Minimizing the Tummy Tuck Scar at Home
Whether it’s a standalone treatment or part of a comprehensive mommy makeover, there’s no denying that tummy tucks are capable of getting patients their dream figure. This is why they’ve become so popular in the past years. While many look forward to their redefined physiques, worries about the potential for an unflattering or large scar can be a source of concern for women who are considering the procedure. However, with the right pre- and post-surgery care, patients can get their ideal figure while minimizing their scars.
Scar prevention can start even before you’re wheeled back for surgery. During your initial consultation, our Austin surgeons will review the treatment plan and provide you with an idea of where the final scar will be and what it will look like. Depending on your surgical plan, the final scar may be V- or U-shaped and can be hidden below the bikini line. For women turning to abdominoplasty following C-section or as part of a mommy makeover, our surgeons will try to place the surgical incision along the original C-section scar to help minimize any additional scarring.
One of the most beneficial ways you can reduce scarring is to stop smoking at least six weeks before surgery. Smoking can not only increase the risk of complications during surgery but can also slow down the natural healing processes of the body. Consulting with our surgeons as well as your general physician can ensure that you are in peak physical health before your surgery.
At Home Solutions
Reducing post-surgery scarring at-home starts with closely following all aftercare instructions from your surgeon. Walking as soon as possible, avoiding strenuous activity, and following a healthy diet can help reduce swelling and will helping speed your recovery. In addition to these key guidelines, patients can also use the following tips to help scars heal quickly:
Use Effective Sunscreen
As surgical incisions heal, new skin is built. All skin is prone to darkening with sun exposure, but new skin is particularly sensitive to solar radiation. To prevent accidentally tanning the new scar, we recommend avoiding extended sun exposure until your scars are fully healed. If you must spend time outdoors, be sure to use a sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher and picking one that is made specifically for scars.
Apply Topical Vitamin E
Keeping new scars and the surrounding tissue moisturized is also critical to helping scar fade into nearly invisible lines. Recent studies have shown that massaging 100% pure vitamin E into the healing scar tissue can reduce the overall appearance of the scar over the course of several months. Follow your surgeon’s instructions about when to use Vitamin E oil. Before starting this at-home treatment, we recommend conducting a skin patch test to ensure you don’t have an adverse reaction to the oil.
Switch to Sensitive and Fragrance-Free
During the first couple of months following surgery, it’s fairly common for patients to find that certain soaps or lotions that they were previously using now cause irritation. If this is the case, the incision site my experience swelling and itching, increasing the risk of unconscious scratching and potentially more scarring. We recommend swapping out highly fragranced or harsh soaps and lotions for sensitive and fragrance-free versions. Likewise, wearing loose, flowy clothes can help limit the healing scar’s contact with itchy bands or tight fabrics.
Keep an Eye Out for Infection
Scar infection can not only lead to thicker, more noticeable scarring but can also compromise your recovery and overall health. If you notice that your healing incision site is bleeding excessively, or the swelling and redness is worsening, or if you experience severe pain or fever, call our office immediately for follow up evaluation and treatment.
Get Started at Restora Austin
With proactive care before and after your tummy tuck, you can enjoy minimal scarring and a perfect physique. To learn more about the best practices for minimizing surgical scarring at home, be sure to schedule your consultation with our Austin plastic surgeons today!