Facial lacerations can be a scary situation for anyone. That is why it’s best to visit experts, like us, who have experience in treating and repairing facial injuries and trauma. However, we know that your recovery doesn’t end the moment you leave our doors. We want you to have the best outcome following surgery, which is why we’re writing this to answer some of your most common questions and to give you our best tips for treating your wound as it heals.
- Know the general timetable of healing. Within 2 days the cut should seal, and by 5 to 10 days it should be strong. In the first 3 months you may notice the skin around the scar may thicken and have a red or purple tint. By 4 to 6 months this process should reverse and the scar will flatten and the discoloration will fade. Usually by 6 months the scar will be completely healed, but there can be continued improvement for up to a year.
- There are many factors that impact your healing. How deep your cut is, its location, your age, and the way your skin heals all determine how visible a final scar will be. Younger skin actually produces thicker scarring.
- Apply ointment frequently to keep the wound moist. This can increase the speed of healing considerably and reduce scabbing, which actually increases the build up of scar tissue.
- Apply antibiotic ointment to prevent infection. An infected wound will make a bigger scar. Be sure to continue to apply antibiotic ointment or cream as directed by our team to keep the wound moist and fight off any infection.
- Make sure you know the signs of infection. Antibiotics will often be prescribed to prevent infection, especially if the wound is a result of injury. Contact us immediately if you see any signs of an infection including:
- A large amount of pus coming from the wound
- Increased redness or swelling
- Massage the wound gently to increase blood flow. Sutures are usually removed between 5 and 8 days. Massage the wound after sutures have been removed using a moisturizing lotion with Vitamin E or Aloe. Gently massage the skin around the wound twice daily for the first two weeks, and then once a day for a month. This will increase the blood flow in the area and prevent scar tissue build up.
- Be gentle and avoid scrubbing your wound. It is usually okay to allow clean shower water to wash over the wound as long as you don’t scrub it. If crusts of blood accumulate, lightly dabbing with clean gauze moistened with hydrogen peroxide is best.
- Avoid sun exposure. It is extremely important that you do your best to avoid sun exposure. The scar may tan a much darker color than the skin around it, and this may become permanent. Cover the area as much as possible or use sun block of SPF 50 or greater.
Whether you have had elective surgery or surgery to repair a facial injury we hope that these tips help answer your questions. If you or your loved one ever requires a trip to the emergency room involving a facial injury or laceration, be sure to seek our consultation as soon as possible and please contact us with any additional questions that you may have.