Scars are naturally occurring after trauma but can be managed to lessen their size and appearance.
The wound healing process and formation of scars is a process which occurs in the months after a trauma of some description. This may be from burn scars, incisions which occur as a result of surgery or other types of skin trauma.
What is a scar?
Skin is a seamless organ, like a fine cloth protecting valuable assets. Unfortunately, any trauma to the skin can cause a scar. Scars develop as part of the normal wound healing process. Pathological types of scars include hypertrophic scars, keloid scars, contracture scars and acne scars.
Scar formation occurs within 2 to 3 days of injury to the the skin’s surface. This is because scar tissue fills in the injured area to close the wound. Scar tissue however, continues to develop over many weeks or months.
After the skin and deeper tissues have healed from trauma, the scar undergoes four stages of healing. Although the initial scar may be minimal, it may enlarge and become more reddened over the next 4-6 weeks. Typically, an active scar is red, raised, firm and thick. Additionally, the outermost layer often softens while the deeper layer remains firm.
Some of the changes which scars undergo can be confused with infections, but they are totally normal. Scars may feel sensitive during this process as well.
Is scar treatment an option?
A scar is not bad if it is small, or in a location that is easy to conceal. But when it is not, you may wonder if there is a way to treat it beyond just hiding it under your clothes that will make it go away or at least change how it looks.
Unfortunately, the scar will never completely go away. Thankfully though, there are some methods of scar management which can help reduce its size and change its appearance.
Silicone Scar Treatment
Silicone gel or sheets can be used on the scar. Silicone therapy provides its best results when it is used 12-24 hours a day for 3-6 months.
Taping/wrapping of the scar can also help reduce swelling and tension.
Scar Tissue Massage
A scar tissue massage can help decrease the scar’s sensitivity, make it smoother and loosen any deeper areas that seem stuck. It is easy to do, as you can use any type of over-the-counter skin cream for this treatment.
The tissue should be massaged in the direction of the scar and around in circular movements for five to ten minutes twice a day. This is useful for 3-6 months or for as long as the scar massage process seems to be helping.
Taking proper skin care
Taking care of your scar tissue can help to reduce its size as well as reduce itching in the area. This will help with keeping the area hydrated, as moisture evaporates quicker from scar tissue. Sun protection is important in preventing excess pigmentation in a scar, and so using sunscreen with a high SPF until the scar has matured is recommended.
Physical therapy is also an option to manage the size of scar tissue. This may entail flexibility and strengthening exercises in the area in which the scar is present once the initial wound has healed.
Scar Management Benefits
If one is able to manage their scars well, they will have a less profound appearance than one which was not managed to an adequate level.
Scar Management after Breast Surgery
In instances such as breast augmentation, breast lifts, breast implants and breast reductions, the right post-operative care can have a positive effect on your results and ensure that any scars which form are as small as possible, whilst also not being noticeable.
How we can help scar management
In some instances, scar removal surgery can also lessen the appearance of scars, and Dr Mark Hanikeri is able to help in making this happen.
If you are considering undergoing a scar management procedure, we recommend that you come in for a consultation so that you can discuss your aesthetic goals and raise any questions that you might have about the procedure or recovery process. If you would like to find out more about scar management and the techniques that Dr Hanikeri uses, please contact us here.
Besides scar management, Dr Mark Hanikeri also offers several other surgical and non-surgical procedures designed to enhance your appearance. To find out more about these treatments, please have a look here.