Scars are another by-product of trauma, cuts, surgical incisions, or openings to the body’s soft tissue. We all probably carry the proud badges of our energetic youth, reflected on our knees and elbows in the form of a scar or two. Scars are the body’s attempt to heal itself and regenerate new skin, but went awry. Incisions to the tummy, breast, and face can sometimes leave scars that are undesirable looking and cause excessive tightness and hardening to the area surgery was performed. Invasive procedures such as Liposuction may also create pockets or islands of hardened internal scarring as well. This usually shows up as areas of firmness under the skin, not seen on the surface.

Depending on one’s nationality, extent of the damage to the skin, and area of the skin involved, incisions may become hard, raised, or unsightly. This is called a keloid scar. A keloid develops when too many hard collagen fibers are laid down instead of healthy soft viable skin cells. Scars along the incision line may even stick to the structures below the skin and cause a “dimpling” or “ sunk in” look. This is called scar tissue depression.

Women who undergo Radiation treatment after Breast Cancer may also suffer the complication of skin tightening, limited arm and shoulder mobility, chest expansion limitations, and restrictions near and around the area of radiation treatment. This can sometimes present itself as patches or circles of hard, firm skin that is palpably hard to the touch. Radiation can also affect the reconstructed breast implant prosthesis by causing a scar shell or Capsular Contracture to form, thereby leading to breast shape changes and breast implant firmness.

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Sunk in scar to breast

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Radiation Reconstruction Scars

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Tummy tuck scar lines

The GOOD NEWS

There are a number of simple things that can be done to minimize and reduce scars after surgery or trauma.

The following are well accepted and should be discussed with your surgeon prior to beginning. Guidelines for Scar Reduction:

  • Scars need to be covered from the sun after surgery or trauma. Use a high SPF sunscreen to cover the scar as sunlight may worsen or discolor the scar.
  • After the incision has closed, and is able to accept pressure, massage the incision line with scar reducing cremes to break up excess collagen that may build up and lead to keloids. Be careful to not open the incision especially after breast reconstruction and radiation. Massaging is especially important after Liposuction where the firmness or hardness is felt deep under the skin. Aspen Rehabilitation in Coral Springs, Florida specializes in this type of massage and can instruct you on the proper techniques.
  • Use Silicone gel sheeting/strips externally to cover the incision immediately after they have closed. Silicone inhibits abnormal scar formation and helps keep the incision soft and pliable. Beware of copycat products that claim to be scar products. Make sure the active ingredient has silicone in it.
  • Take Vitamin E orally or use a topical Vitamin E creme to massage in and help soften scars. Make sure your physician agrees.
  • External Therapeutic Ultrasound can be used over skin to help reduce scars. This combined with massage, and scar-reducing products is a very effective combination. Aspen Rehabilitation in Coral Springs, Florida specializes in this type of treatment, and can guide you on after surgery instructions.


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