How to reduce scarring after facial surgery is a question our patients frequently ask. It is disconcerting to have a facial injury, or to require maxillofacial surgery, and not be sure whether you’ll have scars that affect your appearance.
Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are trained to reduce scarring, so right from the start you are in good hands. We also guide you through the healing process so you see the fewest negative effects and least scarring possible.
Know What to Expect
Before you undergo facial surgery, it’s important to know what to expect when it comes to the healing process. The incision should close in about two days.
Three months out from your procedure, the scar will look red and raised. Between four and six months, you will see the most drastic change as the scar flattens and the colors fade. Between six to 12 months, the incision will continue to improve.
Your Body Is Unique
This is the general timeline for incisions to heal, but your body may be different. The depth of the cut, the location, your age and your body’s healing process all dictate the speed of your recovery.
Surprisingly enough, it’s usually younger people who have thicker scars. Older skin doesn’t create as thick or as noticeable of a scar. But again, each individual is unique and your process may be different than someone else’s due to genetics and other variables.
Keep the Wound Moist
One of the best things you can do to accelerate healing is to constantly moisten the wound. Use antibiotic ointment, vitamin E oil or aloe — it helps the skin heal faster and reduces scarring by reducing scabbing. Scabs contribute to scar tissue buildup.
Know the Signs of Infection
If the incision becomes infected, it will not heal as fast and it will result in a more scarring. If your procedure was due to an injury, you will probably have a prescription for antibiotics. Take the entire prescription! If you notice pus in the incision or it starts to swell substantially, call our office. If you spike a fever, this can also be a sign of infection.
Gently Massage the Wound Regularly
Softly massaging the incision can also help with faster healing. Initiating blood flow to the wound can reduce scarring by guarding against scar tissue buildup. Gently massage the incision and the skin around it.
Stay Out of the Sun!
Use a high-SPF sunblock if you are outside. The facial scar could darken substantially in the sun, and this discoloration is usually permanent. Try to keep the wound out of the sun as much as possible.
We’re Here Throughout the Healing Process
Trust Northeast Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery to guide you through the healing process after facial surgery. We provide plenty of tips and advice to help reduce scarring.