A tummy tuck is a highly effective procedure for improving the contour of your abdomen and achieving an attractive midsection. During a tummy tuck, excess fat and skin are removed, stomach muscles are tightened up, and the whole abdominal area is smoothed and slimmed. However, most surgical procedures do leave scars, and scarring after a full tummy tuck scar can be quite extensive, running the length of your bikini line – often all the way from one hip to the other. A “mini tummy tuck” leaves a much smaller scar, but unfortunately not all women are candidates. If you are unhappy enough with the appearance of your tummy to seek a tummy tuck, then the scar left behind, which is easy to hide, will probably be a trade-off you will be happy to make. However, that doesn’t mean you won’t want to do everything you can to minimize the scar’s appearance.
One of the most important ways to minimize the appearance of your scar starts before your surgery ever takes place. You should stop smoking for several weeks before your surgery (most doctors advise at least 4-6 weeks), and refrain from smoking for at least 6 weeks after the procedure to maximize oxygen flow to the area and encourage healthy healing. Another way you can help prevent excessive scarring is by avoiding infection after your surgery. Infection will most likely worsen the final appearance of your scars, so keep the incision scrupulously clean and follow all of your doctor’s instructions for aftercare.
Once your scar begins to heal, there are some things you can do to promote the thinning, fading, and softening of the scar. A gel product containing silicone can help, as silicone has known scar-healing effects. For best results these products should be used regularly. The earlier you start using these products (once cleared by your doc), the better the results are likely to be – but even if you do not start using silicone early on in the recovery process, it can still have a remarkable effect on your scar, especially if it starts to become more firm or raised over time.
You can also choose a silicone gel that contains other ingredients known to improve the look of scars. Vitamin C and licorice, for example, have been shown to be helpful in fading dark scars. You can apply some of these ingredients topically in a scar treatment, and you can also consume certain “scar helper” nutrients in your diet, like vitamin C, vitamin A, zinc, and protein.
A healthy diet will go a long way towards helping heal your scar more quickly, too. Look for foods with high concentrations of vitamins A and C, zinc, and protein. Citrus fruits, strawberries, broccoli, and peppers are all high in vitamin C; you can look for vitamin A in produce such as sweet potatoes, carrots, and cantaloupe. Zinc can help your skin heal and may help prevent bacterial infection; you can find it in seafood, spinach, nuts, and beans. You probably know to look to meats for protein, but you can also find this helpful ingredient in eggs, beans, tofu, and dairy products like cheese and milk.
Realize that your tummy tuck scar will never completely disappear, but that taking steps to minimize its appearance can make a huge difference in rendering it far less noticeable, thereby maximizing the beautiful result you wanted from your tummy tuck to begin with.
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