Do Surgery Scars Ever Go Away: Scar Formation and Treatment

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doctor operating a surgeryThere are many reasons on why people go through surgery. It is often a means to cure a health problem, or to improve one’s appearance.

Despite the fact that surgery treats any problems in the body, it leaves a mark that is most of the time impossible to remove. These marks are what people consider as scars.

There are many kinds of scars in the body, some are small and unnoticeable, and there are those that are huge and unpleasant to see. Small scars fade over time, but other scars are often so large and bulgy, that fading them could be daunting. In that case, people wonder, do surgery scars ever go away?

How Do Scars Form?

Scars are the result of the body’s own healing ability. Collagen, a type of protein, binds the skin and tissues in an event of an injury. This protein binds the tissues together in a crisscross pattern. The resulting scar is light and flat, and will often fade after some time. However, collagen forming in the injury site is sometimes too much or more than what the wound needs.

Collagen binds the tissues, but fibroblasts are the ones that close any opening in the skin. The problem is that fibroblasts become too aggressive in healing the injury site, which causes the tissue around the injury site to create its own blood supply. There will be too much formation of collagen in the area, and as a result, huge lumpy scars will form.

hypertrophic scarIf this happens, two possible scars are likely to form in the wound: hypertrophic scars and keloid scars. Hypertrophic scars are the most common scars when it comes to surgery.

This type of scar is raised and larger than the size of the wound. It is reddish in color, but it does not cause pain at all. Keloid scars on the other hand, are larger, lumpier and can grow over time.

Do Surgery Scars Ever Go Away?

“Can my surgery scars fade away?” Surgeons often hear this question from their patients before or after their surgery. They often have to tell their patients that scar formation varies for everyone. There are those that have flat scars after surgery, but there are also those that have the two large types of scars.

If the person only has the flat scars, they can simply wait and let healing take its course. After a few months or a year, the scar can fade enough that it is almost invisible. However, there are those that use natural remedies or even creams to hasten the fading of the scars. Although this works for some people, it is still ideal to wait for the final appearance of the scar before using any products.

Larger scars will need other measures for them to fade. Even then, it is not a guarantee that they will disappear. Removing surgical scars, such as the Keloid scarshypertrophic scars, sometimes requires steroid injections to reduce the size.

Some also use silicone sheets to keep the wound moist and avoid scabbing. In time, the scarring will be flatter and well blended to the skin.

Keloid scars on the other hand, may need more extreme measures. Most of these people will still go through steroid injections and applying of silicone sheets.

In severe cases, these patients would need to go through plastic surgery. Most of them will not take the risk and will just settle in using creams or lotions that reduce or fade their scars.

Are There Any Ways to Prevent Surgical Scars?

Most experts say that the best way to prevent large scars from forming in the first place is through proper cutting of the skin. Poor cutting during surgery will result to poor healing of the wound. Thus, collagen cannot bind the tissues properly, which will result in bulky scars. Before going through surgery, you need to discuss with your surgeon about all the measures to reduce the likelihood of forming these types of scars.

However, you may still form these scars if you have a family history. Even if you do not have any history of forming hypertrophic or keloid scars, it is still best that you keep the wound moist. Any cream or lotion that keeps the skin moist is enough to keep the collagen from coming out of the wound.

cocoa butterUsing creams with vitamin E or cocoa butter and having a healthy diet may also help. You should also keep the wound free from infection to allow proper wound healing.

Most of all, you need to be patient and wait for the scar to completely heal. Do surgery scars ever go away? It will always depend on what type of scar you have.

Consulting a doctor to assess your scars is a good start. They can see your scars in person and they can give you the most suitable solution.

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