Incisions have healed, and you’re enjoying your gorgeous new curves after your breast lift. It’s time for the next step in scar care. Thin, raised lines likely still appear red or pink along the incisions. As your scars heal, they will darken and flatten, which may take several months or even a year before fading. Untreated scars may get more noticeable over time, though. For instance, darker skin risks hyperpigmentation or even increased thickness, becoming hypertrophic scars or keloids. Dr. Landis can offer additional guidance and resources to help you minimize the appearance of scars, however. Be sure to call us if you have questions about your scars.
Begin With Prevention
- Healing can itch and peel, but if you scratch, exfoliate, or scrub your wounds during the healing process, you can aggravate the scars.
- Avoid all heavy lifting for the first six weeks after surgery.
- If you smoke, it’s ideal that you quit smoking a month before your surgery, but it’s important to abstain while scars heal also.
- Tanning will darken scar tissue, so wear sunscreen even under clothing if you are somewhere sunny with a high UV index.
Tension Is the Leading Cause of Scarring
Precise tension reduction is vital in avoiding scar tissue buildup, and you may still be using silicone sheet bandages to gently hold both sides of your incisions together. Check with Dr. Landis, who may approve using an OTC product, Embrace® Breast Lift Kit, that includes silicone-coated Stress-Shields™ to protect scars, especially during showers and exercise. You could be able to wear these for up to a year.
You can begin using the various solutions weeks after your sutures have come out, but you can begin as late as six months after the procedure. Delaying will reduce their effectiveness, however.
For the first few months, wear a support bra, but not an underwire bra. Ask Dr. Landis for recommendations.
Scar massage is another helpful remedy. Gently massage your scars horizontally and vertically in circular motions. This technique helps flatten the scars and decrease over-sensitivity and inflammation. Additionally, massage increases blood flow and stimulates the growth of collagen fibers that help heal and smooth your skin.
Two weeks after your surgery, begin massaging your scars for 10 minutes at a time. Repeat several times each day until the scars flatten and fade. Be sure to follow instructions and to remove the shields slowly and gently.
During your massage, you can use OTC gels and creams.
- Dr. Landis may advise an anti-bacterial cream to keep the incision area clean and fight infection soon after your procedure.
- Scar gels are silicone-based and may help keep your scar hydrated. You might wish to use these gels for several weeks after your wounds have healed to soften and flatten the scars. Keeping the scars dry without becoming dried out can reduce their size and color. Many consider silicone-based gels to be the best treatment for minimizing scars.
- Many scar-softening creams are available, though they haven’t been clinically tested or proven to be more effective than basic body creams. Scar-softening cream does help keep the area flexible and hydrated. Use it only as Dr. Landis recommends after the wound has fully healed.
Other Options Are Available for Scar Minimization
Some women tire of using OTC remedies and discontinue their use, only to discover the scars may become more visible again. More aggressive professional solutions are available.
Fractionated lasers can produce satisfactory results. If your incision has completely healed, laser therapy can help. It reaches into the top layers of your skin (epidermis) as well as the inner (dermis) layers in order to reduce variations in pigmentation. This process may require treatments every other month for a year or even longer.
Professional scar removal treatments can involve skin grafts from elsewhere on your body. Punch grafting, as it’s called, can leave additional scars, however.
Other professional aesthetic options include chemical peels, microdermabrasion, and bleaching serums.
Dr. Landis is available to answer all your questions about breast lift scar minimization