DR. SAILON SEEKS TO ACHIEVE BEAUTIFUL, NATURAL-LOOKING RESULTS WHENEVER HE OPERATES. OBTAINING THE LEAST AMOUNT OF VISIBLE SCARRING IS AN IMPORTANT CONSIDERATION. FOLLOW THESE GUIDELINES TO KEEP SCARRING TO A MINIMUM:
First, let the wound heal!
Before considering scar management, your wounds have to heal. Refer to the guidelines in the incision care section. For most incisions, this takes about 2 weeks. Dr. Sailon will let you know when to initiate a scar care regimen.
Protect your scars from the sun
New scars are particularly sensitive to sun exposure and need to be protected for at least 6 months while they mature. Protecting the scar from the sun will reduce discoloration and allow the scar to fade more quickly. Consider covering your scars with tape, a band-aid or a hat, if possible. Alternatively, plan liberal and frequent use of sunscreen whenever scars are going to be sun-exposed for more than a few minutes. Use SPF 30 or greater and reapply every 3 hours when outdoors.
Develop a silicone-based scar care regimen
A number of products in a vast price range can be found, many of which have little proof of making scars less visible. Among the many scar care products that exist, silicone has the most robust scientific evidence validating its use.
Silicone comes in many forms:
As a quick dry liquid (brand names include ScarGuard and ScarAway), gel sheets, and tension-reducing adhesives (Embrace). All of these are acceptable and the right choice will depend on the scar location. These products are used for at least 2 months and preferably for 4-6 months. Dr. Sailon will help to steer you in the right direction.
Two important points
- The best regimen is the one you will stick to!
- If your scars will be sun-exposed, look for a product that combines silicone with sun protection (SPF).
Mederma (generic name = cepalin) is a popular product based on an onion extract and there are a number of studies examining its efficacy, but the results are mixed. Vitamin E and cocoa butter, although commonly used, show very little proof that they make any difference.
Important adjuncts and things to watch out for
Scars may become abnormally thick or red in a process known as hypertrophic scars or keloids. It is important that you have close follow-ups with Dr. Sailon if you develop either of these conditions as a few simple office treatments can have a big impact on the final result. If your scars remain red and inflamed, you may also be a good candidate for laser treatment.
Patience is a virtue...
Full scar maturation can take up to one year. It is common for scars to undergo many changes, particularly in the first few months. Scars may have a red and inflamed appearance initially. They may also have a slightly thick, cord-like feel. Frequent scar massage can speed up the softening process.
Questions or concerns?
Never hesitate to call the office!