The following instructions will answer many commonly asked questions regarding scar care. There will always be a scar; however, the combination of a few factors will lead to the best result possible.
- Keep a healthy environment for the wound. This can be accomplished by doing some of the following:
- Eating healthy and staying hydrated.
- Avoid smoking and being around second hand smoke at all costs (smoking can plug the tiny vessels feeding and bringing the wound oxygen).
- You may submerge the wound in water (i.e. swimming) after the sutures have been removed, unless instructed otherwise.
- Make sure that you have the sutures taken out 3-6 days (for the face) after the surgery. This will avoid leaving “rail road tracks.”
- When you have the sutures removed, we will apply steri-strips to the wound. You may swim, shower and exercise with the steri-strips on. Just be sure to dry them well after and if they begin to come off replace them as instructed in the office. Keep the steri-strips on for 1-2 weeks after suture removal. This holds the wound together for a longer time without the risk of scarring at the suture sites and will help form a thinner scar.
- Avoid the sun, as this could lead to dark pigmentation of the wound.
- Always wear sunscreen. We recommend a zinc and/or titanium based sunscreen for the best protection of the scar. Medical grade broad-spectrum zinc sunscreens are available for purchase in our office. You may begin applying sunscreen after the steri-strips are removed. Sunscreen should be re-applied every 4 hours when you are in the sun, and every 2 hours when sweating or swimming.
- We highly recommend Silagen Scar Cream to minimize scarring. You may purchase a silicone scar cream (available at our office for $60-85) based on size. Apply twice a day for 3 – 6 months after surgery beginning 2 weeks after the surgery.
- Even if you use the scar cream with sunscreen in it, you will need to reapply sunscreen every 4 hours when you are in the sun.
- Beginning at a month after the repair, massage the scar – circular pressure applied a few times a day will help break down the collagen build-up.
- You can expect the scar to continue to improve for up to a year.
Questions and Follow-Up
- We like to see laceration patients for suture removal, then again if there are any concerns with the look of the scar. Laser scar treatment options will be discussed with you at your first follow-up visit.
- If you have any additional questions in regards to your wound, please contact our office at 703-574-2588.