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How Long to Heal Surgical Scars?



It can take six months to a year for a surgical scar to reach its most mature point of healing.

How Does the Body Produce Scar Tissue?

A certain amount of visibility will occur with any surgical procedure that involves an incision being made to the skin. The body produces scar tissue for the first six weeks following a surgical procedure. This occurs when collagen deposits into the wound to help the healing process. Collagen is what gives the scar the raised and thickened appearance that is seen. During this time, new vessels begin to grow into the collagen to provide nourishment for this process to take place. This is the point at which the scar gets a reddened and/ or darkened appearance.

How Does the Body’s Healing Process Work?

These healing processes occur for the first six weeks following a surgical procedure. After this six-week period, the scar will get lighter in color and the swollen appearance will start to decrease as the maturing process of the scar begins. There are several over the counter products that can be purchased, such as Vitamin E, Silicone Gel topical creams and sheeting that can be applied to a surgical area after bandages are removed. Studies are emerging that show these products may have a favorable aesthetical effect, however, they have been shown to reduce the appearance faster than without. They have not been shown to fade the scar completely.


“AAFPRS – Facial Plastic Surgery Today.” Facial Plastic Surgery & Reconstructive Surgery Academy. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 May 2010.

Rhee, Suk-Hyun MD, Sung-Hoon MD Koh, Dong-Won MD Lee, Beyoung-Yun MD Park, and Yong-Oock MD Kim. “Aesthetic Effect of Silicone Gel on Surgical Scars in Asians.” Journal of Craniofacial Surgery 21.3 (2010): 706-710. Wolters Kluwer Health Journals. Web. 25 May 2010


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