Plastic Surgery Blog
San francisco - East bay
If your surgery entails your doctor making an incision into your skin, then you should expect some scarring. Even with a skilled surgeon, scarring can sometimes be inevitable.
Factors That Increase the Chances of Scarring
Certain risk factors increase your chances of scarring regardless of how the incision is made on your skin and they include:
Old skin tends to be less elastic. This is because as people age the fat layer beneath the skin tends to become thinner. Although scars take longer to heal with age, they become more inconspicuous after lengthy exposure to the environment. Scars on young people heal faster but they also tend to be thicker and pinker.
The African American race has darker skin and it tends to darken where scars form. Scars on fair-skinned people tend to become pale and fade away within a shorter period. Darker-skinned people are also more susceptible to keloids and hypertrophy which are an overgrowth of scar tissue on the location of the scar.
Unfortunately, if your family’s skin tends to leave behind big scars, you may not be able to escape your fate no matter how good your surgeon is. Keloids sometimes run in families, which means that if your close family members are prone to them, it would be wise to reconsider unnecessary procedures. You must mention your family’s history to your surgeon so that he or she can prepare for you to have minimal scarring.
Location of the Scar
Your surgeon can opt to make an incision on a natural fold on your skin where a scar is less likely to be noticeable. Sometimes, this may not be impossible if the area that needs to be operated on has no folds.
The Size of the Scar
Large incisions leave a conspicuous scar. This and the fact they are likely to undergo more stress than small scars add to their possibility of scarring. Deeper incisions also take longer to heal, which gives them a bigger window to form scars.
How You Can Lessen the Chances of Scarring
Despite the above risk factors, it is possible to minimize scarring through the following ways:
Proper care of the wound. Before you leave the hospital, your doctor will advise on how you should treat your wound area. You should ensure that you follow these instructions to the letter because they affect the way the incision heals.
Taking plenty of rest. Resting after surgery is important. Rest ensures that an incision is not stressed by movement and also gives the body time to heal properly.
Quick management of infections. If you notice anything out of the norm occurring at the incision area such as a strange smell or wetness, you should notify your doctor immediately as this could be a sign of an infection, which tends to interfere with healing.
Having scar treatments. There are treatments to minimize and sometimes prevent scarring. Such treatments include laser treatments, prescription medication, steroid injections, further surgery to remove an old scar and silicone wound treatments, just to name a few. You should discuss them with your doctor if you do not want to remain with a scar after surgery.
At East Bay Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, we offer a wide range of surgical procedures. Minimal scarring is always our end goal. Feel free to visit us in our offices in Oakland, California. You can also call us at 510-451-6950 to book an appointment today.