May 8th, 2012 | Dr. Samuel Beran
Scarring is your body’s natural way of healing a wound or injury. Unfortunately, the new tissue that forms the scar can create an obvious and unsightly mark upon your skin. While scarring after cosmetic surgery used to be a worrisome factor, recent advances in scar reduction techniques now make it possible to surgically enhance your face and body without needless anxiety about unsightly scarring.
Encouraging Optimal Healing
The best time to begin thinking about scarring is prior to your surgical procedure. In addition to discussing all aspects of your upcoming cosmetic surgery during the initial consultation, there are some other things you can be doing beforehand to prepare for your procedure. Consuming a healthy diet helps ensure that your body receives the nutrients necessary for optimal healing. Stopping smoking may also help improve your ability to heal properly, since smokers tend to exhibit a higher rate of poor wound healing.
Dr. Beran explains that there are certain advancements in the field of plastic surgery, as well as specific techniques that can help reduce your risk of unsightly scarring. These include:
- Selecting favorable locations to make the incisions, such as behind the hairline or within natural skin folds. Placing the incisions in these “hidden” areas helps limit visibility.
- The evolution of suture material provides better healing results. The newer sutures dissolve slowly beneath the skin, resulting in even healing.
- Massage helps reduce scarring. Regular, gentle massage serves to promote circulation during healing. Dr. Beran recommends patients incorporate massage as a simple way of promoting proper healing from cosmetic surgeries.
- Topical products that contain silicone and vitamin A also keep scar tissue formation to a minimum. Using these over-the-counter or prescription formulas as the incisions heal can help reduce the thickness of the scar tissue
When it comes to optimal healing after cosmetic surgery, it is very important to follow your aftercare instructions. Although infection used to be a potential factor in unsightly scar formation, wound infection following plastic surgery is very rare these days, due to sterile tools and techniques. Schedule an appointment with our office today to discuss how current plastic surgery techniques can reduce your risk of scarring and help you reach your aesthetic goals.
July 9th, 2011 | Dr. Samuel Beran
A guide to sunscreens
WESTCHESTER COUNTY, NY – There are two types of ultraviolet radiation. UVA which contributes to skin cancer and early skin aging and UVB which causes sunburns. In order to address the protection for both of these, the FDA is making changes to how sunscreens are marketed. Prior FDA labeling requirements only addressed the effectiveness of the UVB component. The new rules take effect in summer 2012, but you may see them begin to be put in place sooner. A sunscreen labeled “broad spectrum” must provide UVA protection that is proportional to its UVB protection. Products labeled “Broad Spectrum SPF 15 [or higher]” have been shown to reduce the risk of skin cancer, early skin aging, and sunburn. Do not throw out the sunscreens you already have since your current sunscreen will have some UVA protection already.
Spending time in the sun increases a person’s risk of skin cancer and early skin aging. To reduce these risks, you should use a Broad Spectrum sunscreen with an SPF value of 15 or higher. The higher the better. Additionally, other protective measures include:
- Limiting time in the sun, especially between the hours of 10 AM and 2 PM when the sun’s rays are the strongest.
- Wearing clothing to cover skin exposed to the sun (long-sleeved shirts, pants, sunglasses, and broad-brimmed hats) when possible.
- Using a water resistant sunscreen if swimming or sweating.
- Reapplying sunscreen, even if it is labeled as water resistant, at least every 2 hours. (Water resistant sunscreens should be reapplied more often after swimming or sweating, according to the directions on the label.)
You should also be aware that no sunscreens are “waterproof” because all sunscreens eventually wash off.
July 8th, 2011 | Dr. Samuel Beran
Treating a Sunburn
HARRISON, NY- There are two types of sunburn. A burn that is just red is first degree and will heal in a couple days. A burn that blisters is second degree and will take a while longer. The first treatment for sunburn is the nonprescription medications in your medicine cabinet. Acetaminophen, ibuprofen, naproxen and aspirin are all good choices. If the pain is severe and your fever remains high, call your doctor. Remember, if you’re treating a child, use aspirin only with a doctor’s approval.
Topical treatments can include aloe vera gel or lotion several times a day to relieve pain and keep your skin moist. A spray-on product is the easiest to apply. Heavy creams that require rubbing the skin a lot can cause irritation and are likely hard to apply because of the pain.
Over-the-counter hydrocortisone creams will help relieve the inflammation and irritation caused by sunburn. Don’t treat sunburn with “-caine” products like benzocaine or lidocaine — these products can irritate your skin because the chemicals in them can cause allergies. Your kitchen is a great source of relief. Wrap ice or a bag of frozen peas in a damp towel for some fast relief. A cool bath made with about a half cup (125 mL) of oatmeal, cornstarch or baking soda will bring down your skin temperature and help relieve itchy, irritated skin. Repeat as needed, but don’t use soap, which will cause more irritation. Pat your skin dry instead of rubbing it. Adding about a cup of vinegar (250 mL) to a cool bath also helps reduce pain. Be sure to moisturize after these treatments.