Let’s be honest, the main reason you opt for cosmetic surgery is to improve your appearance. Whether it’s a tummy tuck, breast enhancement, or a facelift, the goal is to enhance your looks. Unfortunately, surgery is associated with certain risks. One of the possible complications of any surgery is the formation of scar tissue at the surgery site. While there is no way to completely eliminate scar tissue, you can reduce the appearance of scar tissue. Follow these tips from Dr. Paul Pin to reduce the chance of scar tissue development after cosmetic surgery.
What Causes Scar Tissue to Form?
Scar tissue is made up of a substance called collagen, which the body naturally produces as a means to heal the skin following any cut or incision. Scar tissue becomes a problem when the body forms too much collagen at the surgery site. There are many factors that may play a role in the formation of scar tissue, including how deep or wide the surgical incision was, as well as how well the skin comes back together following surgery. Age, race, genetics, and skin type may also be factors in how much scar tissue develops. Scar tissue can form for up to 18 months following surgery.
Can Scar Tissue Be Completely Prevented?
Unfortunately, scar tissue cannot be completely prevented from forming. If that was the case, the incision site would never heal.
There are some things you can do prior to your surgery that will help your skin heal with minimal scarring. Cigarettes, caffeine, and alcohol all dehydrate the body, and so may increase your healing time, itchiness, and dryness at the incision site. You should cut these out starting two to three weeks before your surgery. Increasing your intake of water and healthy proteins will give your skin the necessary building blocks to reform with a minimum of scarring.
There are also some techniques that may reduce the appearance and build-up of scar tissue after surgery. Perhaps most importantly, take proper care of the wound so that it heals properly. Don’t rub or scratch the incision site. You also can use gentle heat or massage along the scar tissue to increase blood flow and reduce the appearance of the scar. If the scar is along a part of the body that is regularly moved, such as the arm, regular moving, stretching, and exercise may reduce scar-tissue buildup. You may also find that topical Vitamin E creams or oils will reduce the appearance of scars (do not apply topical Vitamin E to any open incision). There are some cosmetic procedures available to reduce the appearance of scars, but this should only be considered as a last resort, as they may just end up making the problem worse.
Regardless of which methods you choose to reduce buildup of scar tissue, be sure to consult first with Dr. Pin. He will work with you on a plan to help your skin heal as quickly and cleanly as possible, so that you can enjoy your new appearance as soon as possible. Contact our practice today.