Scar Management After Surgery – Silicone Gel Sheets and Other Treatments
Scar Management After Surgery –
Silicone Gel Sheets and Other Treatments
Silicone gel sheeting (SGS) applied topically has become the first treatment that is typically recommended for managing and treating wound scars resulting from injury or surgery. Doctors have been using silicone to manage scars for over 30 years, during which time the efficacy of this treatment has been evaluated in several clinical studies.
At Glamour Plastic Surgery and Med Spa, renowned plastic surgeon Dr. Olga Bachilo uses silicone gel sheets and other treatments to manage scars after surgery with her patients in the areas of Houston, Katy, Sugar Land, and surrounding communities in Texas.
Read on to learn more about silicone gel therapy and how it can help you kiss manage scars after surgery!
Does silicone really help to eliminate scars?
While scientists as yet cannot agree on the exact mechanisms through which SGS improves healing and facilitates rapid recovery from hypertrophic scars and keloids, few would dispute its efficacy.
Silicone has been used for decades to treat cutaneous scars that result from surgery, as well as scars from burns and skin injuries that require treatment in a hospital, with new formulations and differing formats for applying the silicone topically to the target area becoming more available as this treatment has gained widespread acceptance globally.
Among the contemporary gel sheet products that are currently available for scar revision treatment, many are designed for up to 24 hours of continuous wear, and sheets may be washed and reused. While this approach may be effective for many, it can be inconvenient for some, and there is a risk that reusing gel sheets may increase the risk of developing a skin infection in some patients.
Newer, single-use silicone gel sheets are considered safer and more convenient while remaining inexpensive. These improved, cost-effective formulations are also available for the home healthcare market, so you can use these at home following your surgery.
The use of silicone gel in first aid products could also potentially improve healing and recovery of cutaneous scars following home accidents and injuries, in addition to providing extended protection for wounds that are newly healed.
Even more subtle scars, such as acne scars, may also be effectively treated with silicone gel sheets, as this treatment has also demonstrated favorable outcomes and benefits for this use.
What are my options for treating scars?
The body’s natural mechanism for repairing skin tissue after a wound has been inflicted, whether as a consequence of an injury or a surgical procedure, is to increase the production of collagen in the area where the wound has been closed.
Increased collagen production results in the formation of thicker, firmer skin, and in many cases the development of hypertrophic scars or keloids, which appear as raised bumps of thickened skin at the site of the closed wound. In the case of keloids, the scars may also acquire a dark red, burgundy, or violet color.
Scar tissue can detract from a person’s appearance, particularly when it occurs on the more visible areas of the body, and may impact an individual’s self-confidence, leading to a decreased quality of life. Some severe scars, such as contracture scars resulting from deep, large wounds such as burns, may even cause physical restrictions, limiting a person’s ability to move normally, as a consequence of skin contracture that increases tension in the skin and decrease its ability to stretch and move. In other cases, scars may be sensitive or itchy, causing discomfort when rubbing against clothing.
Silicone Gel vs. Other Treatments
Within the field of cosmetic surgery and dermatology, researchers and clinicians continue to identify new solutions to manage scars non-surgically, though some scars from injuries may inevitably require invasive treatments such as steroid injections and/or surgical revision.
Still, while a variety of treatments designed to prevent the formation of scars, as well as those designed to reduce the intensity and appearance of scars, continue to be developed and used by doctors and patients alike, gel sheets still seem to be the treatment preferred by most doctors. Among the current assortment of noninvasive treatment options, the first line of treatment is still the application of silicone gel sheets, sometimes accompanied by pressure therapy.
While silicone gel applications have demonstrated their effectiveness, the ongoing mystery surrounding the actual mechanism that causes the silicone to work so well continues. Doctors agree on the need to present further clinical evidence in order to gain a better understanding of how exactly silicone gel works to reduce scars and prevent abnormal scarring.
The good news is: patients can still get amazing results when treating scars with silicone gel sheets and other topical silicone applications. Currently, topical silicone gel application, when compared to all alternative scar therapies, continues to be favored by consensus among doctors all over the world.
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