Scars from surgery are a bit different than other types of scars. For one, they’re often unavoidable, a consequence of having a scalpel cut through flesh such as with a C-section or total knee replacement. How you will scar will depend on how deep the cut is or how precise the incision is. Even top surgeons can’t control thinks like age, genetics, skin quality, and chronic illness.
This is the main reason why surgical scarring and healing rates differ by individual. Many factors put you at risk of wider and thicker scars no matter how pristine the surgical technique. Surgical scars will change throughout the healing process, like all scars do. The first week will present as a large and red scar due to the inflammatory stage. But once your body enters repair mode, the proliferative stage takes over. After that, the remodeling/maturation phase enters, which continues to present changes with collagen alignment. This can go on for several months.
This is primarily why it’s so tough to assess what your scar will ultimately look like in six to 12 months’ time.
Tips For Reducing Surgical Scar Formation
There are things you can do at home to ensure your surgical scar will fade as much as possible. Try these tips as you heal from surgery.
- Nix the smoking: Why? Smoking tobacco slows down healing and makes you a higher risk for scarring.
- Get plenty of sleep and rest: This will allow your body to heal.
- Eat healthily: Eat lots of fruits and veggies, and increase your protein intake while also taking vitamins.
- Exercise: Minimal activity is fine as you heal, but just be careful not to do anything that will pull apart the surgical incision and cause the wound to reopen.
- Cover up: Cover the incision when you go into the sun, as UV ray exposure will darken your scar. For one year after surgery, wear protective clothing or apply at least 35 SPF sunscreen.
- Use good wound care practices: Why? This prevents infection and reduces scarring risk.
- Don’t soak: Your doctor will tell you how long to wait before you get in the tub or take a shower. They may recommend applying a waterproof dressing for two weeks when in the shower. Don’t soak in a bath tub for a while or scrub the wound with soap until you are fully healed.
- Grab some home treatments: Try silicone sheets or gels that can be applied after healing from surgical incisions. Apply silicone with gentle pressure, massaging it into the area so scar tissue breaks down and weakens.
Don’t be discouraged if you don’t see results right away. It can actually take up to two years for many surgical scars to fade.
Let’s show you how Scarfade works to lessen the appearance of your surgical scars. Call now at 800-771-2215 or check out our products online.