Post-Operative Scar Treatment: How To Improve Surgical Scars

It is true that even cosmetic surgeons can’t operate without leaving marks. If you have surgery, you will have scars. Sometimes they are placed as unobtrusive as possible (in case of cosmetic surgery).

When undergoing normal surgery the scars will be more prominent. They are permanent, yet, if you give them the right kind of care, you can drastically reduce them.

Most individuals who have post-operative scars have two goals:

1 – To keep excessive scar tissue down
2 – To have a pleasing cosmetic appearance

Post-Operative Scar Treatment

 

There are several combined elements that make up the best treatment of scars after surgery. It’s important to bear in mind that the majority of after-surgery scars are hypertrophic, which are swollen and purplish or reddish in color.

Keloids are the kind of hypertrophic scars that develop on the outside of the original wound region.

Over the counter treatments for surgical scars include:

1 – Creams (silicone gel, medical honey, and Vitamin C)
2 – Scar massage
3 – Vitamin and mineral supplements
4 – Pressure therapy
5 – Silicone gel
6 – Paper tape

A Look At Surgical Paper Tape

 

A great way to keep incision wounds closed and reduce the shear forces is to use adhesive tape. It’s often applied when the dressings or sutures have been removed. The reason adhesive tape is used is that it keeps the wound from stretching and won’t cause an excessive amount of scar tissue from developing.

The paper tape should be work for at least six weeks or until the surgical wound has closed. If the wound has yet to close after six weeks, the tape should be left on.

You can use hypoallergenic tape, which cares for the scar by decreasing the tension on the edges of the wound and reducing the possibility of less favorable and widening scarring. Both Micropore and Steristrips tape are highly recognizable for doing the above things.

Another reason you should tape the cut is that scabs will stay soft and small. It’s a good idea to stop scabs from forming and maintain moisture so the wound will heal better and there is less scarring. (contrary to what is commonly thought there are studies confirming this. Read more about it here.)

A Look At Pressure Therapy

 

Until it was clear what the silicone sheeting benefits were, the standard way to treat surgical and burn scars was pressure therapy. The way to apply continuous pressure on the wounds was done through compression garments.

Compression has shown to do four things:

– Reduce pain
– Reduce the itch
– Prevent scars from forming
– Flatten scars that have risen

The effects on keloids are negligible:

Theoretically, pressure can break up the collagen bundles and soften the mass. However, it’s a long-term treatment and may not see any improvements for quite some time.

Today, compression garments are typically applied to boost the speed rate of the healing/recovery process. They’re typically used after certain kinds of procedures like

– Breast reduction
– Buttock augmentation
– Face lifts
– Liposuction (for men)
– Thigh lifts
– Tummy tucks surgery

When you wear post-operative compression garments, it does five things:

1 – Boosts the circulation of blood
2 – Lessens the swelling and bruising
3 – Reliefs your pain and discomfort
4 – Supports the body’s new contours
5 – Lessens the scar tissue creation

Talk to your doctor about the benefits of using a compression garment after your surgery.

A Look At Silicone Gel Sheeting

 

Silicone gel sheets are used in the management and treatment of hypertrophic scars and have been in use since 1982. While pressure therapy is still widely used, silicones are used in the majority of hospitals and burn centers.

Because of it’s easy of use, effectiveness and non-invasiveness silicone gel is commonly called the golden standard in hypertrophic scar treatment.

The gel helps by softening up and reducing the scars; cutting down on the amount of time it takes for pressure therapy to do the same thing.

Silicones are not intrusive and there’s little to no risk for side effects…although some folks may have minor rashes or redness. Thus, it’s recommended over more invasive treatments like cryotherapy, steroid injections and corrective surgery.

Since most surgical scars improve upon using silicon gel this modality is recommended before trying other, more risky treatments. There are a large variety of brands that include pre-shaped sheets to cover incisions like breast reduction and c-section scars.

Click here for more comprehensive information about various surgery scar improvement methods.

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