Cosmetic surgeons have to be in a constant fight with scars. Most of the times, they actually win. They have many tricks to keep scars small, concealed and as invisible as possible. They also have certain time-tested techniques that their patients should know and use for the best results.
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However remember to consult with Dr Naveen or your cosmetic surgeon about your particular issues regarding your specific care or scars you may get.
Process of Maturation Scars
Maturation of scars is a slow process that normally takes anywhere from 9 to 18 months to finalise. You should understand that though there may be redness and thickening associated to scars for the initial few weeks or even months, most of the times these issues significantly resolve with a quite enhanced appearance by 12 to 14 months.
Though some scars are prominent early on, it’s normally the best idea to wait till the completion of this full maturation process before applying any surgical intervention. Most of the times, there is natural improvement to such an extent that surgical interventions are not required.
Even though surgical intervention is finally required, it is also often far less severe than expected if done earlier. As a rule, if a scar looks a bit pink or red, it’s an indication that it’s undergoing maturation.
In kids, this maturation process may be extended by further duration of active growth, which usually leads to continued improvements too.
When to Visit Your Cosmetic Surgeon?
If a scar is growing in size and becoming thicker with time or becoming increasingly red instead of lightening, you should visit your cosmetic surgeon at once.
This type of occurrence of a maturing scar can indicate an imminent keloid or hypertrophic scar – conditions which normally need earlier intervention.
Protection of Maturing Scars from UV Radiation
After you undergo cosmetic surgery, maturing scars should be protected from UV radiation for at least 6 to 12 month period. This includes the sun as well as tanning salons.
Sun exposure, in winter or summer, can lead to dark, permanent pigmentation in and around scar areas called ‘hyperpigmentation’. It is usually a permanent change in the skin which is typically impossible to remove by any means.
Using caps and umbrellas, applying sunscreens (SPF 30 or higher) regularly and frequently, seeking shade and avoiding sun exposure at peak hours (11 am to 2 pm) can help in avoiding this dreadful complication.
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After One Year…
As soon as the period of one year is over, this sensitivity to tanning and risk of hyperpigmentation will become equal to that of uninjured, normal skin. At this point, there is nothing to worry about anymore.
However, professional plastic surgeon, Dr Naveen Somia suggests continued lifetime success strategy of avoiding tanning rays and using sunscreens to reduce the risk of skin cancer and prevention of wrinkles and skin aging.
Need of Moisturisation
In the early periods of your recovery when any sutures have been removed, healing process has been over and you’ve become officially free from any/all restrictions, massaging a high-quality, hypoallergenic moisturiser twice a day for minimum 3 to 6 months helps a lot.
Here massaging is more important than normal application. Massage should be given for several minutes to the whole area around and including any particular scars.
This therapy started early and all through the process of maturing of a scar helps to make scars increasingly softer, flatter, smoother, more supple and more regular.
The moisturisation also helps to create more satisfying long-term results since maturing scars and their surrounding areas tend to dry out easily and actually do require plenty of additional moisture provided to them regularly.
You should also avoid any high-end perfume or scented products which can lead to irritation.
Follow these tips to reduce or even eliminate any scars after any cosmetic surgery to enjoy the results of the surgery to the fullest.