Surgical Scar Treatment
Managing Post-Surgical Scarring
While scarring is a normal part of how the body repairs itself, we offer several treatment options to help ensure the healing process leads to the best possible aesthetic result.
Scars consist mostly of a protein called collagen. The body’s healing process will often “over correct,” resulting in an excessive production of collagen that can lead to abnormal scarring. At Yazdani Aesthetics, two methods we use for managing surgical scars include silicone and scar massage.
As the skin is healing, the epidermis (outermost layers of the skin) produces high levels of moisture in an attempt to hydrate the scar site. However, most of this moisture evaporates once it reaches the upper layer of the skin. This moisture loss triggers keratinocytes in the skin to produce collagen. When left unchecked, excessive collagen production can lead to abnormal scarring.
Silicone sheets or gel can fully cover the scar treatment site, preventing the moisture from escaping. At the same time, silicone still allows oxygen to permeate the sheet and reach the scar.
How Do I Use Silicone Sheets?
- Ensure the wound is fully healed and sutures have been removed. Dr. Yazdani or a member of our nursing team will give you the go ahead to start using silicone products. This can take between 2-4 weeks post-surgery.
- Ensure silicone sheets are applied to clean, dry skin. The sheets are 10 x 18 cm but can be cut to the size and shape of your scar area.
- The silicone sheets should be worn 24 hours a day. They are self-adhesive. Remove daily to inspect and cleanse the area, then reapply.
- Under normal conditions the same silicone sheet can be used for approximately 1 week.
- Dr. Yazdani recommends that silicone sheets be worn throughout the day except when bathing. The sheets are flexible and conform well to body contours and can be worn during daily activities.
- Dr. Yazdani recommends using silicone sheets for at least 3 months post-surgery, or longer.
- If any rash or reaction develops, stop using silicone sheets immediately and call our office.
Massage is an essential aspect of scar management and should take place as soon as the incisions are healed. Massaging the scar area may be uncomfortable at first but it is an effective way to decrease build-up of scar tissue and make scars less noticeable. It also promotes collagen remodeling by applying pressure to scars, helps decrease itching, and provides moisture and flexibility to the scar.
How Do I Massage My Scars?
A registered nurse will help demonstrate the proper way to massage your scar at a postoperative follow-up appointment. Using the pads of two or three fingers, press and rub the scar and surrounding tissue. Massage in all three directions: in a circle, vertically and horizontally. Apply as much pressure as you can tolerate. Begin with light pressure and then when you are ready, progress to deeper and firmer pressure. You can also use a silicone cream or gel during the process. The scar area should lighten in colour or turn white during the massage.
How Often Should I Massage My Scar?
This should be done two to three times a day for five to 10 minutes each time. You should continue to massage your scars for at least six months after your surgery. Continuing longer will not harm your scars and might still be beneficial.
Stop massaging and contact our office if you experience redness, bleeding, the scar feels warmer than the skin around it, or there is more pain than usual around the scar site.
Using sunscreen is an essential part of scar care. It should be applied 30-60 minutes before sun exposure at all times of the year where the scar site is exposed to sunlight (even in winter). Note that UV rays can even penetrate light clothing. Sun exposure can damage scars and cause discolouration.