You have triumphed over the surgery. How should you look after the wound to optimize your healing and scarring? Here are some surgeon-approved tips on how to care for your wounds and scars.
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Immediately After Surgery
After surgery, the main priority is to prevent infection. Your surgeon would have covered your wounds with a dressing to seal it in a sterile field. In areas where a dressing cannot be secured, for example, hair-bearing areas like the scalp and brows, you will usually be given an antibiotic ointment to apply over the wound. Often the ointment is applied to the wound multiple times a day to keep the wound covered and moist.
If you have a dressing, ensure that it is kept dry to ensure the wound continues to be sealed. If the dressing is waterproof, it will withstand splashes of water, but not being submerged in water, so avoid activities like swimming.
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After the wound has healed, the next part of the recovery process is to focus on scar prevention. The most basic scar prevention step is silicone scar gel or silicone tape application. Silicone has been clinically proven to curb the scarring process by preventing a phenomenon known as transepidermal water loss, or TEWL.
The key to silicone scar therapy is that the silicone gel or tape has to cover the scar at all times. So if you are applying silicone gel, this needs to be reapplied multiple times a day. Scar prevention treatments like LED Red Light Therapy after surgery aids healing and controls scar activity
Your surgeon will be monitoring your scar. In the event that the scar acts up and becomes hypertrophic (thickened), then it may be advisable to start treatments that will control the scar activity at this point. Some scar intervention options include scar lasers or steroid injections. Laser treatments proven to improve scars include the VBeam laser and the fractionated CO2 Smart X laser. Often the best way to control a scar is a regular multi-pronged approach, such as the SW1 Clinic Scar Intervention Program, which includes a combination of VBeam laser, Smart X laser and LED Red Light Therapy.