Jul 26 2012

Scar Therapy

 

Minimising Your Scars

The goal of all plastic surgery is to have a minimal scar, or as close to this ideal as possible.

So how can you increase the chances that your skin will heal well?

First of all, let’s talk about what can go wrong in the healing process.

Hypertrophic scars are the kind that become thick and raised.

A keloid is a scar that is caused by increased tissue formation after  cutting  the skin. When the skin heals, there can be an overproduction of collagen. Eventually, the excess of collagen builds up into an unsightly mass, known as a keloid. In addition to being unattractive, it can also itch severely or even be painful. Almost half of all people who experience this type of scarring do so on the earlobes as a result of ear piercing.

Keloid scarring is hereditary. Some skin types are more likely to develop keloid scarring than others, and if you have other scars that have healed poorly, your chances are higher that you will keloid again.

  So what can you do to reduce your chances?

Steps You Can Take Before Surgery;

Quit Smoking

smoking can reduce the body’s ability to heal, and reduces blood flow to the surgical area, thus reducing the chances of healthy skin rejuvenation. Quit smoking at least 2 weeks before and after your surgery.

Drink plenty of water

Moisturize your skin from the outside, And hydrate it from the inside – this is the best skin plan around!

After Surgery

If your surgeon uses steri- strips (the white medical tape) on your incisions, leave it on as long as possible (unless directed otherwise). It helps to support the new scar, preventing stretching and sagging. It should also help to keep your scar flat.

Once the incision is completely closed (Not draining) you can start using scar creams, gels,oils or scar tape.

There are lots of different types, ranging from the simple natural oils, to the advanced medical  lotions and gels.

Silicone gels (100% silicone - biocorneum for example) have been proven to work extremely well on keloid scars and surgical scars. Gels seem to absorb faster than creams, so a silicone gel would be one of the best options around for your scars.

Silicone sheets is another option. These act like the medical tape that is used initially after surgery but they are designed to be used over an extended time.  The problem with tape is that it can be bulky or it can loose its adhesive quality.  It goes on like tape, and creates a hydrated environment for the scar to heal.

Wear Sunscreen

Another important thing to remember is that your scars shouldn’t see the sun during the first year of healing.

If you do want to tan, cover up your scars with sun block ( an spf of at least 30) or a band-aid if possible. Always aim for as many levels of protection as possible, sunscreen and clothing.

If you do tan the scar, it can permanently darken, leaving a more noticeable scar for the long term. Think of your scars being like a baby’s skin- it shouldn’t be exposed to the sun for the first year of life when it is most vulnerable.

How Long Will It Take To Fade?

It is normal for a scar to take a long time to fade, often the scar will actually get darker in the first 6 months to a year, and then slowly fade to white over a year.

Most Breast Aug scars will be thin and flat on their own, but Tummy Tuck ( abdominoplasty )  scars tend be larger and more prominent because there is more tension on the skin, and two areas of completely separate skin being bought together.

It is worth investing the time and money on you scars, after all- you are spending thousands of dollars on the procedure, making sure the end result is as good as possible seems like a worthwhile investment.

 

Biocorneum

One of the best products on the market is biocorneum which rubs on clearly and contains sunscreen within it (spf 30).  Biocorneum contains silicone and sunscreen and can only be purchased from a doctors office. However many online sellers have popped up.  My office store sells biocorneum at lower prices than anywhere else.  89.99 for a 50 gram tube. Most other sellers charge 30-40% more for a bottle of that size.  The 50 gram tube is best for tummy tuck scars and breast reduction scars. whereas the 10 or 20 gram tube is best for breast augmentation scars.  the 10 gram tube is probably best for liposuction scars.  Check out WhySkin.com

Comments (2)

# 1 | Posted by: Eliza, about 1 year ago

I have huge scar (surfing accident) on my leg...just purchased Maderma- I was told it is very good and not as expensive as biocorneum. Is Maderma good as well, will it work? or should I stick with biocorneum? I used biocorneum before (scars on my breast)...it worked ok, my scars are still visible and they turned light-brown.... I sterted using Maderma 2 days ago on my 12 inch long , 1/8-1/4inch wide leg scar...I would like that scar to be less visible or ideally disappear! Could you give me some advice? Thank you!

# 2 | Posted by: Dr Timothy Mountcastle, about 1 year ago

If Biocorneum didnt do the trick then i would move on to other therapies. Fraxel Laser does a great job with scars (especially ones with too much color ) Steroid injections can also help with thickened scars but they must be done properly. if steroids injected too deep then the scar hollows out b/c the steroids were injected into fat tissue below. time is also important. how long has your scar been there? ps im not a big fan of mederma ps2 the scar will never dissappear - we can only hope it will fade enough to be hidden and not visible to the naked eye.

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