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Surgical Scars and Early Intervention: Why It Matters

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Scarring is probably one of the foremost things on your mind when it comes to seeing your surgical results emerge. Unfortunately, scarring is inevitable with any surgical procedure – but what you do once your stitches come out can have a huge impact on the final appearance of your scars, including helping them fade altogether. At Reflections Center for Cosmetic Medicine, your cosmetic journey doesn’t end after your surgery. We offer the guidance and expertise to help you achieve clear, even-toned skin at your surgical site so you can focus on your results and recovery, not whether you’ll have visible scars.

How Soon Should You Treat Surgical Scars?

It’s essential to follow your plastic surgeon’s instructions on caring for your incisions after your procedure, but this sometimes leads people to avoid treating scars until much later. When it comes to treating scars, waiting to undergo treatments to fade them can work against you. Our cosmetic physicians prefer starting surgical scarring treatments as early as one week after your procedure.

The body heals wounds by creating new collagen. Although most times collagen is a good thing, in this case the body can produce new collagen so rapidly that it doesn’t match the rest of the skin, creating what we recognize as a scar. This process can continue for up to a year after surgery, meaning it’s essential to guide it in the right direction early on with technologies that can reduce redness and inflammation and smooth texture.

The 4 Best Ways to Fade Surgical Scars

There are four tried and true steps to ensuring your scars become unnoticeable after your procedure. Our cosmetic physicians can help you create the right timeline based on your surgery and recovery.

Keeping a Moist Environment

This is important at every stage of your surgical recovery. It’s been concluded time and again that the best way to set your scars up for success is by keeping a moist environment while it heals. Keeping the skin moist not only allows it to recover faster, but prevents the new collagen from drying out and becoming more noticeable. While your incisions are healing, make sure to keep it covered with Vaseline or Aquaphor which can help prevent moisture from escaping the area.

Pulsed Dye Lasers

In the early stages of healing, scars tend to look reddish or purple because of the increased circulation in the area. Pulsed dye lasers like Vbeam Perfecta are one of the best technologies for treating any kind of vascular pigmentation like surgical scars. It’s typically our first line treatment because it not only addresses pigmentation, but can help bring down inflammation.

CO2 Laser Resurfacing

The next step in laser treatments is CO2 laser resurfacing which can break up raised or depressed scars to reduce texture. As an ongoing process while the scar heals, it prompts the body to generate healthy new collagen to smooth the scar’s appearance and blend it in.

Wearing SPF Daily

During the early stages of healing, scars are most susceptible to UV damage. Exposing a new scar to sunlight can cause pigmentation and require further treatment, meaning it’s essential to keep it covered. We recommend wearing SPF 30+ daily and practicing other good sun protection habits like avoiding sunlight in the middle part of the day and wearing sun protective clothing.

Schedule a Consultation

At Reflections Center for Cosmetic Medicine, our expert team can help you fade scars and fully enjoy your surgical results. To meet with our award-winning cosmetic physicians, contact our Bridgewater and Livingston locations by calling or filling out our form.