10 Ways to Reduce Plastic Surgery Scars
One of the most common concerns among plastic surgery patients is the amount of scarring that may develop from the incisions. While there’s no way to completely eliminate scars, you shouldn’t let a fear of scarring keep you away from pursuing plastic surgery. As experts in plastic surgery, we wanted to share the 10 ways to reduce any scars that may result from your procedure.
- Surgical Skill
Scar reduction actually starts during surgery. A skilled surgeon will make precise incisions, no deeper or longer than necessary, and handle the underlying tissue with meticulous care. Also, the surgeon should use subcuticular (under the skin) stiches whenever possible. These stiches don’t have to be removed because they dissolve on their own.
- Consideration of Genetics
Some people are more genetically predisposed to scarring than others. Expect your surgeon to ask you about the appearance of scars from previous surgeries, or if you have a parent or sibling with scars. That information, along with other factors will influence how your surgeon plans the procedure.
- Scar Location
Plastic surgeons are trained to hide scars. For example, scars from facelifts are often concealed behind the ears or under the hair line. Scars from breast surgeries can be hidden under the breast or around the nipple. If you’re getting rhinoplasty (a nose job), then you may be a candidate for the endonasal approach, which is less invasive and eliminates all visible scarring. There are advances in surgical techniques each year, so talk to your surgeon about how well scars from your procedure can be concealed.
- Topical Scar Creams
There are many over-the-counter creams and salves that can help heal and diminish the appearance of scars. Ask your surgeon to recommend a product and use it as directed.
- Silicon Sheets
When an incision or wound is healing, your body produces new skin, which is not very good at holding in moisture. In response, your body steps up its production of collagen, the protein that makes scars and traps moisture. Silicon sheets are large rectangular bandages that can be applied over the incision. These bandages prevent moisture loss as new skin is being formed, reducing collagen production, and the risk of scar formation.
- Kenalog Injections
Kenalog injections are often used to treat raised scars, or scars that are actually larger than the incision (known as Keloid scars). These steroid injections are administered by a doctor or nurse and can help reduce any pain or itching and flatten the scar.
- Intense Pulsed Light (IPL)
This technology uses a high-powered, hand-held, computer-controlled flashgun to deliver an intense, but pain-free, pulse of light to the scarred area. This therapy has been shown to speed up healing and diminish redness.
Microdermabrasion is a non-chemical, non-invasive procedure that uses a spray of microcrystals to remove the outermost layer of dry, dead skin cells and reveal younger, healthier-looking skin. It is more commonly used as a cosmetic procedure, but microdermabraision can smooth raised scars and help them blend better with the surrounding skin.
While radiation is typically associated with cancer therapies, radiation treatments can also work wonders for scars. For best results, patients go right from surgery directly to the radiation treatment. Of course, radiation therapy carries risks that you should discuss with your doctor.
- Surgical Removal
In more extreme cases, your surgeon can surgically remove the scar. It may seem counterintuitive to undergo another procedure to remove a scar, but when combined with treatments like kenalog injections or radiation you can expect very successful outcomes.
If you still have apprehensions about plastic surgery because of the possibility of scarring, then schedule a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon like Dr. Fodero. He’s available to address any concerns you may have.
Northeastern Plastic Surgery understands your desire for a beautiful, youthful looking body and facial appearance. We use the latest plastic surgery techniques to perform a variety of surgical procedures. Dr. Fodero and the staff are very friendly, helpful, and available to answer any questions you may have. Please contact us today to learn more about the services we offer.