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If you have a facelift scheduled for some time in the future, then you should know that your surgeon will need to create incisions around the ears, hairline, and possibly around the neck as well. These incisions are hidden so that scars will not be prominent during the healing process. However, scars can be bothersome to some, and this means that you should try to minimize their appearance. Keep reading to learn about some scar reduction tips.
Stay Out Of the Sun
Scar tissue is different from normal skin tissue in a variety of ways. Regular skin is made up of long strands of collagen that intertwine together to create a net that appears smooth. When the skin is cut, the collagen strands are broken. New collagen strands form in a linear fashion to close the wound. Since the collagen does not form a new net, it often looks a bit rough or textured in comparison to the natural skin.
The collagen may also appear a bit lighter than the skin around it because it contains no melanin. Melanin is the pigment that gives the skin color and makes the skin appear darker when it is exposed to the sun. Melanin also helps to protect the skin cells from sun damage. Since the scars around your face do not contain melanin, the tissues can become damaged quite easily by the ultraviolet rays of the sun. This damage can lead to the permanent discoloration or darkening of the tissue, especially while the scar is still forming.
It takes approximately 4 to 6 weeks for collagen to build into a scar. However, it can take up to 12 months for the tissue to strengthen fully so it can resist injury. This means you will need to protect your facelift scars from sun damage for a full year. The initial 4 to 6 week healing period is extremely important in reducing scar appearance, so avoid the sun completely if possible. Afterwards, apply sunscreen to the face whenever going outside. Make sure to purchase a sunscreen made for the face. Most of these products are lightweight and free of oils so the pores do not become clogged. You also can invest in a combination sunscreen and foundation if you wear makeup daily. However, these foundations typically have a low SPF so make sure to replace the foundation or add extra sunscreen to the face every few hours. Also make sure to spread about a tablespoon of sunscreen across the skin for full facial coverage.
Eat A Healthy Diet
Collagen is produced by the body continuously as tissues become damaged and they need to be repaired. Collagen is a protein that is produced by the body and vitamin C is utilized during this production process. Since your body will need to produce more collagen than normal to repair the damaged tissues around your face after your surgery, your body will need the extra vitamin C. The vitamin will be needed immediately after your surgery. Scar tissue will appear more natural when the collagen can quickly form to connect the sides of the incision. If this does not happen, then edges may appear rough as non-continuous protein strands build. Also, a delay in healing can force collagen to start building over the top of the wound and lead to a raised scar.
To help your body form new tissues, start eating foods with vitamin C immediately after your facelift. Citrus fruits, bell peppers, strawberries, kiwis, broccoli, and spinach are a few foods that are high in the vitamin. Since your face is likely to be quite swollen after your operation, create fruit and vegetable smoothies to ingest the vitamin C you need. Keep in mind that vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin. This means that your body excretes what it does not use, so you will need to eat foods rich in the vitamin every day to make sure that collagen can be produced.
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