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Scar Maintenance

How to take care of your scars

(C) Dr E Azzopardi 2022.



A scar is an attempt of the body to repair itself. Good wound healing depends on many factors. Here we explore some common reasons for sub optimal outcomes, and how to sort them out.


Wound moisturisation. Scar tissue does not sweat, simply because it cant, and therefore tends to become dry, and rough. Properly moisturising a scar makes all the difference, and one of the biggest difference patients make to their own healing.


There is no evidence to say that silicone based moisturisisers have some massive difference to oil-based moisturisers. Indeed the biggest difference is between any moisturising and no moisturising. Wounds which are kept well hydrated heal well. Letting scab form to heal is an old wives tale which bears zero benefit in modern medicine.


Massaging your scar.


If you have had sutures on the outside of your skin, you can start gently moistening your scar when stitches (sutures) are out. How many stitches are in has no bearing to how well or otherwise you have done. Sometimes we place sutures on the inside - sometimes there are quite a few on the outside to shift skin around. Plastic surgeons tend to use finer sutures, and therefore there may be more of them. Speak to your surgeon if you have ever had a reaction to a suture material.


Sunblock


Exposing fresh scars to excess sun, especially unprotected, is not a particularly clever idea. The sun accelerates pigmentation in scarred areas so if you must, make sure to wear an appropriate, medica grade sunblock. Some sun blocks will protect chemically against Ultra Violet light. Some will also offer protection against Infra Red light. Getting it right with sunblock is important. Part of this is suiting your convenience. You will have access to the highest quality medical sunblocks.


Protection from Stretch


If your scar is situated in a dependent area, like the chest, on the top of the breast, or over a joint, it is likely to be subjected to excess stretch which will tend to widen the scar if excessive. Wearing appropriate hoisery which supports the breast (more about that later) is a good idea.



What does laser to to scars?


There are a multitude of lasers that can help scars. Ultimately your consultant surgeon will suggest a technique depending on the background skin type, your type of scar, any underlying healing issues, presence of complications, and depth of the scarring. Lasers harness the wound healing process, re-setting it and manipulating it to improve scar contour, texture, vector, and colour.


Is there any time limit for sorting out scars?


No. we have helped scars present for many years. Based on recent evidence and agreement in top specialist in the field we have been intervening earlier than in the past.


What does the process entail? Is it a one off?


You will have multiple ways of pain control, and the latest technology will be deployed to make you comfortable. The vast majority of our patients have their laser procedures awake and do well.


A number of patients does well with one session, feel that is the best they have ever been and stop there. And that is perfectly acceptable. For many, it is a journey. Every treatment is bespoke and that is why a comprehensive discussion and consultation is needed. This is followed by a test area, to make sure the settings are the best we can produce.


(C) skinsurgeon 2022 (www.skinsurgeon.eu)


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