If you’re considering cosmetic surgery like a breast augmentation or tummy tuck to improve your appearance and self-esteem, you may feel some anxiety about the resulting scars. Will they be too obvious and detract from the excitement you feel about your results? How significant of a factor will post-surgical scars be in your confidence?
Tips for Lessening Scarring From Cosmetic Surgery
There’s hardly a less glamorous topic to talk about than the unavoidable realities of scarring after plastic surgery, but if you’re worried about it, we have good news: There are many proactive things you can do to minimize these scars and enjoy your surgically sculpted body to the fullest. Here are a few of our favorite pointers.
- Choose an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon. A skilled plastic surgeon will use their extensive experience and skills to take care to place incisions in the most discreet possible locations, where they will be camouflaged by your body contours or easy to obscure under clothing. For example, with breast enhancement, you may choose to have Dr. Alderman make your incisions underneath the natural creases of your breasts, where they will remain hidden. With an abdominoplasty, meanwhile, the resulting scar will be low enough in the pubic area that you will easily be able to hide it under your clothes – even bathing suits. As a talented surgeon, Dr. Alderman also knows how to create cleaner incisions that heal more quickly, making potential scars less noticeable.
- Keep the incision sites clean and well-dressed. Surgical tape and bandages protect your incisions and provide support that helps your wounds heal more quickly. Dr. Alderman will let you know when it’s OK to remove surgical dressings, and will also tell you how to take care of your incisions while they are healing. For incisions that are under additional stress due to their location, you may benefit from wearing supportive dressings for a longer amount of time.
- Don’t rush your recovery process. It takes time for your skin to adjust and repair itself, and putting unnecessary strain on your healing incisions can result in more prominent scars. After your surgery, patience is your friend. Do not try to resume activities like lifting heavy objects or doing strenuous workouts until Dr. Alderman has approved you to do so.
- Protect your scars from the sun. Healing skin is particularly sensitive, and darkened scars are one common result of excess sun exposure. Even after your incisions are fully healed, keep the area covered and wear a full-spectrum sunscreen with 30 SPF or higher to keep your scars from darkening and becoming more noticeable.
- Follow your post-surgical care plan diligently. At North Atlanta Plastic Surgery, we will send you home with detailed instructions for how to take care of your incision sites for optimal healing. As part of your recovery process, you will also need to eat a balanced diet, stay hydrated, and get plenty of sleep.
- Ask about massage. As your recovery progresses to its later phases, devoting only a few minutes each day to scar massage may help your wounds heal more smoothly and prevent newly formed scar tissue from becoming more prominent. However, it’s vital not to put stress on your incision site too soon in the healing process, so do not start self-massage unless Dr. Alderman says it’s OK and has taught you the safest technique for doing so.
- Consider scar treatments. Sometimes, even people who take excellent care of themselves after cosmetic surgery will still develop more prominent scars. At our medical spa, we offer unique treatments that can help repair and diminish visible scars.
Get the Look You Want
While everyone heals a little differently after surgery thanks to factors such as genetics, age, and skin tone, being proactive about caring for your scars after cosmetic surgery gives you the best odds of developing scars that are easy to conceal and hard to detect. If you are thinking about cosmetic surgery in the greater Atlanta area, contact our office today to schedule your consultation with Dr. Alderman – an award-winning surgeon who is at the forefront of her profession.