Scars from surgery are often unavoidable, whether you had a C-section or a total knee replacement. The risk of scarring will depend on whether you have sustained a deep cut or underwent a precise surgical incision. Even with the best surgeon behind your procedure, no one can control factors such as age, skin quality, chronic illness and genetics.
This is why surgical scarring and the rate of healing differs with each individual. Any number of these factors can put you at risk of a thicker scar — even with the most pristine surgical techniques behind you.
Keep in mind, a surgical scar – like most scars — will continue to change as the healing process progresses. Within a week or two, the scar appears large and red because it’s in the inflammatory stage. Once the body starts to repair itself, the scar enters the proliferative stage. Then, in the remodeling/maturation phase, collagen alignment continues to change and often does so for many months.
This is why no one can really tell what the overall appearance of your scar will look like until six to 12 months later.
How to Reduce Surgical Scar Formation
Here’s what you can do to work your way towards a more aesthetically pleasing surgical scar and improve surgical scar treatment.
- Stop smoking: Because smoking slows healing and boosts scarring risk, you should stop smoking before surgery.
- Get sleep and rest: When you get enough rest, your body is better able to heal.
- Eat well: Eat healthy foods and boost protein intake to help your skin heal. Take vitamins if you need to supplement.
- Stay active: While minimal activity is good for you, just be sure to avoid movements that could pull the surgical incision apart and reopen the wound.
- Cover your skin: Cover the incision to shield it from the sun. Exposure can darken scars. For one year post-op, wear protective clothing or apply 35 SPF sunscreen after healing.
- Practice good wound care: This will prevent infection and reduce the chances of scarring.
- Bathing: Listen to your doctor when he or she tells you how long to wait before showering or bathing. You may have to apply a waterproof dressing for the first couple of weeks while showering. Just don’t soak in a bath or put soap on your wound until full healing has been achieved. Pat the incision dry, don’t rub.
- Use home treatments: The best home remedies are silicone sheets or gels that you can apply as soon as your surgical incision heals. Combined with silicone, use pressure and massage on the area of incision to weaken scar tissue.
In general, it will take two years or more for your surgical scar to fade, but everyone heals at different rates.
Curious to know how Scarfade works to lessen the appearance of surgical scars faster? Call us at 800-771-2215 or read about our products online.