When preparing to undergo any plastic surgery procedure, especially breast augmentation, patients are frequently concerned about how their scars will look. Anytime the skin is disturbed at deeper levels, a scar will develop as a result of the body’s natural repair mechanisms. A skillful Denver cosmetic surgeon can utilize techniques to minimize the appearance of scars, but cannot control the various other factors that contribute to scar development. Certain factors, such as skin color, tissue quality, and genetics can significantly affect the way in which scar tissue will form on any particular individual. Knowing these factors will help to you to set some sort of expectation for how your scars will look. In all cases, we recommend following certain guidelines to care for your scar and minimize its appearance.
Pre-Operative Skin Care
We will often advise breast augmentation patients with darker skin types to prep the skin before their procedure to reduce the risk of hyperpigmentation, or darkening of the skin, as they at a greater risk of developing this after breast surgery. People with darker skin tones possess the ability to produce greater amounts of melanin than those with lighter skin tones. The production of melanin is part of the body’s natural immune response to protect the skin after trauma. A pre-operative skin care regiment consists of using of topical products that will suppress melanin production, essentially “calming down” the skin.
Post-Operative Skin Care
Following breast augmentation surgery all patients are advice of a post-operative care for the incision sites.
Immediately following a procedure, it is important to:
- Keep the incision moist with an antibacterial product to help the skin close up and to prevent infection. Once the skin is closed, we recommend using silicone sheeting on larger incisions or ScarGuard MD on smaller ones. Silicone will help to “seal” the skin off, protecting it and facilitating optimal healing to minimize the appearance of scars. Products such as Mederma and ScarGuard (NON-MD) can also be purchased over the counter at drug stores. These products may offer some benefit, but the ScarGuard MD formula, will typically provide a better result.
- Get a peri-operative massage. This therapy following your breast augmentation will move lymphatic fluid and expedite the relief of swelling minimizing the formation of scar tissue. We feel that this step is so important, we even provide the service right here in our office.
- Avoid sun exposure to the incision area. You should keep the area covered as much as possible with clothing or bandages immediately following your breast surgery, and protect the area with sunscreen in cases of sun exposure. Mineral based sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 will provide a full spectrum protection, and is anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial to facilitate healing. If you do expose the incision, a topical hydrocortisone cream on the area will help to prevent the scar from darkening.
- Take care of your health both before and after your procedure. This includes eating a nutrient-rich diet, drinking plenty of water, and getting rest. The healthier your body is, the better able it will be to heal efficiently!
For more information on breast augmentation and scarring, or if you are in the Denver area and would like to schedule a consultation with Colorado Plastic Surgery, please contact us.