How Long to Heal Surgical Scars?

Author: Staff Writers

 

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.

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Works Cited

Facial Plastic Surgery & Reconstructive Surgery Academy
"AAFPRS - Facial Plastic Surgery Today."
http://www.aafprs.org/

Journal of Craniofacial Surgery
Aesthetic Effect of Silicone Gel on Surgical Scars in Asians
21.3 (2010): 706-710









Expert Opinion 

Quote: "The process of wound healing following surgery is complex and scar is an inevitable consequence of healing following any surgical procedure. Scar will be visible, even if minimal, where an incision has been made through the skin. "

Source: Michael L. Brownstein M.D., FACS

Quote: "Contrary to what you may have heard in the past, letting cuts air-dry is not the best course.  Air-drying kills extra tissue. You get less damage to the skin if you keep it covered."

Source:Deborah S. Sarnoff, M.D.,
Assistant clinical professor of dermatology at New York University in New York City.
Excerpt: Doctors Book of Home Remedies for Women Rodale Books

purple arrowCite this Article

"How Long to Heal Surgical Scars?." Sophisticated Edge. N.p., n.d. Web. . <http://www.sophisticatededge.com/how-long-to-heal-surgical-scars.html>.  

The information on this Web site is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to treat or diagnose any health problems or illnesses without consulting a physician. It is not meant to take the place of health care or services you may need. Please consult a physician with any questions you may have regarding your health.

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