How to Prevent or Minimize Surgery Scars
Having cosmetic surgery is a great way to change an aspect of your body that you may be unhappy with. Unfortunately, every time your body is wounded, including due to surgery, there is the potential for permanent scarring. However, the good news is that there are ways that you can reduce scarring after surgery. From properly caring for your wound to using sunscreen, making a few lifestyle changes can go a long way.
Caring for the Wound
One of the most common mistakes when it comes to caring for a wound after surgery is letting it “breathe.” Doing this can actually cause it to form a thick scab and inhibit the new skin cells from properly healing your wound. Instead, your surgeon will instruct you on how to cover the wound and advise you on how long to keep it covered.
Keeping the area hydrated is a good idea as well, but your surgeon may not recommend using any ointments or lotions on it right away. Depending on the location of the surgery, it may be best to wait a few days or weeks before using lotions around your scar. Also be advised that you do not want to get the area wet, such as when you shower.
You should also be drinking plenty of fluids during healing. Your surgeon can recommend the right amount of fluids to drink every day, but in general, you want your urine to be light or even colorless. Be sure carry a water bottle with you and drinking it regularly since, by the time you feel thirsty, you are most likely already dehydrated.
Protecting the Wound From the Sun
When you think of avoiding scars, sunscreen might not be the first thing that you consider. However, protecting your wound from harmful UV rays is one of the most important ways to avoid having a scar. You should invest in a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 or higher. This will help you reduce potential discoloration, which is known as scar hyperpigmentation and can also help your scar fade faster after healing.
Whenever possible, protect the area with your scar with clothing when you go out in the sun. If the scar is on your face, consider wearing a wide-brimmed hat. In general, you should try to stay out of the sun if possible.
Choose the Right Plastic Surgeon
The level of experience of your surgeon will play a role as well. An experienced surgeon will know just where to make the incision in order to encourage faster healing and better camouflage for any scar that is there. For example, if you are having abdominal surgery, your surgeon may be able to make a horizontal incision low in your abdomen where it can be more easily disguised with a swimsuit after healing.
For more information about how to heal from surgical scars the right way, please make an appointment at LoTempio Plastic Surgery in New York, NY.