All surgical procedures will result in some form of visible scarring. In the early months post operatively most scars may appear red or irritated. Fortunately most scars will fade in the 24 months following your surgery, however they will never be invisible.
Many factors play a role in the healing process and how well a scar matures. These can include genetics, skin tone, lifestyle factors, health related issues, the type of surgery you had, where the incision lines were placed and your own natural healing capacity. Every patient heals differently, however the majority of patients have little to no issues with their scars improving over time, with some basic care principles and patience.
Scars take about 2 years to fully mature. In addition to taping and daily scar massage, modern scar optimisation treatments include skin needling, Fraxel laser treatments and LED light therapies. These support the healing of your scar and promote healthy collagen and elastin production.
Surgical incisions on the face are generally not taped, but on the breasts and body you will usually have breathable tape dressings, which will stay on for 3 weeks. From 3 weeks onwards, Dr David Sharp recommends changing over to silicone tape for another 3 months. Silicone tape is a topical scar treatment that supports your incision line while delivering a supply of silicone to the scar, improving its appearance over time. The tape can be applied by you at home, and consist of thin skin coloured sheets of silicone. They are usually changed over weekly. Patients are able to shower and participate in normal activities while wearing the tape.
Silicone Tape will help your scar heal by:
- Improving hydration in the surface of the skin/scar
- Encourage the production of fibroblasts, which are cells that promote connective tissue formation, and repair collagen in the area of the incision, to ensure a softer or flatter scar.
- Protect incision line from bacteria, which will prevent infection.
- Minimising redness, itching, bumps or pain as the scar heals
Silicone tape can be used on all areas of the body provided the area has healed adequately and you have been advised it is okay to proceed with applying the tape to the surgical site. These tapes can also be used on both new and old scars.