The scars tell the story of our life. Sometimes, however, they also mean discomfort and create aesthetic problems. What are they and how can unsightly scarring be prevented?
An experienced surgeon trying to minimise the scar is, of course, a number one condition. At the same time, it is necessary to add that even a surgeon-magician cannot 100% influence the final appearance of the scar. There are many factors playing a role there and they should be taken into account.
Factors given – inborn
Over the years, skin loses its elasticity, weakens and thus reduces its ability to regenerate without scarring.
In case your family members tend to have visible and extensive scars, then it probably applies to you as well.
How you heal in general
This aspect can have both the basics of genetic and those acquired – due to temporary or chronic diseases, e.g. diabetes.
Factors that can be influenced
Smoking is proven to have inflammatory potential, it indeed affects the healing process negatively. Plastic surgeons therefore recommend stopping smoking not only in the postoperative phase but also weeks before the procedure.
Alcohol and coffee
These drinks significantly dehydrate, so they are not really compatible with the healing guidelines. Therefore, do not drink alcohol after surgery and avoid excessive consumption of caffeine based drinks. Rather hydrate your entire body and skin sufficiently – drink plenty of water.
A balanced diet benefits to your body in general. During the healing process ensure a sufficient supply of proteins that will give the skin building material for tissue regeneration.
Follow the doctor’s advice
Postoperative recommendations are not just a formality and paperwork. Resting, avoiding infection with proper care, avoiding lifting heavy objects, bending, and shedding sunbath – these are the main points to keep in mind and adhering to them is essential to prevent scarring.
What else will your surgeon help you with?
Location of the scar
A topic that is to be addressed and solved during your personal consultation. Contemporary surgery emphasises discrete placement and scar minimisation. For example, in the case of abdominoplasty, the incision is made to be hidden in the underwear. Or, in case of the thigh lift is the incision made in the groin area. Anyway – you will surely like to discuss this with your doctor personally.
Massage and laser therapies
These can be a part of the postoperative phase after removing/absorbing the stitches. Your surgeon can advise on adequate massage techniques and available laser therapies, he will recommend you the best options taking into account your individual case, placement, and extent of the scar.
The occurrence of postoperative scars is a complex issue, but you can be prepared and act to prevent unsightly scars.