Wound Healing and Scars

All wounds heal by scar – even those wounds closed meticulously by a plastic surgeon. However, a plastic surgeon does her best to camouflage your scar in various ways.

It is important to remember that there is a natural “maturing” process of a healing scar. At first, your scar will be red, raised, hard and “nasty” looking. There will be swelling and bruising around the scar. This swelling and bruising usually resolves by 2 to 3 weeks, but the “nasty” appearance may be present for at least 6 to 8 weeks. At that time, your scar will begin to fade. Since healing actually takes a year, the scar will continue to “mature” with time.

The degree of improvement in the appearance of your scar will depend on several variables such as size and direction of the scar, heredity factors that may pre-condition the extent of the healing process, your age, and skin type and color. Gentle massage to the healing scar with a lubricant (lotion or cream) may hasten its softening and fading and is often encouraged. Topical silicone is sometimes recommended for scars prone to thickening or keloid.

Sun exposure can negatively effect the healing scar and is discouraged for at least 3 to 6 months. Application of a sunblock is strongly recommended. Recommendations specific for your post-operative care of a wound are given at the time of the procedure.


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