Dr. Jugpal Arneja, MD, MBA, FAAP, FACS, FRCS, Pediatric Plastic Surgeon, discusses Wound Healing and Scars
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Featuring Dr. Jugpal Arneja, MD, MBA, FAAP, FACS, FRCS
,Wound Healing and Scars
Duration: 2 minutes, 3 seconds
So the body has a great propensity to heal and whenever there’s an injury to the skin or the tissues beneath the skin the body heals, and so it heals with a scar.
And it doesn’t heal with normal skin and normal properties of skin, but it heals with what we call fibrotic tissue. And so a scar is really what you see on the skin after, whether, you know, it’s an injury from surgery, an injury from a fall, an injury from a car accident. The end result, unfortunately, is a scar.
Scars take, you know, probably about a month to two to get quite well healed and solid. In that initial healing period you need to be quite careful about protecting the scar. And there’s some tricks and tips that we can suggest to patients to help with optimization of that scar maturation process.
Ultimately, it takes 9 to 12 to even 18 months before a scar completely matures. And it goes through different phases of the maturation process. Initially, the scar might be quite red and raised, and over the course of the next 9 to 12 months it might set a little bit further.
Unfortunately, scars are permanent but there are things that your doctor can recommend to you to help with the maturation process, things like protecting the scar with taping, things like scar massage, and avoiding the sun.
The sun itself actually causes the scar to become more inflammatory and more red and more raised, and so for that first 9 to 12 month interval it’s very important to avoid direct sunlight exposure. We suggest SPF30 or higher to protect the scar during that interval.
If your scar is symptomatic or your think there might be a problem with your scar, the best person to seek medical attention with is your primary care physician or ultimately a dermatologist or a plastic surgeon. They can better assess your scar and determine whether or not any adjuvant therapy might be necessary.
Local Practitioners: Plastic Surgeon
This content is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.