Postoperative Scars

Scars around the shoulder can be a cause of concern, particularly for ladies wearing thin strap tops and swimwear. Generally surgical wounds are made in the natural skin lines, known as Langer's lines, so scars should heal very well. It normally does take up to one year for a scar to disappear, but this can be improved with Silicone Gel application.

The use of topical silicone products, including silicone gel and silicone gel sheeting, for the treatment of burn scars was first described in 1982 and has since gained widespread popularity in reducing and preventing keloid and hypertrophic scars. The safety and efficacy of topical silicone products has become generally accepted based on numerous reports.

Topical silicone gel has been successfully used for the treatment of aberrant scar tissue that results from thermal burn wounds, surgical procedures, and traumatic events. The mechanism of action has not been conclusively proven and remains a subject of controversy. It has been suggested that hydration, rather than an inherent property of silicone itself, modulates the effect on wound healing. Other authorities believe that low-molecular-weight silicone oil is responsible for the effects of silicone on wound healing.

We have experience using silicone gels and Bio-oils with good results in patients prone to keloid and hypertrophic scars.

What is a scar?
A scar is formed as part of the normal healing process and primarily consists of the most common tissue in the body-collagen. Different types of scars can occur dependent on a variety of factors including the cause, depth, and position of the wound. Red and raised scars called keloid or hypertrophic scars cause the most discomfort and distress.

How long after surgery should I apply  a silicone gel?
For shoulder arthroscopy - apply the gel once the portal wounds have completely closed up. This is generally one week after surgery.
For open surgery - apply once the sutures have been trimmed or removed. This is usually two weeks after surgery.

How long before I see an improvement in my scar?
Scar management can vary depending on the person and scar. Whilst some improvement might be observed within days of using silicone gel, the best results are often achieved during a period of 2 - 4 months, although this can sometimes be much longer.

What should I do if an irritation of the skin occurs?
You should 'rest' the affected area for up to 24 hours. If the problem persists you should consult your doctor. Care should be taken with general personal skin hygiene as residues from bath oils, deodorants, talc, toiletries etc., can cause skin irritation and should not be used on the affected skin area.

How much gel do I need to use at any one time?
The silicone gel should be used sparingly, as a small amount can be massaged well over the affected area.

How quickly does it take to dry?
If used as recommended as above, the gel should dry in a matter of minutes.

If I apply more silicone gel than recommended, will the effect be enhanced?
No. If an excessive amount of gel is applied, the drying time is prolonged. It might also be necessary to clean off any excess. Whilst there is no adverse effect, the beneficial effect is no different than if used as directed.

Is silicone gel visible?
When applied as directed, the gel creates a thin protective barrier that is almost invisible. 

Can I cover silicone gel with cosmetics?
Once dry, cosmetics may be applied and can be used to further enhance the aesthetic appearance. 

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