Aesthetic surgery can be a great way to improve your appearance, but it can also leave behind scars. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to minimize scarring after a procedure. Silicone-based products, such as gels, creams and sheets, have been shown to be effective in reducing the appearance of scars. These products typically contain vitamins A and E, which work together with silicone to reduce the visibility of scars.
It is important to take steps early on to prevent scarring from occurring in the first place, as once they form, surgery is often the only treatment option available. Speak to your plastic surgeon about any concerns you have about how your lifestyle might affect scarring and the success of the surgery. All of these products can be used, but not for scars from breast or abdominal cosmetic surgery due to their potential for cancerous side effects. The type of scar will also influence the type of treatment your plastic surgeon or dermatologist recommends. During a physical exam, scars that can be easily associated with previous cosmetic surgeries will be revealed.
With the variety of treatment options available for scars, it is important to see a board-certified plastic surgeon to determine which treatment is best for you. Cosmetic surgeons must not only plan ahead and prepare patients well before surgery, but also be prepared to support them long after. Elective cosmetic surgery should not be offered to people at high risk of leaving very poor scars or those with unreasonable expectations. For example, during a tummy tuck, incisions are usually made below the bikini line; in a facelift, incisions are made in the hairline. It is important to carefully evaluate the potential risk of scarring and take appropriate steps to reduce it before surgery. Cosmetic companies have developed many products to help reduce the appearance of scar tissue after surgery.
Choosing an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon is one of the most important things you can do to ensure that scars are not visible. Topical flavonoids such as Contractubex (Merz Pharma, Frankfurt, Germany) or Mederma skincare gel (Merz Pharmaceutical, Greensboro, CA, USA) can be used starting two weeks after surgery for up to six months in order to keep scars soft and supple. Massage, silicone gels and revisional surgery are all options for reducing the appearance of raised scars.