Though you don’t often think about it, your skin is one of the most important organs of your body. It helps you stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer. It protects you from contaminants and other foreign materials, plus it keeps your internal organs safe. All in all, your skin is pretty essential to staying healthy. It’s important to take care of your skin all the time, but it becomes especially important after you have cosmetic surgery.
When you have surgery or a cosmetic procedure of any kind, your skin becomes injured in the process. After the procedure is over, your skin will need some recovery time. The amount of time depends on the type of procedure you get, but the importance of good skin care is no less diminished. Whether you have a facelift, an otoplasty, or dermabrasion, your skin requires a lot of TLC during the recovery process.
Why is good skin care after surgery so important? For one thing, poor skin care could increase your chance of scarring or discoloration, which counteracts the results of your procedure. Your skin will also take longer to heal, which increases your risk of infection and your overall recovery time. Skin requires a lot of nutrients, hydration, and protection to keep you healthy even when you aren’t recovering from surgery, so imagine how much care it will need when you are!
The Four Rules of Post-Surgery Skin Care
- Treat your skin like baby skin – A baby’s skin requires gentle care with milder products, which is why there are complete lines of soaps, lotions, and shampoos marketed just for them. After your surgery, treat your skin as if you were a baby and use mild hypoallergenic products that don’t have fragrances or extra chemicals.
- Keep your skin hydrated – Drink lots and lots of water. Water helps flush all the bad toxins out of your body and keeps your blood moving so that important nutrients can be delivered to your skin. This makes it easier for your skin to heal and keeps it flexible.
- Watch those UV rays – You should be wearing sunscreen every day, especially now in the summer months, but this becomes even more important after your procedure when your skin is fragile and more susceptible to damage from the sun. You don’t have to go totally crazy and lather on SPF 100 sunscreen; 30 or 40 SPF should be sufficient and only needs to be reapplied periodically throughout the day.
- Leave your skin alone – This sounds counter intuitive – didn’t we just spend the past few minutes telling you that your need to take care of your skin? In this case, we mean leave your skin alone while it’s healing. Don’t pick your scabs, avoid scratching your skin if it’s itching, and don’t pull on your skin if it’s peeling. Let your skin heal on its own and try to avoid picking at it.
If you take good care of your skin and keep it as healthy as possible during your post-surgery recovery, not only will you prevent any additional complications and help the healing process, you’ll also get to reap the full benefits of your surgery. Healthy skin reflects in your appearance and keeps you looking and feeling your best.
Dr. Andres Bustillo is a highly skilled facial and reconstructive plastic surgeon who offers a wide variety of procedures for the face, head, and neck at his personal practice in Coral Gables, FL. To schedule a patient consultation, call (305) 663-3380.