What is normal scar maturation?
I think the one thing that all surgeons would agree on is that the single most critical factor when it comes to scar improvement is time.
All scars get worse, pinker, lumpier in the first 6-8 weeks postop. Nearly all scars will get a lot better from that point forwards. One of the reasons you are seen for your postoperative appointment at 6 weeks is to provide you with reassurance regarding the normal progress of the slightly red and lumpy scar.
A slightly red lumpy scar in the early stages of scar maturation is completely normal and will improve.
In the initial stages the scar is called immature and we have the experience and knowledge to know that it will improve with nothing else other than time. After this period of time the scars will be ‘fully mature’, which means they will be flat and white. At that point how obvious the scar is will depend on how wide it is, how long it is and where it is. Some patients may take 6 months for their scars to ‘fully mature’, some may take 2 years.
This opinion piece was brought to you by Dr Mark Baldwin.
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