How scars heal best

Scars are not only an aesthetic problem, they can also restrict functionality.

This creates a scar:

The aim of a good skin suture is a tension-free, gentle and exact adaptation of the wound edges so that the wound heals as inconspicuously and quickly as possible. Therefore, wounds are ideally sutured with very fine threads and under optical magnification.

1st week: During these days, scabs form.

Week 2: Final scar tissue develops, the wound contracts.

Week 3: The scar tissue begins to lighten and flatten slowly. The scar has reached 20% of its final firmness.

Scar healing takes 6 to 12 months. In the first few months, scars are reddened, possibly painful or itchy and sometimes slightly raised above the skin level.

As a rule, scars are pale, soft, painless and flat after one year.

What can I contribute to favourable scar healing?

  • UV rays (sun or solarium) can lead to a permanent dark discoloration of the scar. Protect your scar with sun protection factor 50 or UV-impermeable clothing, especially in the first year.
  • The healing of wounds and scars is negatively influenced by the following factors: smoking, excessive exercise or germ colonisation.
  • In the third postoperative week, scar healing can be supported by massaging several times a day in a circle for a few minutes, as well as lengthwise and crosswise to the course of the scar with oily creams (e.g. Bepanthen® ointment or Linola® fat).
  • Silicone plasters prevent the formation of bulges and soften the scar (e.g. Cica-Care by Smith and Nephew or Medipatch Gel Z® by asclepios Medizintechnik e.K.). For this purpose, the silicone patch should be worn continuously for one year.
  • Compression treatment with special compression underwear also supports favourable scar healing. Compression underwear must also be worn continuously for the entire duration of the scar healing process, i.e. one year.

Scar correction

Since up to one year after wound closure the scars spontaneously become paler, flatter, softer and the pain less, surgical scar corrections should not be carried out earlier. In the case of medical indications, e.g. functional limitations, the treatment costs are usually covered by the health insurance.

Author's statement

Author: Stéphane Stahl, MD, PhD. There are no financial relationships with the pharmaceutical or medical device industries that could have influenced the above text. Any reproduction, even partial, is permitted for personal use only. All texts used on this website are protected by copyright.


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