Once a person sustains a wound from an injury or even a surgical procedure, it may be evident sooner rather than later how badly the scar will develop after.
As scarring is a natural and very complex part of your wound healing, there’s not a lot you can do to improve the way the scar develops or how it looks, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do anything. Understanding how your wounds heal and what is necessary for wounds to heal properly can help minimize the risk of developing an unsightly scar.
Want to learn more about how you can prepare for scars and what products are available to help them fade over time? Read ahead and find out how we can help!
Scars and the Wound Healing Process
As we mentioned, scars form as a result of tissue damage in the skin. However, tiny cuts like those caused by a paper cut or a scratch will frequently not turn into a scar and will heal without incident. These superficial cuts heal without a scar because the middle layer of the skin, known as the dermis, is typically not damaged.
Deeper wounds, like those caused by surgery or injury such as a burn or severe laceration that require medical attention, tend to scar.
After a cut or wound, wound healing has a four-step healing process: hemostasis, inflammation, proliferation and maturation. During hemostasis, your blood vessels constrict to prevent you from losing too much blood. This stage is when a blood clot or scab forms. The next step, inflammation, often can bring swelling, pain or heat to the wound site to prevent an infection from developing. The third stage, proliferation, is when new tissue forms. The last step to healing is maturation; this is the time when the skin regains structure and functionality.
The final result? A scar.
Steps to Scar Prevention
As we said, there are a few steps you can take to minimize scarring after a surgical procedure.
First Step: Prepare Ahead
Preparing for surgery can help reduce scarring. First and foremost, listen to Dr. Peterson’s pre-op instructions to help minimize your risk. Here are the basics:
Don’t drink. We recommend that you skip your nightcap on the eve of your surgery. While you may want to imbibe to relax before your procedure, alcohol, especially in large amounts, can impair how your wounds heal because it suppresses the immune system. If you have a surgical wound or another type of wound, avoiding alcohol can help keep your immune system working as it should to prevent infection — and scarring.
Do eat a healthy diet. We recommend that you eat a nutritious diet with lean meats, fish, vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts and plenty of water. Eating healthy foods can help give your body — and immune system — the extra vitamins it needs to heal properly.
That being said, we recommend that you avoid eating foods that are high in sugars and unhealthy fats.
Don’t smoke. We recommend that you stop smoking at least two weeks before your surgery and for at least two weeks after. Here’s why: The nicotine found in cigarettes, vapes, e-cigarettes and chewing tobacco causes the blood vessels to constrict, which means the blood your wound needs to heal does not make it to the surgical site. If this occurs, your chances of complications and scarring go up significantly.
Don’t stress. The stress hormone cortisol can harm your body’s immune system and its ability to make the repairs needed.
Do use BioCorneum®+. Dr. Peterson believes his patients’ surgical journey does not end in the operating room. He recognizes that you may be putting off your procedure because you’re worried about scarring. To that end, we offer a 12-week silicone skin treatment program to help minimize scars. BioCorneum®+ is the No. 1 and only FDA-approved choice for initial scar management.
BioCorneum®+ contains a patented topical silicone gel for the management of scars and the prevention of abnormal scars in the form of hypertrophic scars and keloids.
- Silicone is the clinical gold standard for scar treatment and scar prevention, demonstrating clinical efficacy over all other forms of topical treatments.
- Silicone is recommended by the International Advisory Panel on Scar Management as the first-line therapy for scars.
- BioCorneum®+ is indicated for scars resulting from trauma, surgery, burns or other events that result in a break in the skin.
- BioCorneum®+’s patented silicone gel formulation is the only self-adhering silicone gel.
- BioCorneum®+ self-dries to a waterproof, gas-permeable membrane that dries to form a custom-fitted silicone sheet.
- The patented technology in BioCorneum®+ is clinically proven to help soften, flatten and smooth the scar while maintaining the moisture balance and elasticity of the adjacent skin. The patented formulation has also been shown to reduce the discoloration and itching associated with scars.
If you would like to know more about BioCorneum®+ scar treatment, available in our office, call or schedule a consultation.