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How to make the scar less noticeable after surgery?

Do you remember how as a child you tore off the crusts from wounds, and white or pinkish spots remained on your skin. A scar is part of the healing process. The incision that the surgeon creates during surgery passes through all layers of the skin. Therefore, a trace after plastic surgery cannot be avoided. But it is possible to minimize the appearance of scars. Let's talk about ways to remove scars after surgery.

Published at

April 17, 2024

How the skin heals after surgery

After surgery, your wound may become red and swollen. In the first weeks after surgery, follow the doctor's instructions for wound care. After a few weeks, the resulting scar may become hard, convex, or uneven. It is ok. Over time, it will become softer, smoother, and begin to lighten. Your scar will heal within 12-18 months after the plastic surgery.

Who is at risk? Factors of scar formation

Age-related skin

With age, the skin becomes thinner, less elastic. This is due to the fact that the amount of collagen decreases. The skin does not heal as well and quickly as at a younger age.

There are other factors that increase the likelihood of scarring with age: 

  • Sun exposure;

  • Smoking.

Dark skin

Some skin colors are more prone to scarring than others. People with a swarthy skin tone are more likely to form keloid scars, which are characterized by an overgrowth of scar tissue. On fair skin, the scars almost match the color of the surrounding skin. 

Extensive incision

The deeper and longer the incision, the more likely it is to form scars. At Olympus Clinics, plastic surgeons try to make incisions in the places of natural folds of the skin and under the hair to minimize the appearance of traces after surgery. 

Slow tissue regeneration

You can be one of the genetically blessed people who heal quickly and easily, with minimal scarring. Or you may be diabetic and your skin will heal more slowly. And the healing rate of wounds may slow down due to illness or injury.

Why can a scar be red?

New scars may become redder and then gradually fade. The color is also related to the type of scar: keloid scars look redder than normal scars. They are formed when the body produces too much collagen, which makes the scar look swollen. Keloid scars are rare and are treated with steroid hormone injections. Treatment with steroid injections can only be prescribed by a doctor. Unfortunately, you will not know if you are at risk of developing keloid scars until the wound begins to heal. But more often they occur in patients with a swarthy skin tone.

Wound care at home

The way you take care of the wound affects the healing of the scar after surgery. What can be done?

Get more rest: If the doctor recommends that you rest for two weeks, listen to him. Even if you feel that you are full of energy after a week of rehabilitation, do not rush to go to work. Overwork can slow down recovery.

Follow all the doctor's advice: No exceptions. At Olympus Clinics, our plastic surgeons draw up a home rehabilitation plan based on your health. Do not rely on the recovery experience of your friends, as each person recovers in different ways. 

Use only the medicines prescribed by the doctor: Do not self-medicate, even if you have read many good reviews of any medicine. 

Be attentive to your body: If you notice any signs of infection, tell your doctor right away. Infection can contribute to scarring.

Reduce the load on the wound: Do not lift weights, try to bend the part of the body where the postoperative wound is located less. These physical actions can stretch the skin in the operated area, slow down healing. The wound may become larger and the scar longer and wider.

Spend less time in the sun: Exposure to sunlight on a wound can slow down its healing. And also make the scar darker and more noticeable.
It is important to protect the scar from UV rays when you are outdoors.

How to do it?

  • Apply sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher to the scar.

  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat.

  • Wear closed clothes.

P.S. All exposed areas of the body should be protected from the sun.

And you can also try a massage with a physiotherapist. But it should be performed only after the doctor removes the stitches. By massaging the incision and surrounding tissues, you can smooth out any bumps and bumps. A physical therapist can show you how to do a massage at home. Be sure to use enough lotion so that your fingers do not "stick" to the skin, but slide freely.

Cosmetologist's help 

We have compiled a list of procedures that will help to "soften" the appearance of scars: 

Cryotherapy is a treatment method in which tissues are exposed to liquid nitrogen. The surface of the scar is frozen by nitrogen, which leads to the destruction of its upper layer. The dead tissue peels off, and a new one begins to grow in its place. This process helps to smooth the surface of the scar and align its color. Cryotherapy does not give an instant result. To achieve a vivid effect, you need to undergo a course of treatment for two to three months.

Magnetic therapy is prescribed to improve blood circulation, which can help accelerate tissue regeneration and reduce inflammation in the scar area. And magnetic fields are not dangerous for organs and tissues. During the procedure, you will feel a pleasant vibration. It is better to combine magnetotherapy with laser polishing to enhance the results of treatment. 

Collagen therapy is a procedure in which collagen injections are injected into the skin. This helps to reduce the bulge of the scar, improve its texture and color, making it less noticeable. An additional effect is rejuvenating. The skin will look supple and healthy and without aesthetic defects. 

CO2 laser resurfacing is prescribed for the correction of hypertrophic and atrophic scars. During the procedure, the laser destroys the scar surface, which stimulates the growth of new collagen cells in the skin. Cosmetologists at Olympus Clinics use the most powerful CO2 laser among all - the Lumenis UltraPulse CO2 laser. Polishing the scar after surgery with a laser allows you to perfectly align the relief, eliminate all marks on the skin. The procedure is carried out comfortably and does not cause pain, and the result lasts for many years. 

Microneedle RF-lifting Viva is used to improve the appearance of scars. When microneedles are inserted into damaged areas of the skin and exposed to radiofrequency energy, regeneration processes and the formation of new collagen are stimulated. The combination of the two procedures leads to immediate coagulation of collagen in the dermis, stimulation of neocollagenogenesis and rapid healing of the skin. This helps to smooth out the surface of the scars and improve the overall texture of the skin.

Morpheus 8 needle RF lifting also combines microneedle therapy with radiofrequency therapy, but penetrates deeper layers of the skin. Suitable for more visible scars. The procedure can be performed in any season, and there are no age restrictions, skin phototype.

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