One of the most common questions we receive from our patients before surgery is, “Will this leave a scar?” Anytime skin is cut, surgically or otherwise, there will be a scar. There are various things we can do to minimize scarring, one being silicone sheeting.
WHAT IS SILICONE GEL/SHEETING?
These strips are thin, pliable, and 100% silicone to occlude the scar, which helps the body to maintain moisture during the healing process and regulate collagen production, therefore, minimizing scarring. Whenever our skin integrity is altered, whether by incision or injury, the body uses its natural defenses by producing collagen to heal the wound. Without proper care, these areas can overproduce collagen leading to hypertrophy (raised or bumpy) or keloid formation.
WHY USE SILICONE GEL OR SHEETS AFTER SURGERY?
Silicone gels and sheets create a protective barrier over the scar, which increases hydration and helps stop excessive collagen build up. This will help flatten and soften your scar, and reduce redness, itching, and pain.
HOW SOON AFTER SURGERY CAN I BEGIN USING SILICONE GEL/SHEETING?
You may begin using silicone gel/sheeting as soon as the skin is fully closed, after any sutures have been removed (typically 4-6 weeks after your procedure). Do not use it on an open wound.
HOW DO THE SILICONE STRIPS GET USED?
You will receive a pack of sheeting specific for your scar pattern that contains two to four 1mm thick strips. Each strip can cover any scar from 1-6 inches in length but can be cut for you specifically. Each strip has an easy-peel backing and is flexible, durable, and reusable for up to 3 months.
Directions for application:
- Once your surgical incisions have healed and no longer have scabbing or open areas, you can start using your gel strips.
- Remove gel sheeting from packaging and trim, if necessary, to fit. Sheet should extend at least ½ inch beyond the area.
- Make sure your scar is clean and dry before application, free from any creams, gels, ointments, or powders.
- Peel off backing and apply to scar, sticky side down.
- Wear daily for 21 to 24 hours for approximately 3 months.
- If gel sheeting loses its stickiness, wash gently with a mild soap and cool water, lay flat to air dry. This will allow it to become sticky again.
- It is important not to apply sheeting if you plan on swimming, sweating, or bathing. Remove the strips before working out and showering.
HOW LONG DO YOU WEAR THE SHEETS?
We recommend wearing the sheets for 21 to 24 hours, making sure you remove them daily to allow the area to be washed and cleaned. Most people wear them for about 3 months.
WHEN SHOULD YOU STOP USING THE GEL/SHEETING?
We recommend wearing the sheets for about 3 months or when advised by one of our team members that it is ok to stop. If you encounter any redness or irritation after starting the silicone or have a known allergy, please contact us immediately. Furthermore, if you feel any areas along your incision that may contain a suture, please stop using the silicone sheeting and contact us.