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3 Important Things to Know About Scarring After Plastic Surgery

Woman outdoors with hands in her hair feeling confident after plastic surgeryOne concern that many people have when it comes to plastic surgery is scarring.

Even patients who are completely confident that plastic surgery is the right choice for them are sometimes hesitant to move forward with the procedure for fear that lingering scars could undermine their confidence and the success of the procedure.

It’s true that plastic surgery procedures do involve incisions, and there is the potential for scarring as a result. However, it’s important to realize that in most cases plastic surgery scarring is minimal and hardly noticeable once fully healed.

If you’re feeling a bit worried or curious about plastic surgery scarring, here are 3 things you should know.

3 Things You Should Know About Plastic Surgery Scarring

1. Plastic Surgeons Strategically Place Scars So They are Minimally Noticeable

Scarring is part of the body’s natural way of healing after an incision is made. Cosmetic procedures that require incisions will likely cause some level of scarring – but plastic surgeons are particularly skilled at making small, smooth incisions in places that help to hide them from view.

For instance, breast augmentation incisions are typically made below the fold of the breast where they are difficult to see once fully healed. Facelift incisions can be made along the hairline where they blend in. Depending on the type of plastic surgery you’re having, your surgeon will work with you to determine how to best hide the location of your incision.

Rest assured – plastic surgeons are particularly invested in making sure you look your best after you undergo a cosmetic surgery procedure. 

Here at Garcia Plastic & Hand Surgery, Dr. Garcia is skilled at using specific techniques and materials in wound closures to ensure optimal wound healing, creating a more aesthetically pleasing scar appearance.

If scarring is something you are worried about, be sure to speak to your surgeon to learn more about what to expect from your specific procedure.

2. There Are Steps You Can Take to Reduce The Appearance of Scarring

Plastic surgeons are adept at hiding scars, but there are also steps you can take to help reduce the severity of scarring after your procedure.

Tips for reducing plastic surgery scarring include:

  • Carefully and completely follow recovery instructions from your surgeon
  • Use compression
  • Avoid straining
  • Avoid vigorous activity immediately following surgery
  • Do not smoke
  • Stay hydrated
  • Eat a healthy, nutritious and balanced diet
  • Avoid sun exposure
  • Do not pick or scratch at scabs

Before taking action on any of these steps, be sure to talk to your doctor. You’ll want to be sure that you’re taking appropriate measures based on the type and location of your specific plastic surgery scar.

At Garcia Plastic & Hand Surgery, we also highly recommend a few topical products that can help to reduce the appearance of scarring. These products include: 

SkinMedica Scar Gel – This product supports wound healing while softening and minimizing the appearance of red or pink scars. It’s most beneficial during the first 6 months of healing, and is appropriate for all skin types. We recommend applying twice daily until scar appears flat and white without redness. This product is available in our office, and you can order it online.

Sun Protection – When it comes to healing and reducing the appearance of scars, using an spf of at least 30 (and REAPPLYING!) is key. Sun exposure during the first year of wound healing will have a permanent effect on the pigmentation of a scar. We always recommend avoiding the sun if possible, but if you’re going to be exposed to it be sure to apply and reapply sunscreen. Check out our variety of SkinMedica sun protection products that can help you to protect your scar.

If you’re struggling with a lasting scar from a previous surgery, you have options as well. There are a number of procedures, including IPL treatments, Micro-Needling, and Photofractional Rejuvenation, that can help to reduce the appearance of scarring.

3. If Scarring Is Something You’re Worried About, You Have Other Options

Depending on what type of cosmetic procedure you are interested in, invasive plastic surgery may not be the only option you have.

If you’re worried about scarring, there may be alternative, non-invasive options to consider.

For instance, if you’re looking for a more sculpted, contoured physique but you’re concerned about potential scarring caused by liposuction, CoolSculpting may be an alternative option to consider. It provides many of the same benefits and outcomes, but it is a non-invasive procedure that requires no downtime or recovery period. Learn more about Liposuction vs. CoolSculpting here.

Talk to your doctor to learn about available options and non-invasive cosmetic treatments that can help you to achieve your ideal image and reach your goals.

Don’t Let The Fear of Scars Deter You

Scars are a natural part of the body’s healing process. When it comes to plastic surgery, scars don’t need to be something that deters you from pursuing the confidence and image you’d like to achieve.

If you’re worried about scarring after a plastic surgery procedure, open up a dialogue with your doctor to learn more about the specific procedure you’re considering, your body’s healing capabilities, and non-invasive alternatives you might want to consider.

Ready to get that conversation started? Contact Dr. Garcia Plastic & Hand Surgery today at 518-793-0475 or contact us online with any questions you might have. We’d be happy to set up a consultation with you to discuss your options and guide you as you make the right choice for you.

Interested in learning more about what to expect when it comes to plastic surgery? Check out these helpful resources for more information:

Preparing For Your First Plastic Surgery – We walk you through a handful of helpful tips to help you prepare, mentally and physically, for your first cosmetic procedure.

How to Choose a Plastic Surgeon – Unsure about plastic surgery because you haven’t quite found the right surgeon yet? Here are a few tips for choosing the right cosmetic surgeon for you.

Exercising After Plastic Surgery: What You Need to Know – Continuing to exercise following a cosmetic procedure can help you heal and live a healthy lifestyle while maintaining your results. Learn how to ease back into your exercise routine after plastic surgery.