Blog — Notes of a Plastic Surgeon

Welcome to my blog. I am a plastic surgeon in Seattle and have been in private practice since 1991. I've seen more than a few interesting faces and cases through my years spent in the exam room, the operating room and the emergency room. And I have an opinion on just about everything relating to plastic surgery (and a lot of unrelated stuff). If you like my blog, let me know. Thanks for reading! Lisa

Keep those fresh scars out of the sun!

Seattle Plastic Surgeon discusses the importance of keeping fresh scars out of the sun.

This ankle scar would have turned out much better had it been protected from the sun.

Seattle is enjoying a beautiful late summer with warm, sunny days and crisp and cool nights.  There’s lots of skin showing out on Seattle streets and I am compelled to nag a little (again, for the bazillionth time) about sun protection.

Fresh scars are very susceptible to the sun and can turn permanently dark unless protected.  A “fresh” scar is defined as any scar that is still pink.  A “mature” scar is defined as any scar that is soft, flat and normal skin color or a little lighter.  Most adults have a “mature” scar by about a year.  Childrens’ scars may take longer to “mature”. 

 The best way, in my opinion, to keep a “fresh” scar protected is to cover it with clothing or with a piece of flesh colored tape or, if you prefer, a Hello Kitty band aid.  Really good sunblock will also likely do the trick if you remember to reapply it several times during the day.   Keep that scar protected until it fades to normal skin color or lighter and then sun exposure is unlikely to cause it to hyperpigment.

 A dark scar may be helped with hydroquinone cream or laser or surgical scar revision.  But, as per usual, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound (and $$$) of cure.

 Thanks for reading!  Dr. Lisa Lynn Sowder

 

Category: Plastic Surgery, Postoperative Care, Scar, Skin Care, sun damage | Tags: , , , , , , ,

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