for Optimal Healing
things that determine the appearance of a healed wound are an expert
repair by your plastic surgeon, individual genetics, and postoperative
scar management. Once the
sutures have been removed, you can treat the healing incision to maximize
your cosmetic result. Your
doctor may reapply a steristrip to the incision after suture removal.
This is to support the healing for another few days, and it is
permitted to shower, bathe and shampoo normally.
However, once the steristrip comes off it is time to start scar
recommendation is to use sun block during the day and a moisturizer or
Vitamin E oil at night. Sunlight
has a tendency to "activate" scars, increasing the redness and
sensitivity, and possibly pigmenting your scar.
Start your day by applying a sun block with an SPF of 15 or higher
before going out of the house. Makeup
may be applied over this. If you will be spending the day in the sun you
may have to reapply the sun block. Do
not use bacitracin ointment because this is oil based and will increase
the sun's rays. At bedtime,
apply a moisturizer to help soften the scar.
This may be a commercial moisturizer, cocoa butter or aloe lotion
depending on your preference. Some
people prefer Vitamin E oil which can be obtained by opening Vitamin E
capsules from the drugstore.
product called ScarGuard (www.scarguard.com)
has appeared. This product
contains all the necessary ingredients for optimal wound healing and
minimal scar formation. I
believe this works better that vitamin E alone and hence am recommending
it. It can be purchased though their web site or may be purchased
at my office.
notice that all scars, especially in children, go through an early phase
of redness and thickening, becoming more noticeable in the first two
months. This is frustrating,
but normal and usually temporary. Scar
management as described will minimize but not eliminate this phase.
Most scars "fade out" over 6-12 months.
However, if a scar remains a problem, the doctor may employ other
techniques to deal with a very pronounced scar.
These include gel sheeting, injection treatment or pressure
garments. Surgical revision
of a well-closed incision is usually reserved for scars that have failed
to resolve satisfactorily after 6-12 months treatment.
to be patient, TIME IS ON YOUR SIDE!