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10 Ways to Reduce Your Risk of Scarring After Surgery
Scarring is the body's way of healing naturally, but sometimes scars can make us feel self-conscious and no better than we did before surgery.
In most cases, the size of a scar can be based on many factors including the size of the incision, how quickly it heals, the skin type, the age and health of the patient, and how well the patient took care of it. The quicker and easier a scar heals, the less visible it will be. Here are some easy steps you as a patient can take to help reduce scarring after surgery:
1.Gently massage the area. Studies have shown that massage pressure early in scar development can reduce the inflammatory signals that lead to poor scarring. It is important to start massaging the area right away and continue this for 2-3 months after surgery.
2.Massage the scar with silicone gel or vitamin E. Using a silicone gel such as Silagen (100% Pure Silicone available exclusively through our Plastic Surgery Center) increases skin hydration and provides the optimal environment to normalize collagen production and reduce poor scarring. Other options include using Vitamin E topically.
3.Avoid Sunlight. Avoid exposing the scar to direct sunlight. Invest in good sunscreen if the scar is somewhere difficult to cover like your face and talk to your doctor about your options. Make an appointment with our Plastic Surgery Center to learn about our potent Oclipse sunscreen products which utilize a comprehensive UVA/UVB photostable sun protection system to provide all day protection from damaging UV rays.
4.Avoid putting stress on your wound. Avoid lifting, moving, or doing stretches that could affect the wound's healing process. This kind of stress can sometimes pull the incision apart and delay the healing process significantly. Again, it's very important to follow your surgeon's orders post-surgery.
5.Take the advice of your surgeon and avoid the gym. Although you may be tempted to head to the gym and get in shape, follow your surgeons orders and rest for however long s/he says to. Don't push it or you'll seriously risk your chances of healing quickly and properly. Ask your doctor when it is OK to start working out and how vigorous your routine should be.
6.Avoid smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol. Not only will smoking increase your risk of scarring, it can also slow down the healing process. Avoid alcohol because it dehydrates the body, which decreases your overall health and chances of healing quickly.
7.Maintain a healthy weight before and after surgery. If you are overweight, you may be at a greater risk of scarring because the fat under your skin can actually prevent your surgeons from closing your incision as best as they can.
8.Prevent infections. Make sure you follow your surgeons orders on how to properly take care of your incisions for proper healing.
9.Stay hydrated. Just like how alcohol dehydrates you, not drinking enough liquids will also dehydrate you having similar effects on your skin as alcohol. Staying well hydrated increases your chances of healing quickly with minimal scarring.
10.Eat as many fruits and vegetables as possible. Cut down on fatty foods and empty carbohydrates. The more nutrition you are giving your body, the better of a chance you have at healing.
The Plastic Surgery Center at Community Care Physicians offers a complete range of aesthetic and surgical solutions, including skin care products, facials, chemical peels, laser treatments, Botox, Juvederm, Restylane, Voluma, as well as surgical procedures including breast augmentation, tummy tuck, and liposuction. Whether your goal is to reverse the signs of aging, enhance your body’s shape, or improve the appearance of veins or scars, you are in the capable hands of our caring surgeon, Dr. Adrian Przybyla, and his supportive staff. The Plastic Surgery Center is conveniently located minutes from Albany, NY. Dr. Adrian Przybyla performs many procedures in the comfort of the office and has privileges at Albany Memorial Hospital, St. Peter's Hospital and Ambulatory Center, and Albany Medical Center.
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