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Preventing or Minimizing Scars After Surgery

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Updated June 30, 2014

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6 More Ways To Prevent and Minimize Scars After Surgery
 
  • Rest: If your doctor suggests that you rest for two weeks, don’t go back to work after one week of healing. Exhausting yourself will not help your wound heal and can actually slow healing.
  • Proper Wound Care: Taking the steps recommended by your surgeon may be the single most important thing you can do to prevent scars. Taking measures to prevent infection, refraining from using ointments and remedies that are not prescribed, and other general incision care techniques are essential to healing without scars.
  • Identify Infection Quickly: If your incision becomes infected, it is important that you can identify the signs of infection and seek help from your physician immediately. An infection can seriously impair healing and can contribute to scarring.
  • Chronic Illness: Diabetes and many other illnesses can slow healing. For the best possible outcome, your illness should be as well-controlled as possible before surgery and during your recovery. For example, for a diabetic it is essential for blood glucose levels to be within normal limits as much as possible as high levels slow healing.
  • Stress on Your Incision: Putting stress on your incision by lifting, bending or doing anything that stretches or puts tension on the incision should be avoided. This stress can pull the incision apart, delaying healing and often making the wound larger than it needs to be, which increases the size of your scar.
  • Exposure to Sunlight: Avoid having the sun on your incision whenever possible. If your scar is in place that is difficult to cover, such as your face, invest in a good sunscreen. Your surgeon can tell you when it is safe to apply ointments, but it is usually safe to do so when the sutures are removed or the incision has closed completely.
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