We spoke to numerous patients who are about to undergo cosmetic surgery and one of the principle concerns we heard repeatedly was their desire to minimize bruising and scarring. While there are no substitutes for a well planned and executed procedure by a highly experienced and skilled surgeon, there are things patients can do to help their cause.
First it’s helpful to understand a little bit about bruising and scarring.
A bruise is a collection of blood that occurs when a blood vessel is sheared and the blood from damaged cells deep beneath the skin collects near the surface of the skin, resulting in a black and blue mark. In plastic surgery, bruising can occur after injections such as Botox and facial fillers as well as surgical procedures, such as blepharoplasty, rhinoplasty and facelifts. Bruises go through colorful changes as the body begins to heal itself. The color changes mean that your body is metabolizing, or breaking down, the blood cells in the skin. This is the process that your body goes through to repair itself.
Whenever the skin sustains damage, there is the possibility of scarring, which is the body’s natural way of healing an open wound. The growth of new soft tissue and collagen closes the wound while cleaning out dead skin and blood cells in the form of a scab. In most cases a scar is left behind which will fade over time but the degree of scarring and how much it fades is determined by a number of factors including the age of the patient, skin tone and complexion, size and depth of the incision and the speed at which a patient’s skin heals (determined by genetic factors).
Both bruising and scarring can be minimized by following some simple but important steps:
- Get plenty of rest: your body detoxes, builds new tissue and replenishes itself while you sleep so get plenty of rest. And avoid agitating the area of the incision to allow it to heal.
- Eat smart and add MEND Cosmetic to your diet: during surgical trauma your body will be in a higher metabolic state and will require additional nutrients to provide the energy and the building blocks to heal and repair tissue. MEND Cosmetic was designed to give your body optimal nutritional support and to help minimize bruising and scarring with clinically proven nutrients.
- Hydrate: Water is essential for your body’s healing processes and you should stay well hydrated during your recovery. Keep in mind that alcohol, coffee and soda are not good substitutes for water, since these can all dehydrate you and slow down your skin’s recovery.
- Never pull off a scab: while it may be tempting to pull off a scab, never do that and always allow the scab to fall off naturally.
- Avoid smoking: Patients must stop smoking well before their surgical procedure and avoid smoking during the healing process. Smoking inhibits the body’s ability to deliver oxygen, which is necessary for a healthy healing response. Smoking also poisons the body, making the body work harder to eliminate toxins. By avoiding smoking, your surgical incisions are more likely to heal well with minimal scarring.
- Resume exercise: as soon as it is approved by your doctor, resume exercise. Increasing blood flow and circulation will enhance the healing process.
- Avoid direct sunlight: Sunlight will darken the pigment of the skin as well as the scar, making it more noticeable.
Taking the above steps will significantly help your recovery and ensure you get the best results possible.