scar. However, treatments are similar, including injections or silicone sheets which work to flatten the scar.
Unfortunately, severe acne comes to the scars to prove it. These scars can appear like deep bits to scars that are angular or have a wavelike appearance. Treatment options depend on the type of acne scars you have.
Remedies For Scarring After Surgery
- It’s important to always keep your cut, scrape, or other injuries clean. Wash the affected area with mild soap and water to remove debris and keep out bacteria and germs.
- Use petroleum jelly to keep the wound moist as it helps the wound heal. By preventing the wound from drying out and forming a scab, you’re allowing your body to heal more efficiently and will also prevent a scar from getting too large or itchy.
- Once the wound is cleaned and petroleum jelly (or a similar ointment) has been applied, covering the affected skin with an adhesive bandage will be helpful in the healing process and preventing scarring after surgery. If your scrape, sore, or burn is larger in size, it may be helpful to use silicone gel sheets to minimize scarring.
- Changing your bandage daily will help to keep the wound clean while it heals. If you have sensitive skin, for example, to adhesives, try a non-adhesive gauze pad and paper tape to avoid irritation.
- If your injury requires stitches, following your doctor’s advice on how to care for the wound will significantly help to minimize the appearance of a scar.
- Lastly, protecting your scar from the sun by applying sunscreen can help reduce red or brown discoloration. Using a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher and reapplying frequently can help the scar fade faster as well.
Scar Treatments From Your Surgeon
Silicone Wound Treatment: Silicone Wound Treatment has increasingly become popular in the healing process for tattoos. It’s applied similar to if one was to wrap plastic wrap around a body part and works to protect your incision from stress and contamination without any damage to the skin when it’s removed. Studies have shown to significantly reduce scarring.
Incision Placement: Sometimes the placement of the incision can be chosen. For example, in breast reconstruction surgery, the incision can be placed in various places based on the patient’s preference for placement. This helps to hide or minimize scars.
Prescription Medications: If you have a tendency to scar badly, your surgeon may be able to prescribe cleansers, ointments or a wound care regimen to help.
Massage: More doctors are recommending patients to massage their scars. By massaging the scarred area, it may remove any bumps or lumps that remain after the healing process.
Steroid Injection: If you are prone to forming keloid scars, talk to your surgeon about having a steroid injection to prevent the formation of another keloid.
How To Avoid Scarring After Surgery
Scarring is a natural step in the healing process. There are several different treatments you can do at home or with the help of a certified physician. However, no treatment is universally successful.
If you are experiencing problems with scarring and these methods aren’t working for you, consider scheduling a consultation with Dr. Finkel. This will allow for ample time to discuss what has happened and the best methods for treating your scarring after surgery. To schedule a consultation, click here.