How Do Surgical Scars Heal?

Updated on January 22, 2022

They say time heals all wounds, but the scar often remains, something that humans have been documented for 3,700 years, as Frontiers in Genetics notes. When you get any type of wound, no matter how small, the body increases collagen production to help heal it. While it’s the same material skin is made of, it’s denser and thicker to ensure it will hold, which is why scars often feel and look thicker than the skin around them. How the scar looks ultimately depends on what caused it, how it was treated, and other factors. 

The healing phase typically starts 12 hours after surgery and lasts for about five days, with scar tissue forming within a few weeks. After two months, the scar may still have a red, raised appearance that persists. In time, however, they often become more pale and flat. This is all part of the normal healing process, and it may be impossible to avoid scarring entirely if you have an injury that’s severe, some steps can be taken to help heal your skin with as little residual scarring as possible. 

Use a Silicone-Based Cream

Silicone is the best ingredient to date that’s been found by science to treat scars, making a product like BodySil one of your best options. It acts as a natural barrier that mimics the barrier from healthy skin to help reduce the formation of scars or fade scar tissue. It can also reduce collagen overgrowth that leads to scarring, minimize redness and lighten skin tone as well as smooth and hydrate the skin.

Apply Comfrey

Comfrey is known for its black-skinned roots and long, slender leaves, which have been used in traditional medicine for centuries. In Japan, for example, it’s been harvested for over 2,000 years to help ease joint inflammation and heal burns and bruises, while Europeans have long used it to treat a variety of inflammatory conditions like gout and arthritis. It contains chemical compounds that may be responsible for its healing abilities, including allantoin, which is known to enable faster cell growth that speeds healing and reduces scarring. The leaves, dried or fresh, can be combined with warm water to make a paste placed over the wound and covered with a bandage. 

Lemon Essential Oil

Rubbing a lemon onto the skin to fade a scar isn’t just an old wives’ tale. Lemon essential oil offers a powerful way to trigger the production of collagen and encourage the formation of new skin cells to keep the skin smooth and firm, thanks to its high vitamin C content. It’s important to dilute it with a carrier oil like almond or coconut oil due to its strength. Mix four drops with a quarter teaspoon of the oil and then apply it to the area using a cotton swab. Leave it on for about 30 minutes before rinsing with cool water. Pat dry and then apply a cream to moisturize. 

Aloe Vera

It’s worth buying an aloe vera plant if you don’t already have one as the gel in its leaves has been found to significantly improve the appearance of scars, thanks to a number of compounds like saponin, which helps prevent infection, and mannose phosphate, which provides potent anti-inflammatory properties that help to increase tissue growth and cell regeneration. Simply scoop out the gel and massage it directly onto the affected area. 

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The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.