The tummy tuck procedure can leave noticeable scars. The appearance of scars following a tummy tuck procedure is one of the most frequent concerns that Dr. Paul Pin hears from patients. Obviously, patients want to do whatever is necessary to reduce the appearance of these scars. Below is some helpful advice for patients undergoing tummy tuck surgery, including information scar creams, how scar creams work, and which application methods work best.
When to Start Using Scar-reducing Creams
Patients can begin to use scar-reducing creams on the tummy tuck incision site as soon as the incisions have healed over and there are no more scabs. Cream should never be applied to an open wound or over skin that is still scabbed. Once the skin has healed over, the scar should appear very thin. This is the best time to begin using a scar-reducing cream. Beneath the skin, the body is busy producing collagen to help it heal.
How Do Scar-reducing Creams Work?
Scar-reducing creams work to hydrate and moisturize the skin, which will prevent itchiness and flaking. In addition, they help to break up excess collagen formation that can lead to more noticeable scars. Depending on the scar placement, patients may find creams easier to use than silicone sheets, which may not stay in place or have a tendency to fold over and roll up, particularly in the lower stomach/groin area.
What Are the Best Application Methods for Scar-reducing Creams?
The cream should be thoroughly rubbed into the tummy tuck scars. Some scar-reducing creams are designed to dry on the skin and flake off. ScarGuard is a good example of this type of scar treatment. Others, such as Mederma, are more like a thick skin lotion.
Massaging the area around the scars at the same time as applying the cream will help to further break up any excess collagen under the skin. Use small, gentle, circular motions, taking care not to pull too hard at the scar itself.
If patients plan on wearing clothing that may expose the scars (such as a bikini bathing suit), they should opt for a cream with a sun block to reduce the risk of hyperpigmentation. With hyperpigmentation, the scar becomes noticeably darker than the surrounding skin.
If the scars do not fade, or start to feel thicker lumpy, schedule a follow-up appointment with Dr. Pin. He may suggest other options, such as silicone sheeting or laser treatment to break up the excess collagen and reduce the appearance of thick, red, or raised scars.
Dr. Pin has extensive experience with tummy tuck procedures, and will attempt to place incisions in discreet places, so that scars will be less visible. Patients should feel free to discuss with him their concerns about scarring at the initial consultation visit. He will work with patients to achieve the best possible appearance from their tummy tuck procedure. Contact the Dallas practice of Dr. Paul Pin today to schedule an information consultation. A member of Dr. Pin's staff will be happy to set up a time that is convenient for you.