How to Minimize Surgical Scars
Scars are areas of fibrous tissue that replace normal skin after a surgical incision or an injury, and, as such, are a natural part of the body’s healing process. During surgery, a plastic surgeon will orient the scar along a line or wrinkle of the face or body, or hide it in a natural crease, to achieve as minimal scarring as possible. It may not look like it from the outside, but the skin is often closed in multiple layers, with the use of dissolvable sutures underneath and minute, fine sutures superficially. Scars go through three phases of healing, during which time the scar becomes more like the tissue that surrounds it, until the scar reaches maturation, usually one year from surgery.
What can you do to ensure you have the least amount of scarring possible? First, choose a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon to perform your surgery. Many cosmetic procedures are being performed by doctors who have had no surgical training. A Board Certified Plastic Surgeon has undergone advanced training and possesses the aesthetic knowledge to minimize scarring.
Although genetics play a significant role in how each individual will heal, there are some important steps to take before and after surgery to ensure a less visible scar. Good nutrition from a balanced diet, as well as daily multiple vitamins to improve your general health in the weeks leading up to your surgery will help your body to heal optimally. Taking 500 mg of Vitamin C daily will also promote healing. You should avoid smoking, including second hand smoke, nicotine patches and nicotine gum, before and after your surgery. Smoking reduces circulation to the skin and greatly impedes the healing process.
Since scars are more sensitive to the sun, the regular use of a high level SPF sun screen is mandatory for six months to a year following surgery. The use of Neocutis Bio-Serum Pen with PSP, or Vitamin E cream during the immediate post-operative period also promotes optimum scar healing.
Schedule an appointment to discuss your cosmetic surgical options with Board Certified Plastic Surgeon Brian S. Glatt, MD, FACS. Call our Morristown office at 973-889-9300 today.