How can you reduce Scarring after BBL/Lipo/TT?
How can you reduce Scarring after BBL/Lipo/TT?
Scarring is the process of the body healing and repairing an open wound. The body produces proteins and fibrotic material which knits together to close the open edges of the wound and protect from infection. The end result can be a discolored, raised, or in some cases a sunken or puckered but visible area. This can fade in time. The size of scar can be based on several factors, including the size/length of the incision, how quickly your body heals (and this can depend on genetic factors and skin type), your overall health, skin elasticity, and how well you’ve prepared for surgery and how you treat your body post-surgery.
The quicker you can heal, the less visible the scarring will end up. There are some things you can do to positively influence your rate of healing and reduce the potential for scarring:
In most cases, the size of a scar can be based on many factors including the size of the incision, how quickly it heals, the skin type, the age and health of the patient, and how well the patient took care of it. The quicker and easier a scar heals, the less visible it will be. Here are some easy steps you as a patient can take to help reduce scarring after surgery:
10 ways to reduce scarring after surgery
1) Massage the area Gently
Some studies have shown very gentle massage pressure early in scar formation can help to reduce inflammation and subsequent scarring. It is important to start immediately (ensuring you don’t break open or infect the incision) and continue for at least 2-3months post-op.
2) Use topical healing creams on the scar area
Using topical supplements/ointments can help increase skin hydration and normalise collagen production which helps to reduce excessive scarring. Below is a list of some that have been used to help reduce scarring and promote healing. Always ensure the incision is completely closed before applying a topical cream or ointment to reduce the possibility of infection.
Topical treatments : Silicon Gel, Vitamin E, Comfrey, Arnica, Vitamin C, Zinc, Vitamin A, moisturizers containing alpha hydroxy acid
3) Avoid exposing the area to sunlight
UVA & UVB solar rays can discolour the new scar tissue quickly, so once the incision is fully closed and healed, use a topical sunscreen to protect from the sun’s damaging uv rays.
4) Avoid stressing the wound
Try to go gently – avoid moving, lifting or stretching the incision as you are healing as these activities can affect the wound healing and scar formation process. These kinds of pulling stresses can work to pull the incision apart and delay correct healing, and can contribute to making the subsequent scarring more obvious. It’s important to follow your surgeon’s recommendations regarding proper rest and recovery post surgery.
5) Rest and Recuperate
Your surgeon will tell you that you need several weeks of rest – use this time to help your healing. Avoid going to the gym too early even if you feel pretty good, as excessive exercise can affect wound healing and scar formation. The various pulling and lifting exercises you may do at the gym can work to pull the incision apart and delay the healing process, and this can make the resultant scaring more obvious. You will need some exercise to help with swelling and general health, but try to keep the exertion to a minimum – for example gentle walking is preferred over weight lifting in the first few weeks of healing. Your doctor will be able to advise when you can get back to the gym and how vigorous you can work in the initial stages.
6) Avoid cigarettes and alcohol
Both substances will contribute to worsened scarring, and can also reduce the rate of healing : alcohol reduces hydration, and smoking reduces free oxygen in your circulatory system, and both work to reduce overall health and ability to heal quickly, and can increase risk of complications.
7) Maintain a healthy weight both before and after surgery
Being overweight increases the risks of developing scarring, as the excess fat under the skin can actually hinder the surgeon from closing the wound as best they can.
8) Maintain cleanliness and hygene
Make sure you follow your surgeons directions on keeping your wound clean and prevent infections. An infected wound takes longer to heal and can increase the size of subsequent scarring.
9) Stay Hydrated
Just as drinking alcohol dehydrates you, not drinking enough liquids can have the same effect on your skin. Staying hydrated helps prove your chances of healing with minimal scarring.
10) Maintain a Healthy Diet
Fresh vegies and proteins will have an outsized effect of your healing ability. Reduce fatty foods and empty carbohydrates, as the more quality nutrition you can feed your body, the better your ability to heal and the chances of reducing scar tissue.
**quick note on fruits/high-fructose foods in the first few weeks after your surgery : Recent studies have shown that fructose in your diet after a traumatic surgery can result in excessive swelling, because your liver processes the fructose and produces lymph fluid and a metabolic side effect. This excess lymph fluid can accumulate at the lipo/operation site and result in excessive bloating or swelling. Too much swelling can hinder fast healing and result in the development of fibrosis under the skin (internal scarring), so try to reduce swelling as fast as possible as part of your post-op healing regimen, by avoiding too much fructose.