I'm scheduled for surgery for lipo on my abs and thighs. My phsycian said I should not tan for a year if ever (he's totally against tanning). However, I'd like to tan this coming summer. Has anyone tanned since their surgery and did it affect the scars at all either way (did they get darker or more noticeable)?
Scars take up to a year to soften and fade. Exposed to the sun or tanning beds before that and they will stay pink/red and NEVER turn white. I had a very long tummy tuck incision that I kept covered for a year (although I no longer go to tanning beds--did for a couple months) and it is a thin white line. So the short answer is yes, they will get and stay darker if exposed to the sun.
Incisions for lipo of the inner and outer thighs are in the crease of your leg/groin or if posterior, are where your buttocks join your legs. I can hardly find mine anymore they are so faint. This is covered by your underwear, swimsuit, shorts.
I usually do not see incisions in the lower legs unless you're having your inner knees done. Lipo of the flanks/saddlebag area is also done through an incision covered by clothes. Abdominal lipo can be done through a very low pubic incision or through the belly button....depends on where the fat needs to be sucked from.
I caution patients using tanning beds most of all because many tan nude and get areas of their body tan they otherwise would not expose to the sun. We had a patient just last week go to the tanning bed 1 week after a tummy tuck and she has totally messed up her incision. I don't know if it can be fixed unless it it cut out after it heals (turned red and swollen and hard). From the sound of where your lipo is going to be, I don't think you'll have any scars on your lower legs.
Nevertheless, the incisions are always small and usually done in as inconspicuous places as possible. I tell patients to keep the incisions covered and not to rely on sunscreen alone until they are well-healed and have turned their final whitish color. Hope this helps explain better.
One last thing - I'm reading a lot out there about topical cremes to help heal the scars. Will these help heal the rednes/pinkness faster? Also, what percent of these scars actually become a "raised" scar and what, if anything, helps w/that?
Do you know of any recommended miracle cremes? I'd like to use one if it helps. I asked my doctor about it, but he didn't mention any that he recommended.
The 2 that our office recommends are mederma (sp?) and Scarguard. Patients really like the scarguard and buy a lot of it from us.
Some people just really heal well and some don't. Vitamin E has no value in being applied to scars so take it by mouth only. Bacitracin ointment actually has been reported to cause more allergic reactions, sometimes blistering than doing any good. Because we see such a large volume of patients, we get to know real quick what people use that works and what doesn't.
There is also a type of silicone sheet that can be bought over the counter.You're not going to need anything like that. The small incisions you're going to have are really going to be very small and hardly noticeable once they are healed. Unless you are dark-skinned and form keloids, you probably won't even notice them within a few months. But like I mentioned before, staying out of the tanning bed is very important or at least keeping the scars covered for a year. That may sound like a long time but that was the advice given to me. I have had a lot of abdominal and back surgery and all of my scars are very thin and white.