Leading Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Dr. Tarick Smiley has provided a list of liposuction incision care. The goal is to help it fade into an invisible scar; therefore, all efforts are made to avoid infection and “irritants” that can interfere with healing.
(Note: This is not an extensive list of post-surgery tips as it only tackles issues involving liposuction incision care. However, Dr. Smiley has some previous blog entries involving the ideal postop diet, ways to control swelling and bruising, managing pain, etc.)
- Practice good hygiene
Most patients may shower 48 hours after surgery; however, they should never submerge their incisions in water for three weeks. The incision sites must be completely sealed before swimming in pools and using bathtubs to avoid infection.
Moreover, avoid touching the incision area and stay away from pets and dirty bed linen to minimize risk of infection and wound breakdown.
- Avoid irritants
Body lotions, creams, scented soaps, perfumes, and other similar products may irritate the incision site or lead to suboptimal scar appearance. Should the patient experience itching or tingling sensation, which is not uncommon around the incision, anti-itch creams might be an option but only after the incision is completely sealed.
- Scar creams that contain silicone
Once the liposuction incisions are fully healed (around three weeks postop), patients may use scar creams and gels or any topical product containing silicone as its main ingredient. Studies have suggested that silicone hydrates the skin and allows the scar to heal and fade better.
- Sun protection
Sun protection—i.e., using sunscreen and protective clothing or staying in the shade—can prevent hyperpigmentation in which the scars become permanently dark due to the over-production of melanin, which gives the skin its color.
The general rule of thumb is to avoid exposing the liposuction scars to the sun for at least six months.