Scars are an inevitable part of any surgery. Good scar management is an important part of achieving the best possible result after surgery.
During the early stages of wound healing, the body naturally lays down collagen, forming immature scar tissue. Early scars are often thicker, raised and may be discoloured. This scar then undergoes a natural process of maturation called “remodeling”, which can continue for up to 12 months or more.
To encourage scars to mature favourably, and prevent the formation of thick, unsightly scars, we recommend several simple steps that can be commenced once the wound has completely healed (usually within 1-2 weeks after surgery).
STEP 1: MASSAGE AND MOISTURIZE YOUR SCAR
Massaging the scar for several minutes helps to reduce swelling and promotes scar maturation. As scars lack the normal glands that help to prevent the skin from drying out, a natural moisturizer is recommended in conjunction with scar massage.
The can commence as soon as the wound is fully healed. Ideally, repeat this twice a day for the first three months to gain the maximum benefit.
Scars also tend to react and tan differently when exposed to sunlight. They are more sensitive and may become sunburned more easily. Avoiding prolonged sun exposure and using a moisturizer containing sunscreen will help to protect and camouflage the scar.
STEP 2: SILICON AND COMPRESSION THERAPY
Following scar moisturizing and massaging, a compression layer over the scar further promotes scar maturation. This can be achieved with tapes (such as Micropore™) or a silicon based product.
The use of silicon has been shown to independently promote scar maturation and is often superior to taping alone. Silicon is available in different preparations, most commonly in the form of silicon tape or silicon gel (such as Strataderm®). Modern silicon preparations are not only effective but are easily concealable. Sunscreen and makeup can usually be applied over silicon gel.
Silicon therapy is recommended for all patients, particularly those with an previous history of poor scarring or Asian patients, for whom the risk of thick (or keloid) scarring is much higher.
Despite these measures poor scarring can still occur. This may be due to a number of reasons including your individual skin characteristics, location on the body and importantly, genetic factors. In most cases, poor scarring can be treated and many specialized modalities are available. If you have any concerns or questions regarding your scar please feel free to arrange a consultation with Mr Lin.
*Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.