People believe cosmetic plastic surgery to be totally scar free. Cuts are made during all surgeries including cosmetic surgery. Cosmetic surgery cuts are originally sutured very finely and after healing they look like a fine line which fades gradually over a period of one year or more. Extra care is taken during surgery by using fine instruments, suture materials and special techniques to make the finest scar possible. But just having a cosmetic surgery done does not guarantee good fine scar. There are many other factors that can make difference in the final result, like individual skin type and care after the surgery.
Whatever may be the skin type good care after surgery always improves the results. Care is essential with Indian skin which is not very favorable from scar point of view and also tends to have excess pigmentation. General tips are:
- Timely stitch removal: If removed too late marks can form.
- Sun protection: Regular usage of sunscreen cream of SPF 20 or more every 3 hourly when outdoors is essential during first 6 months
- Massage with certain creams: Massage is more important than cream itself. Gently massaging the scar twice daily for 5 minutes with a simple cream like Nivea for 3 to 6 months on a fresh scar can work wonders. At times some other creams like silicone may be prescribed if the scar is not favorable.
- Pressure: Wherever it is possible to apply, pressure helps. Like wearing a headband for a forehead scar and elastic band on arm or leg scar. Elastic compression garments can be specially made to fit any body part for this purpose. Proper pressure band/garment should be worn more than 12 hours a day for 3 to 6 months.
- Taping: Paper tape application on the fresh scar helps in early maturation and fading.
Regular monthly followup of scar especially during first 6 months after surgery is important. Early detection of problem and timely action prevents bad scar. Signs of problem are:
- Elevated, red and itchy scar: It requires immediate attention. Injections of steroids into the scar, silicon sheet or gel and pressure may be needed to suppress this kind of scar.
- Hyperpigmented (dark) scar: This type of scar responds to special creams and sun protection.
First 6 months after surgery is the golden period during which scar is fresh and can be improved by timely action. Once scar is old repeat surgery to improve the scar will be needed. Good care and regular follow up visits during this period can help you get the best and the finest possible scar.