How Do I Minimize Scarring?
Scars form on the skin when an injury occurs and something penetrates its full thickness. Whether the injury is accidental or caused by a surgical incision, scars form as the body generates dense fibrous tissue to repair the damage. Scars may have a different appearance based on the type of injury, age, sun exposure, anatomical location, and genetic factors. While you may not be able to prevent scars from forming, you can minimize scarring. Here are some ways to minimize scarring after plastic surgery procedures.
Patients must stop smoking well before their surgical procedure and avoid smoking during the healing process. Smoking inhibits the body’s ability to deliver oxygen, which is necessary for a healthy healing response. Smoking also poisons the body, making the body work harder to eliminate toxins. By avoiding smoking, your surgical incisions are more likely to heal well with minimal scarring.
Avoid Direct Sunlight
You can also minimize scarring by avoiding direct sunlight. Sunlight will darken the pigment of the skin as well as the scar, making it more noticeable. Keep your incisions covered when you go out in the sun to minimize scarring.
Follow Doctor Recommendations
One of the best ways to minimize scarring is to follow all of Dr. Boyd’s recommendations for your post-operative activities. Eat healthy foods, drink lots of water, get fresh air to replenish your oxygen supply, and do not engage in strenuous exercises before the recovery timeline recommends. Dr. Boyd will give you instructions that will help you to minimize scarring and aid the healing process.
Strengthen Your Immune System
The strength of your immune system will determine the effectiveness of your body’s healing response. If your body does not heal properly, infections and other complications may occur that can leave unsightly scarring after surgery. As you eat healthy foods, drink lots of water, and rest as much as necessary, you will increase your likelihood of healing successfully. Dr. Boyd will also prescribe antibiotics to prevent or treat infections that may lead to suboptimal scarring.
Use Creams or Lotions
Creams and lotions can help wounds to heal and reduce the risk of scarring. Hydroquinone cream can cause scars to fade while cocoa butter, Aloe vera, and vitamin E moisturize the skin to help it heal and repair the damaged cells. The act of massaging the lotion into the skin helps flatten immature (new) scars.
While these methods will help to minimize scarring, they cannot prevent scars from forming. If you are in need of scar revision, Dr. Boyd offers scar revision treatments to improve the appearance of scars.
Dr. Boyd is a board-certified plastic surgeon who will help you to understand how you can minimize scarring and promote healthy healing after your plastic surgery procedure. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Boyd, call 310.597.4734 today or fill out our online contact form.