One of the biggest worries that you might have going into your tummy tuck is what your resulting scar will look like when all is said and done. Fortunately, there are some things you can do while you recover to help minimize your tummy tuck scar’s appearance. Take a look at these top five tummy tuck scar tips to follow when you come home.
Follow Aftercare Instructions
The most important abdominoplasty recovery tip is to follow your plastic surgeon’s aftercare instructions as closely as you can. He or she should provide you with detailed guidelines about how to clean and care for your incision, how and when to wear your compression garment to minimize swellingand how much time to take off work and physical activity. Following these instructions can not only help your body to heal more efficiently, but it can also help to make your scar less noticeable.
It’s also important to be on the lookout for signs of infection, such as redness, warmth, pain or pus. If you notice any of these symptoms or just think something isn’t quite right, it’s best to check in with your plastic surgeon. If infection is caught and properly treated early on, it’s much more likely that your scar’s appearance won’t be affected.
Stay Out of the Sun
You might be anxious to hit the pool or beach after your tummy tuck, but you need to be careful not to expose your incision to the sun. Healing skin can be more susceptible to sun damage and hyperpigmentation, so find yourself a shady spot and use plenty of sunscreen if you are going to be outside. It’s also not a bad idea to toss a cover up and other sun-protective clothing in your beach bag.
It’s not just the sun that wreak havoc on your tummy tuck scar—you’ll need to avoid indoor tanning beds, too.
Another common culprit to delayed healing and enhanced scarring is smoking. Tobacco use has been shown slow your body’s healing process and increase your risk of developing wound infections. These complications affect the way your will incision will heal, which could translate to a more visible scar.
Most plastic surgeons will ask that you quit smoking for several weeks before and after your tummy tuck to reduce pre- and post-surgical complications and to help speed up healing. And who knows, your tummy tuck might help you give up smoking for good.
Keep Your Skin Moisturized
Do not apply any topical creams or ointments to your incision before it has completely closed. You can check with your plastic surgeon if you’re not sure when it’s safe to start applying topical creams.
Once you get the green light, keep your skin well moisturized to help replenish water and lipids that are naturally found in healthy skin. Some moisturizers even contain anti-inflammatory ingredients, which can help to soothe your skin and reduce redness and scarring.
There are also a number of medical-grade skincare products that may be able to help reduce the appearance of your scar. Ask your plastic surgeon for recommendations if you’re not sure which ones might be best for you.
Steer Clear of Irritating Products and Clothing
When you do start to use topical products on your closed incision, make sure you’re not using anything abrasive like an exfoliating scrub or rough bath loofa. These can irritate your scar and can therefore make it look worse. The same goes for wearing scratchy clothing materials like wool.
Dr. Francesco Campanile is a board-certified plastic surgeon who is also fellowship trained in hand and microsurgery. Dr. Campanile knows that making a lasting change to your appearance is a big decision. His calm, professional approach and deep caring for his patients set a tone that will help you feel confident and relaxed while reviewing your options and learning all about the procedures that can benefit you. opens in a new windowRequest a consultation today to meet with Dr. Campanile in person.