As excited as our patients typically are to enjoy the outcome of their procedures, one common concern that often comes up is about scarring. They usually want to know how much scarring they can expect to have and how visible it will be.
The biggest factors that impact scarring are out of the patient’s control, and they include the type of procedure and the size of the incision. This is one of many reasons why it’s crucial to do your research before your facial surgery and choose a plastic surgeon who is experienced, knowledgeable, and has a track record of successful procedures and happy clients.
What you do have control of, however, is how well you take care of your wounds and your overall health in the weeks and months following your surgery. Here are some of the steps you can take to ensure optimal healing and minimal scarring.
1. Massage the area with ointment
Gently massaging your scar provides two key benefits. First, it puts light pressure on the area, which minimizes the body’s inflammatory responses that can produce unfavorable scarring. Second, using a healing ointment or gel, especially one that contains vitamin E, hydrates the skin and stimulates collagen production. For the best results, massage the scar for up to three months following your surgery.
2. Avoid exposing the area to sunlight
UV rays are damaging to all skin, but are particularly dangerous for skin that is on the mend. If your surgery scar is in a place that can’t be easily covered with clothing (such as the face after a facelift procedure), be sure to use a high quality sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30.
3. Avoid smoking and alcohol
Smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol are more than just bad habits—they have a real and immediate impact on your health and can significantly impact your recovery from surgery. Both of these behaviors reduce your immune system’s ability to fight infection. Alcohol also dehydrates you, which slows healing and reduces your well-being.
4. Treat your wounds gently
Although you may be eager to return to your normal activities after your procedure, it’s essential that you take things slowly and go easy on yourself while you’re healing. Lifting heavy objects, working out vigorously, and putting stress and strain on the body can delay your recovery and even cause your incision to split open. Follow your surgeon’s advice about what’s considered safe to do while you’re healing.
5. Morpheus8, Microneedling Radiofrequency
The Morpheus 8 procedure uses controlled radiofrequency thermal energy and a specialized microneedling device that is especially effective for rebuilding collagen. It’s a safe and popular treatment that reduces the appearance of post-surgical scars. As the micro needling device is passed over the skin, it creates small punctures and wounds that trigger the skin’s healing process. Combining this with radio-frequency energy means the tissues detect even more damage and the heat generated from this trigger’s rapid collagen production and cell renewal. As the skin heals, new dermal cells form, and your scars will diminish and be visibly improved.