For patients that are about to undergo surgery, scarring is a serious concern. Scar formation is a natural part of the healing process that allows our bodies to strengthen the wounded area by stimulating collagen production. Still, they can physically mar what was once smooth, beautiful skin. One tip many people receive is to try scar massage. But when do you start?
Fortunately, we can fully appreciate the necessity of scarring without accepting all of the negative side effects. Thanks to advances in modern medicine and a touch of the traditional approach, there are several ways that you can limit the size and visibility of scars resulting from surgery.
Start with Your Surgeon
Your surgeon’s skill and attention to aesthetic detail are key to limiting the visibility of a scar. For the best results, you should consider contacting a board-certified plastic surgeon. Their skillset is better suited to closing wounds while minimizing scarring.
Depending on the scheduled procedure, your plastic surgeon may not be able to perform the core surgery. However, you can request to have your chosen plastic surgeon work alongside your core surgeon to close the wound. Closing wounds with minimal scarring and most aesthetic benefit are what they do every day.
If it is not possible to bring a plastic surgeon on your team, schedule a consultation with your local plastic surgery in Beverly Hills. You can explain your concerns and discuss options for scar revision after surgery.
Scar Treatment at Home
As long as you have a skilled surgeon who respects your aesthetic needs, you can expect that your scar will be as unassuming as physically possible. It may be more prominent than you would like, but that doesn’t mean there is nothing else that can be done.
Your first step is to follow all of your surgeon’s instructions. You may be advised to leave the current dressings in place for a certain period of time, but afterward, it is essential to use the prescribed materials to keep your wound clean and moisturized. This process will vary based on the procedure, so feel free to write your surgeon’s instructions down for the best results.
Scar Massage Timing and Technique
After two weeks, the incision should have healed enough to begin a gentle scar massage therapy regimen. To be safe, check in with your medical care provider to ensure your incision is ready. The sutures should be removed, and all scabs should have naturally fallen off before starting any scar massage. If you have removed the scabs yourself, wait for the scabs to heal again and fall off independently.
Once you have reached this stage and your doctor has given you clearance to start massaging the scar, you may begin massaging it at home. To encourage healing, you should massage your scar two to three times a day for about ten minutes each time. The Moffitt Cancer Center suggests beginning with gentle pressure and increasing it as you progress. Circular motions, vertical motions, and horizontal motions should all be used in each ten-minute session to maximize efficacy.
The Results of Scar Massage
The British Skin Foundation explains that scar massage increases blood flow to the wounded area and promotes healing. In addition, it loosens the scar tissue’s attachment to surrounding tissue, giving the patient more flexibility and fewer negative symptoms. Together, these actions can flatten the appearance of more prominent scars and help to reduce the difference in pigmentation.
To bolster these effects, you should speak with Dr. Brent about laser scar removal and other scar removal treatment. During your initial consultation, Dr. Brent will evaluate your scar and the current condition of the surrounding skin to identify a personalized treatment plan that will improve the texture, color, and bulk of your scar.