One of the most frequent questions we are asked is, “When will the scars go away?”
Scar appearance – over time – varies with location and skin type. The simple answer is that surgical scars never completely go away. But, with time, they do fade and become less noticeable.
There many things that one can do to improve scar appearance. Scar creams and gels are highly recommended. They may contain silicone or other ingredients useful for modifying the healing response. Most take months to have any effect on the body’s normal healing response.Other measures such as silicone gel strips that are applied for 12 hours per day or paper taping of the incisions for extended periods of time are also effective.
It’s also good to remember that scars may look worse at 6 to 12 weeks than they do at 3 weeks because your body is working hard to heal it by adding blood vessels and collagen to the wound. It usually takes up to a year to see the scars truly “fade” and sometime longer.
This patient had a breast reduction. Her scars at 3 months are healed but more noticeable than at 12 months. The skin has remodeled the collagen and the result is a less visible scar.
12 months post operation
There are not a lot of treatments that are uniformly effective at reducing scar appearance (despite the claims). Laser treatments may help but add a significant cost. Time heals all wounds. And, if you are patient, the natural healing process may be all that is necessary to improve scar appearance.
Dr. W. Glenn Lyle
1112 Dresser Court , Raleigh, North Carolina 27609 .