Scars: The Not-so-Pretty Side of Plastic Surgery
There are many reasons why people have plastic surgery. Maybe you lost a lot of weight and having that loose skin cut off of your abdomen was the final step to reaching your hard-earned transformation. Maybe you’ve always been self-conscious about the size of your breasts and that breast augmentation has liberated you from your insecurities. Maybe that mommy makeover was a gift to yourself after years of raising a family.
Choosing to undergo cosmetic plastic surgery is a big decision. In many cases, patients are concerned about the scar this elective surgery can leave behind. Scarring is the body’s natural way to heal an open wound or cut. Regardless of the skill of your surgeon, cosmetic plastic surgery can result in scarring.
Most people wish to have a natural and subtle enhancement to their looks and how the wound heals is a big part of that. While the skill of your surgeon is important, he or she cannot control all the factors that determine how badly you will scar. That is why it is important to know these risk factors beforehand.
Risk Factors You Can Not Change:
- Your Race: Some races are more likely to scar than others. Black, Hispanic, and Asian people are more likely to form hypertrophic and keloid scars, which are an overgrowth of scar tissue at the site of an injury or incision.
- Your Age: As we age, our skin becomes less elastic and thinner. Therefore, scars do not heal as well. A benefit to age, however, is that imperfections that occur over time, such as skin damage, can conceal scars that would be more noticeable on younger skin.
- Size and Depth of Incision: Larger incisions are much more likely to leave a scar than a small incision. The deeper and longer the incision, the longer the healing process will take and the risk of scarring increases. The quicker and easier a scar heals the less visible it will tend to be.
- Genetic Tendency to Scar: You will want to discuss your family’s tendency to scar with Dr. Castor. If your parents and siblings tend to scar badly, you are likely to do the same.
Plastic surgeons are trained to ensure the best possible aesthetic results and will take great care with your wound closure to ensure the least amount of scarring. However, how you care for your wound after surgery can also help.
Dr. Stan Castor recommends that his patients use bioCorneum cream. This cream contains silicon which helps compress scars and SPF30 to prevent sun damage to the scar. Dr. Castor also tells his patients to do what they can to aid the healing process by giving their immune system as much help as possible. Here are some simple guidelines you can follow to help your body heal.
- Drink lots of water. If there is a lack of water in the body, cellular migration to the wound will pause. Oxygenation to the blood will also decrease and delay the wound treatment process.
- Eat plenty of fruits and vegetable and cut down on fats. The more nutritional value your food has, the better your body can heal.
- Stop smoking. Smoking directly affects our body’s ability to carry oxygen around the body. If you are serious about helping your body heal, you will have to stop smoking several weeks before your surgery and for several months afterwards.
- Get regular, light exercise. Be sure to ask Dr. Castor what you’re able to do right after surgery. Exercise gets your blood pumping and cleans out the old toxins, allowing for new blood to refresh the wound site.
- Get fresh air. A steady supply of oxygen to the affected area helps to fight infection and heal the wound successfully.
While it is possible that some scars fade with enough time that they are barely visible, it is important to be aware that with every surgery, scarring is a possibility. Plastic surgery is no exception even though surgeons do their best to leave you with beautiful results. As a board certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Castor has the knowledge, expertise, and experience to minimize scarring, striving for the best possible results.