10 Strategies to Hide or Minimize Plastic Surgery Scars
While plastic surgery procedures often aim to enhance aesthetic appeal or restore function, they may also leave scars that patients might wish to minimize or hide. Here are several strategies surgeons and patients can utilize to minimize or hide scarring in plastic surgery procedures:
- Surgical Techniques: The most effective way to minimize scarring is at the source, during the surgery itself. Surgeons can employ a variety of tactics such as placing incisions in less visible locations like natural skin folds or hair-bearing areas. Surgeons may also use techniques such as layering sutures, using fine thread for stitches, and limiting tissue trauma to reduce the possibility of noticeable scarring.
- Post-Operative Care: Effective wound care after surgery is critical in preventing significant scarring. This involves regular cleaning of the wound, avoiding infection, and possibly using topical treatments like silicone sheets or gels which have been shown to reduce the thickness and discoloration of scars.
- Sun Protection: Exposure to the sun can cause scars to darken and become more noticeable. Patients should use a high-SPF sunscreen and limit sun exposure during the healing process.
- Healthy Lifestyle: Good nutrition, hydration, and avoiding smoking can significantly improve the body’s healing process and thus minimize scarring. Consuming a diet rich in proteins, Vitamin C and Zinc can enhance wound healing.
- Scar Injections: Starting a few weeks after surgery, scars can be injected with kenalog (a corticosteroid) or 5-Fluorouracil, if they start becoming elevated, red, or widened. These injections are usually performed once monthly for several months.
- Laser Treatments: If a scar is already formed and is noticeable, patients can consider laser treatments. These can help flatten the scar, lighten the color, and improve the overall appearance. It’s important to note that multiple sessions may be required for optimal results.
- Microneedling and Dermabrasion: These are other treatment options that can improve the appearance of a scar. They work by removing the outer layer of skin and stimulating new skin growth that is smoother and more uniform in appearance.
- Camouflage Makeup: As a temporary solution, special makeup designed to cover scars can be effective. It can take some practice to apply effectively, but it can make scars virtually invisible to the casual observer.
- Revision Surgery: In certain cases where scarring is severe or not responding to other treatments, a surgical scar revision may be an option. This involves altering the scar surgically to make it less noticeable, often combined with some of the techniques mentioned above for optimal results.
- Psychological Support: It’s important to remember that the perception of a scar can be as important as the scar itself. Support from psychologists or support groups can help patients adjust to the changes in their bodies and feel more confident, regardless of the appearance of their scars.
In summary, minimizing or hiding scars from plastic surgery procedures involves a multipronged approach: careful surgical technique, proper post-operative care, a healthy lifestyle, potential use of treatments like laser therapy or dermabrasion, and psychological support. The specific strategy will depend on the nature of the surgery, the patient’s individual characteristics, and their personal preferences.
Learn More about Plastic Surgery and Minimizing Scarring
Dr. Steven J. Varkony has made his name as a master of minimizing scarring that may result from plastic surgery. In particular, he is known for his “hidden scar” arm lift (transverse brachioplasty) and he always seeks to find new ways to make scars as small and inconspicuous as possible whether the procedure is a breast augmentation (where he hides the scar in an armpit crease) or a facelift (where the scar is hidden inside the ear).
A board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Varkony invites anyone interested in having a procedure to call his office and ask questions about scarring or other relevant topics. You may get in touch with our office by using the information at the bottom of this page or you can fill out a form online at our contact page.
Dr. Varkony’s office is located in Encino on Ventura Blvd. but his patients come from throughout Greater Los Angeles, including Studio City, Sherman Oaks, Burbank, and Woodland Hills as well as Westlake Village, Calabasas, Santa Monica, Brentwood, and Beverly Hills.