Many women choose to undergo breast reduction procedures, which can provide a range of benefits. Breast reduction surgery can improve your appearance, reduce unwanted attention, and help lessen your back pain. Of course, as with any procedure, it does carry some risks and requires recovery. Naturally, you will want to speak with your doctor about the potential risks. One of the commonly accepted risks of any type of surgery is scarring.
However, having scars can make some women feel self-conscious. When you look in the mirror, you may be focusing on your scars rather than how great you look or how much better your back feels. Fortunately, there are things you can do that will help you to reduce the appearance of scars after undergoing your procedure.
Treatment Methods for Scars After Breast Reduction Procedures
In addition to the scar treatment methods that we will touch on below, you will want to speak with your doctor. They will likely have some tips and techniques that they can provide to help with reducing the appearance of scars after breast reduction, as well as recovery methods for you to use after the procedure.
Once you are out of surgery, most doctors will apply and recommend that you use surgical tape for a couple of weeks. The surgical tape helps to keep the skin closed, and it will help to reduce the appearance of scars. This is not to say that all you will need is surgical tape, of course. However, it is the first thing that many doctors will recommend when you are healing. When it comes to post-procedure healing, always listen to the recommendations of your doctor.
Try Silicone Sheets to Help Reduce Scarring
After your breast reduction procedure, you may want to start using silicone sheets that you will place over the incision area. These sheets are breathable, easy to use, and can help with scars by ensuring they are kept hydrated and soft. The silicone sheets can offer some other benefits, as well. They are a good solution to help prevent bacterial infection, itching, and irritation.
Typically, you will want to use these for several months after surgery, beginning at about four weeks post-procedure. If you choose to use silicone sheets, be sure to buy quality products to get the best results.
Use Scar Gels
Scar gels are another good option to consider. They can be used with either new or old scars to help reduce their appearance. Use of the gel could help the scars to fade, and in some cases, they may even get smaller. Typically, you will use the scar gels after the incision has healed. Keep in mind that you will need to commit to using the gel daily until you achieve the results you want. This can take several months.
Use the Right Dressings
Another suggestion you might want to consider using is Embrace dressings for your incisions. These are to be used after the incisions have closed and can be worn after surgery. These dressings are designed to help pull the skin together, which will help to increase the healing process.
These dressings include silicone and can be worn for up to a year after the surgery. As mentioned earlier, the silicone can help to provide hydration and flexibility to the scars while reducing their appearance. A study from 2015 found that after a year of use, there was noticeable scar reduction. Embrace dressings are costly compared with some of the other options on the list, but they are readily available over the counter.
After surgery, your doctor might also suggest that you use steri-strips. These strips are permeable, which means the medicine can go into the incisions to help with healing. They also help to keep the skin closed at the incision site. Generally, you will need to wear these strips for between two weeks and a month after you have come out of surgery.
Once the scars have formed, you can perform scar massage on the scar tissue. To do this, you will simply use your fingertips to massage the scar. First, massage in a vertical motion, and then massage horizontally. You can then massage the scars in circles. Massaging the scars could help to increase the collagen in the area and make the scars more flexible.
Keep in mind that you will want to wait until about two weeks after your procedure before you begin using the scar massage procedures. Each massage session should last for about 10 minutes. Split the time up evenly between circles, vertical, and horizontal massage. You can massage your scars up to three times each day. Not only could this help to reduce the appearance of scars, but it can also help with your comfort level.
If you have scars that have healed and that are thick or dark, there are still options available that can help you reduce their appearance. This procedure uses microscopic lasers that can treat large areas of the skin, including scars. The nature of the lasers allows them to treat more than just the surface of the skin, as well. They can target the upper and middle layers of the skin.
Often, you will need to have treatments every other month with four or more treatments to reduce the appearance of the scars to a point where you are happy. Keep in mind that the lasers can only be used once the incisions have fully healed.
Wear a Supportive Bra
Wearing a high-quality, supportive bra is always important, but it is essential when you are healing from breast reduction surgery. Most doctors will tell you that you should be wearing a supportive, quality bra 24hrs a day for six weeks. From there, you can switch to another bra, but you should not use any that have underwire, as this can cause pain and sores.
When you have a supportive bra after your surgery, it can help with the healing process and assist in reducing the amount of scarring.
In those cases where the breast reduction scars are older and thick, steroid injections could help. The steroid will be injected into the scar tissue, where it can reduce redness, burning, and itching sensations. The injections can also help soften the scar tissue and reduce the size of the scar. This could be a good choice for those who may have had breast reduction surgery a few years ago and who now want to reduce their scars. Talk with a specialist about this option.
Scar Revision Surgery
If you find that the other methods discussed here are not helping to reduce the appearance of scars as much as you would like, there is still another option to consider. Scar revision surgery could help to reduce the severity of your scars. Just keep in mind that as with dermabrasion, chemical peels, and other techniques on the list, you will need to wait until you are fully healed. Doctors will want to wait at least one year—and possibly two years—before performing scar revision surgery.
UV rays can cause scars to darken. While you may not have your breasts exposed to the sunlight often—or ever—you will always want to be careful. This is especially true if there is even a chance that the scars could be exposed to the sun based on the shirt or bikini you might be wearing. Using a high-quality sunscreen can help to prevent your scars from darkening and becoming more noticeable.
Remember, It Takes Time
Scars will not entirely vanish overnight or with just one or two sessions of treatment. You need to be consistent and patient. Eventually, you will begin to see results. If you are still unhappy with the results, you will want to speak with a cosmetic surgery specialist in your area to figure out your next best steps.
Find a Specialist to Help Treat Breast Reduction Scars in Your Area
Professionals, such as Dr. Hopkins and the staff at J. Hopkins Plastic Surgery, understand the need for help and advice when dealing with these types of scars. As you have seen from the information provided above, treating your breast reduction scars after your procedure is possible, and it is easiest when you have the help of a specialist.
Always make it a point to look for specialists located in your area to find the help you need for breast reduction surgery, help with scars, and more.