“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” – Benjamin Franklin
The best way to minimize the appearance and development of a post-surgical scar is to treat the wound properly. Though there are exceptions that are out of a person’s control — for example, certain skin types are more prone to visible scarring than others — Dr. David Sayah encourages his patients to be proactive in their post-surgical wound care. With the right steps, scars are likely to fade over time until they are virtually undetectable.
Dr. Sayah, a plastic surgeon in Beverly Hills, recommends the following:
Avoid Sun Exposure
Scars that are exposed to the sun may become red and raised, and nearly impossible to reverse. Keep your incision site out of the sun for at least six months. Protect it with clothing or broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30+.
Dr. Sayah recommends the use of Micropore tape, which is a brown camouflage tape available at our office. This tape is designed to protect the incision site as it heals.
Keep the Incision Site Clean
Dr. Sayah will provide detailed instructions for cleaning the incision site. He will probably ask you to wash the area with warm, soapy water and gently pat it dry with a clean towel.
Also, it is important to avoid wearing tight clothing or clothing that rubs against the incision site, both of which can irritate the incision site.
Smoking is one of the most harmful things you can do prior to surgery and during your recovery. It can significantly delay wound healing and lead to more extensive scarring.
Massage the Scar
Studies have shown that massage therapy can help with texture issues that develop as wounds heal. The massage increases circulation to the healing tissues and loosens underlying scar tissue. Dr. Sayah can provide more detailed instructions for massaging the scar.
Do Not Use Creams or Other Topical Products
Refrain from using any creams or topical products on your incision site without first checking with Dr. Sayah. Some of these products could actually worsen your scar. The doctor will advise which ointments and creams to use on the treated area. If you are prone to hypertrophic scarring or keloid scars, we may recommend silicone sheeting, a topical cortisone or small injections of Kenalog.
Keep an Eye Out for Complications
Contact our office immediately if your incision site becomes red, puffy or painful; if you develop severe pain around your incision; or if develop a fever higher than 100.4 degrees.
If you have questions about caring for your incision site, or would like more tips for minimizing post-operative scarring, please contact Dr. David Sayah today by calling (310) 905-8405 or sending an email.