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How To Reduce Scarring After A Lip Lift

How to Reduce Scarring After a Lip Lift 

Undergoing a lip lift can create a youthful, rejuvenated appearance by enhancing the shape and fullness of your lips. However, like any surgical procedure, it comes with the potential for scarring. Fortunately, there are several strategies to reduce scarring and ensure a smooth recovery. Here are some essential tips and treatments to consider. 

1. Prepare your body for optimal healing 

Proper preparation before a lip lift is crucial to minimize scarring and promote optimal healing. One of the most important steps is to avoid smoking and vaping, as these habits can constrict blood vessels and impair circulation, significantly slowing down the healing process and increasing the risk of complications. 

Improving your nutrition is also vital; a diet rich in vitamins A and C, zinc, and protein can support tissue repair and collagen formation. Foods like leafy greens, citrus fruits, nuts, and lean meats can provide these essential nutrients.  

Additionally, managing any underlying medical conditions is critical for effective wound healing. If you have diabetes, keeping your blood sugar levels well-controlled can prevent delayed healing and reduce the risk of infection. Similarly, treating thyroid disorders with appropriate medication can ensure your body’s metabolism and healing processes are functioning correctly.  

Consulting with your healthcare provider to address these factors can help prepare your body for surgery and minimize the potential for scarring. 

2. Surgical Technique 

There are several techniques during surgery that can potentially reduce scarring. Dr. Saxon uses maneuvers, including appropriate undermining and gentle handling of the tissues to minimize tension and tissue damage.  

In addition, she uses deeper sutures that remain in place about 3 months before your body resorbs them. These are placed in a strong fascia layer that surrounds the muscle, called the orbicularis oris muscle.  

Placing the sutures in this layer is similar to the technique employed in a deep plane face lift. Because of this, the technique Dr. Saxon uses can sometimes be referred to as a deep plane lip lift.  

3. Platelet-Rich Fibrin (PRF) Injection

Platelet-rich fibrin (PRF) is a natural healing booster derived from your own blood. PRF injections are rich in growth factors that enhance tissue regeneration and repair. PRF delivers growth factors more slowly compared to platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and has been shown to be more effective. Injecting PRF to the incision at the time of surgery can accelerate healing, reduce inflammation, and minimize scarring.  

4. Hypochlorous Acid

Hypochlorous acid is a powerful yet gentle antiseptic that helps reduce the risk of infection and inflammation post-surgery. By applying hypochlorous acid to the incision site, you can maintain a clean wound environment, which is crucial for proper healing and minimizing scar formation. This solution is safe for sensitive skin and can be used multiple times a day to keep the area disinfected and promote faster recovery. 

5. Silicone Gel

Silicone gel is a well-known and effective treatment for reducing the appearance of scars. Applying silicone gel to the lip lift incision site helps to keep the scar hydrated and protected, which can prevent excessive scar tissue formation. Over time, silicone gel can flatten and soften the scar, making it less noticeable. We recommend Silagen Day and Night Gel Twin Pack. The daytime formulation contains sunscreen to decrease exposure of the scar to UV radiation while the nighttime formulation is pure silicone. Consistent use of silicone gel has been shown to significantly improve the overall appearance of the scar. 

6. Avoid movements that put tension on the incision – including pursing your lips

Post-surgery, it is essential to avoid any activities that involve pursing your lips, such as whistling, smoking, or using straws without precaution. These actions can put unnecessary strain on the incision site, potentially leading to increased scarring. Being mindful of your lip movements during the healing process can greatly contribute to minimizing scarring. 

To aid in drinking without pursing your lips, consider using a wrinkle reduction straw. These specialized straws are designed to allow you to sip beverages without excessive lip movement, reducing the risk of stress on the incision site. This small adjustment in your daily routine can have a significant impact on your healing process and scar minimization. 

7. Reduce Inflammation

Reducing inflammation is crucial for minimizing scarring. In addition to PRF injections, incorporating anti-inflammatory supplements and maintaining a healthy diet can support your body’s healing process. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon and walnuts, along with antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables, can help reduce inflammation. Staying hydrated and avoiding excessive salt and sugar intake will also contribute to a smoother recovery. 

8. Avoid sun exposure 

Protecting your lip lift incision from sun exposure is crucial for minimizing scarring. Ultraviolet (UV) rays can cause pigmentation changes and exacerbate scar formation, leading to more noticeable and persistent scars.

To prevent this, it’s essential to keep the incision site covered and shielded from direct sunlight, especially during the first few months of healing when the skin is most vulnerable. Wearing a wide-brimmed hat and using a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher can provide additional protection.

Reapply sunscreen frequently, especially if you are outdoors for extended periods. By diligently avoiding sun exposure, you can help ensure that your scars remain less visible and blend more seamlessly with the surrounding skin.

 

Individual Factors That Predispose a Person to Having Worse Scars 

While advanced surgical techniques and diligent post-operative care are critical for minimizing scarring, individual factors can also play a significant role in how a person heals. Genetics is a primary factor; some people are genetically predisposed to developing thicker, more prominent scars.  

Age also affects healing, with younger skin typically recovering faster but older skin often healing with less visible scarring. Skin type and color can influence scar formation as well; darker skin tones may be more prone to hyperpigmentation and keloid scars, while lighter skin may show more redness and raised scars.  

Understanding these individual factors can help tailor post-operative care to better manage and minimize scarring. 

 

Options for Treating a Visible Scar After a Lip Lift 

If a visible scar does develop after a lip lift, there are several effective treatments available to improve its appearance.  

Steroid injections are utilized if the scar is raised. This is called a hypertrophic scar. Several injections may be needed to reduce the thickness of the scar. It is important to not be too aggressive with steroid injections since this modality can also cause atrophy of the fat underneath the skin resulting in a depression.  

Microneedling utilizes tiny needles to cause mechanical microinjuries to the skin resulting in the body forming new, stronger collagen to improve scar texture. It takes multiple sessions, usually around 5, for best results Microneedling is safe in all skin types and can be done as early as 6 weeks after your procedure. 

Laser skin resurfacing is another popular option. A CO2 or Erbium:Yag laser can be used to resurface the scar to create a smoother appearance and uniform color. Lasers have to be used judiciously with darker skin types since the skin is more prone to hypopigmentation or hyperpigmentation afterwards.  

If the scar is flat and smooth but has a different color compared to the surrounding skin, micropigmentation can be performed to camouflage the scar. Micropigmentation is a medical tattoo that adds pigment into the scar tissue. Several sessions may be needed for best results.  

Dr. Saxon will help determine the most appropriate treatment plan based on the specific characteristics of your scar and skin type. 

Contact Us today to schedule your lip lift consultation!

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