Time to heal – advice on how to get the best outcome for your scar after surgery.
A scar is made up of fibrous tissue, which is why it looks different from normal skin. It will go through 3 stages
- Inflammatory phase (lasts 2-3 days). Your body is working to plug the wound, prevent infection and remove any dead tissue
- Proliferative phase (lasts 3-6 weeks). Like throwing a whole lot of plaster on a wall, this is a rapid rebuilding phase where new cells migrate to the area to rebuild and repair damaged tissue
- Re-modelling phase This “buffing/polishing and fine-tuning” phase can last up to a year. Your scar may change over this time, either improving or in some cases getting worse.
There are well documented preventative measures you can take to improve the appearance of your scar. These are some options which we recommend and offer at Skintherapy – Specialist Aesthetic Clinic
- PDT light therapy – A non-invasive treatment that stimulates natural cellular processes that rejuvenate and repair the skin. It accelerates wound healing and reduces redness and pain. Treatment lasts 20 minutes and a course of 6 is recommended within days before and after surgery.
- A scar treatment gel backed by good clinical studies. This treatment supplements collagen and hydration which allows for controlled inflammation. This can be initiated from 10 days after your surgery. As soon as you’re happy with the appearance of your scar, you can discontinue this treatment – the earliest I would recommend is 3 months after surgery. If you’re not happy, you should continue for up to a year because there may still be some improvement.
- Applying sunscreen once the scar is healed (around 2 weeks post-surgery), is very important to avoid hyperpigmentation and increased inflammation/redness. We recommend using an advanced, broad-spectrum sunscreen, with protection against UVA, UVB, HEV and IR-A as well as antioxidant benefits for reducing redness and inflammation, and Roxisomes to help repair DNA. It is recommended to continue life-long sun protection.
- Medical grade Microneedling has been shown to promote neocollagenesis and scar remodeling through dermal wounding. The full clinical effect may take several months to be realized, as new collagen deposition takes place gradually. Dissimilar to laser treatment, there is no thermal injury to the skin with microneedling, thus reducing the risk of post-inflammatory dyspigmentation
- Surgical scar revision – Some scars and reconstructive procedures will need surgical revision either as a planned, staged procedure or to improve or revise poor scarring. This is evaluated on a case to case basis and may be within a few weeks to a few months after the initial procedure.
You are welcome to contact our team to get further advice
Remember to be delicate with your wound in the first 2-3 weeks while it is healing, to avoid disruption.