Do Breast Implants Cause Scarring?

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Scarring is a significant worry for a number of individuals who undergo a breast implant procedure. They fear that the scarring may be so obvious that they will still feel uncomfortable with their breasts despite their new shape and size. Unfortunately, scarring is relatively inevitable after breast implants. This is due to the relatively deep incision required to insert the implant into the breast.

How obvious and extreme your scarring is, is dependents on several factors. These include whereabouts the incisions for insertion were created, the type of skin that you have, whether or not your surgery involved any complications and if you smoke or not.

Why Does Scarring Occur?

Scarring is a natural process that is the result of your body acting to heal a wound. When you suffer from a lesion, your body reacts by making more of a substance called collagen. Furthermore, the production of this collagen is controlled by an enzyme, which is known as collagenase.

The appearance of your scars are very much dependent on how the collagen and collagenase interact at the site of injury. This will also affect how long your scar will be visible for. The collagen/collagenase interaction is variable depending on the individual. Some people are more likely to develop more obvious scars that other, irrespective of their race or general health.

You should, however, note that many scars do fade and become less visible over time. Despite this, it is very rare for a scar to completely vanish from the skin.

How Can I Help The Scar Healing Process?

It takes a significant period of time for any scar to heal; therefore it is important that you remain patient. In terms of a breast implant procedure, the incision should have closed within just days of the surgery and then the stitches can be taken out at the clinic. Despite this initial quick step of healing, it can actually take up to a year and a half for the scar to totally recover. However, there are a a couple of things that you can do to try and speed up this healing process.

Firstly, you must avoid exposing your scars to the sun or UV light (therefore, you should also steer clear of sunbeds). The UV light from the sun causes your skin pigments to change in colour and so the scar will be a lot more noticeable. The best ways to prevent this from occurring is to wear a complete sunblock once the wound has closed completely.

If you really are troubled by the prospect of scarring and are anxious about the actual level of scarring you may experience, then you should ensure that you raise the issue with your surgeon during your consultation. This will give your surgeon the opportunity to give you advice on other methods of speeding up the healing of your scars and ensuring that they are minimally visible. One example of such advice is a process known as 'silicone sheeting'. This has been proven to make scars less raised as well as a lighter colour, more similar to your natural skin tone. More simple alternatives may be special creams, ointments and gels that can be applied to the scar tissue as per their instructions.

Laser Treatment to Improve the Appearance of Scars

It is not too uncommon for some individuals to feel that their scars remain too apparent and displeasing to the eye. For these individuals, a viable option to look into is laser scar removal.

There are a selection of different lasers that can improve both the appearance and feel of your scar. Which laser is best to employ in your situation will be determined during a consultation.

Generally speaking, the procedure involves a laser working it's way along the length of your scar. The result of this is that a layer of skin is removed. This skin removal enables the less damaged layers of skin underneath to be revealed. Alternatively, there are also lasers available that work to encourage your body to make collagen, deep within the skin to counteract the effects of the collagenase.

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