Before silicone sheeting became widespread, pressure therapy has been the appropriate method to treat (burn) scars.
During the nineteenth century the use of pressure in the treatment and prevention of hypertrophic scars or keloids became popular.
Compression garments, made from elasticized fabric shaped as sleeves, gloves, or masks, became standard treatment modalities in burn centers and other health care institutions.
Nowadays compression garments are still commonly used. For example after (cosmetic) surgery. This because of the specific benefits of these garments.
Benefits of the pressure applied are;
- improved blood circulation,
- minimized swelling after the procedure,
- drainage of potentially harmful fluids,
- acceleration of the healing process,
- and prevention of problematic scar development.
So How Do Compression Garments Work?
- The mechanism of pressure therapy has to do with the fact that in case of (burn) scars the top layer of the skin is missing. Therefore it can’t put pressure on the skin as healthy skin would do and this is what may lead to hypertrophic and keloid scarring.
- Another probable benefit of post surgery compression garments is that the pressure applied on the scar protects the tissue from overstretching. This reduced tension on the healing tissue prevents scars from widening (or thickening). For the same reason scar taping is sometimes administered.
- Furthermore, pressure may theoretically break up excessive scar tissue (collagen bundles) and soften the keloid mass however, therapy must be instituted for long periods (>23 h/d for 6 mo) before significant effects can be achieved.
- When used following a facial procedure, the compression garment also provides support to surgical areas for more comfort and helps the skin fit better to it new contours.
Plastic surgery compression garments are available for most types of cosmetic surgery and for every part of the body (face, upper body, mid body, lower body, chest, abdomen, arms, back, shoulders, thighs, legs, calves, and all other body areas).
There are several online stores who offer these garments.
Makemeheal for example, offers a wide range of medical grade garments for various procedures. (The term medical grade refers to the fact that these are high quality post-operative, medical compression garments which are specifically designed to be worn for long time periods during the recovery process from a cosmetic surgery.)
Examples of cosmetic surgeries after which pressure garments are used are; breast surgery, face lifts, buttock surgery, arm, thigh lift, liposuction and other weight loss procedures.