Scarring after any procedure or incision is inevitable and every patient heals differently. Some skin can heal quickly leaving a fine line, whereas others may form a hypertrophic scar which can be raised, red and more obvious. In severe cases, more commonly in darker skinned individuals and for some surgery above the nipple on the chest, ears, neck and upper back, a keloid scar may develop. This scar can extend beyond the original surgery line. Scars do improve in their aesthetics over time and sometimes require further assistance to reach what would be considered aesthetically acceptable. It is important to understand that whilst surgical technique plays a significant role, the eventual look of a scar depends highly on the individual patients unique skin quality and healing ability.
Plastic surgeons use a range of quality sutures and techniques to assist to minimise the scar from surgery. Some sutures dissolve deep and over time, where as others may be removable sutures. Sutures may take 6 to 8 weeks to dissolve and may be felt under the incision line. Scars continue to improve over the following 6 to 18 months and in some cases, longer.
Scars do improve in their aesthetics over time and sometimes require further assistance to reach what would be considered aesthetically acceptable. It is important to understand that whilst surgical technique plays a significant role, the eventual look of a scar depends mainly on the individual patient’s unique skin qualities and healing ability.
Plastic surgeons use a range of quality sutures and techniques to assist in minimising the scar from surgery and to achieve the best possible result from your procedure. Some sutures are deep and dissolve over time, and some are removable sutures or may even be an adhesive medical glue. In some cases, your scar line may appear raised or feel ‘lumpy’ during the healing phase. Some sutures can take up to 6 – 8 weeks to fully dissolve and therefore can be felt under the incision line. This is a normal part of the healing process. Scars do continue to improve over 6 – 18 months after surgery, or even longer in some cases.
The following are some scar treatments or products that can help your body achieve the best visual appearance of the scar.
FIXOMULL/HYPAFIX: This is a semi-permeable adhesive dressing that is often applied to the body 1-2 weeks after surgery. Designed to create pressure on the scar and aid in the formation of a flat scar. This fabric dressing can be left on the skin for up to four weeks. It can be changed easily by removing the adhesive using an oil based product (coconut/olive oil), but frequent changes are not necessary and can create skin irritation. If there is any irritation please contact The Layt Clinic for further directions.
SILICONE TAPE: Siltape is recommended for patients who have undergone surgery on the body. It is generally applied along the incision site after using Fixomull/Hypafix for 1 – 2 weeks. The medical grade silicone that is contained in the tape has been shown to be the most effective product on the market for reducing the excess scar tissue formation that leads to an unsatisfactory scar. Combined with the pressure from the tape, this post surgery scar treatment works best for scars that feel raised at the beginning of treatment. In the case of major surgeries, a box of Siltape will be supplied. It can be washed and reused until it stops sticking and will often be all that is required. If further Siltape is required it is available for purchase at our clinic. If there is any irritation please contact The Layt Clinic for further directions.
SILICONE GELS: Medical grade silicone gels like Strataderm are designed to minimise the potential for unwanted scar tissue. As they are massaged into the skin, the scar tissue is refined and smoothed. They are used on a flat or minimally raised scar and in place of silicone tape where the tape is not practical to use. Red and white scars may be improved with the use of silicone gel. Strataderm is available for purchase at our clinic.
GENTLE MASSAGE: The massage of creams or oils into the skin to assist improving the visual appearance of the scar is suggested as an economic option of scar management. Any emollient based product can be used with gentle massage to smooth hardened scar tissue.
IN CLINIC TREATMENT FOR SCARRING HEALITE: The Healite LED (Light Emitting Diode) is a Low-Level Light Therapy (LLLT) that assists the body with cellular recovery. Healite uses this technology and we are able to utilise it post operatively for improved healing time, pain relief, and assisting with levelling of scar tissue. The treatment is non-invasive, painless, risk-free and safe for all skin types. The treatment feels like a warming sensation, similar to that of a heat or sun lamp.
This technology is also available in different light wavelengths, which enables it to be used for active acne, skin rejuvenation and PDT treatments. Prices start from: $150 per session. Packages are available.
LASER GENESIS: Laser Genesis is an effective, no downtime treatment for facial flushing/redness, large pores and the texture of the overall skin as well as an effective scar management technique. Laser genesis requires a course of 6 treatments before a full result is achieved however each session will result in a boost in the skin’s collagen and have a smoothing effect on the deeper layers of the skin. Laser treatments are often 1-2 weeks apart depending on the treatment required. Post treatment you can find your skin has a red, flushed look and this generally fades within a few hours. Skincare, sunscreen and makeup can be worn immediately after treatment and the laser can be combined with other skin procedures for a more powerful treatment.
RESURFX: The Resurfx laser is a non-ablative fractional laser. It works by heating the skin in columns to stimulate the production of new collagen. It aims to reduce the appearance of fine lines, sun damaged skin, some hyperpigmentation and scarring. Often more than a single treatment is required. Your laser technician will recommend appropriate skin care and sun protection that is in line with enhancing the effects of the laser.
SKIN NEEDLING: Skin needling with the Dermapen or Skin Pen, is a skin rejuvenation treatment that helps restore collagen and elastin through a natural healing process. Ultra-fine, medical quality needles create multiple skin punctures that induce a wound healing response that stimulates new collagen and elastin production. New collagen and elastin improve skin quality and texture, making the skin feel firmer and smoother and help repair fine wrinkles and acne scars. Skin needling also helps repair stretch marks and surgical scars. The Skin Needling involves minimal downtime and is therefore the perfect alternative for those who don’t have time for more intensive laser treatments.
INJECTABLES/FILLER: The injection of medical grade hyaluronic acid into atrophic (indented/hollow) scars is an excellent option for scars that have not responded to prior intervention. Fillers can last anywhere from 6-24 months depending on the viscosity of the injected substance. All injectables require a prescription from Dr Craig Layt prior to their administration by one of our Registered nurses.
STEROID INJECTIONS: These injections are offered for patients with raised (hypertrophic) or keloid scars. The injections break down the excess collagen formation that causes the scar to protrude. This procedure is only done by a Doctor in the clinic.
FURTHER SURGERY – SCARS AND ‘DOG EARS’: In some cases, particularly in massive weight-loss surgery, complicated procedures or in skin types which keloid scar easily or have poor skin quality where other methods of scar management have not improved the scar, there is the need to surgically excise the old scar to form a new scar. It is then essential to use some of the above techniques to assist in improving the appearance of this new scar. It should be noted that there are some procedures that are more likely to need staged operations to further improve how the skin around the scar heals. Quotes for scar revision can be obtained when the details of the type, size and placement of scar is determined and whether sedation or general anaesthetic is required.