INTRODUCTION

Mr Banwell and his team at the Banwell Clinic specialise in the latest treatments for scarring and in the secondary surgical revision of scars. Mr Banwell provides services for patients in the UK and abroad and would be happy to see you at a convenient time. We hold clinics in Kent, Sussex, Surrey and London so please do call 0845 2600 261 or email help@skinhealth.com for further information.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • WHAT ARE SCARS?

    Scars represent the body’s normal response to wounding either from trauma (injury) or from surgery.

  • WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT MY SCARS TO LOOK LIKE AFTER SURGERY?

    It is completely NORMAL for scars to look red and lumpy after any injury or operation. Initially, for the first week or two, the scar(s) may look excellent. However, they will then become red and lumpy. This is a completely normal response to wound healing and should be expected. Over time these scars will improve, mature and the scars will soften, become flatter and paler. This process takes around 18 months to 2 years but can be accelerated by a variety of means. Mr Banwell, an expert in scar management will be happy to discuss the best approaches to manage your scar. If you live in Kent, Sussex, Surrey, Hampshire or London and would like your scars treated please contact the office on 0845 2600 261.

  • HOW SHOULD I MANAGE MY SCARS AFTER SURGERY?

    Specialist Plastic Surgeons like Mr Banwell will recommend taping your scar line for the first 2 weeks after surgery. Usually this will be with brown micropore tape [this is showerproof and will stay in place as long as it is dried with a hairdryer each time it gets wet]. Ideally the scar should be taped for an additional few weeks to protect and support it.

    After this time, Mr Banwell recommends a twice daily massage with a moisturizing cream (eg. Vitamin E). Do NOT use E45 as it is too thick and claggy!! 5-10 minutes is all that is required. Massage should  be gentle to begin with but then should be firmer over time. This should continue for at least 3-6 months and ideally up to a year. The purpose of this is to speed up the natural healing and repair process and allow the scars to soften, flatten and become paler.

    Use of hyaluronic acid has also been shown to be extremely beneficial as it helps hydrate the scar. A variety of commercially available preparations are available through the Banwell Clinic including products from Rationale Skin Care and Medik8.

  • SHOULD I PROTECT MY SKIN AGAINST THE SUN?

    Absolutely! If immature scars (within the first year) are exposed to the sun during their healing and maturation phase they can become pigmented or stay red permanently. It is therefore important to cover scars with clothing or sun protection factors (SPF50) to optimize scar outcome.

  • ARE THERE ANY ADDITIONAL TREATMENTS THAT MAY BE USEFUL?

    Moisturisers and massage are by far the best treatment for scars but additional treatments such as silicone gel sheeting (eg. Cica-care gel) or silicone gel applications (eg. Dermatix or Kelo-cote] may also be beneficial. AS mentioned above, Hyaluronic Acid preparations are also extremely beneficial. However, there is NO evidence for the benefits of using Bio-oil (other than aiding the act of massage).

  • ARE THERE ANY OTHER COSMETIC TREATMENTS FOR MY SCARRING?

    A variety of different treatments may be use to improve the appearance of scarring (including acne scarring). Commencing a medical grade skin care regime on a daily basis can do wonders for your complexion and the luminosity of your skin but furthermore it can also aid the appearance of scars. Mr Banwell or his team can recommend products from the Rationale, Medik8 or other ranges. Chemical peels, medical needling, dermastamp or surgical scar revision may also be suitable treatments. Mr Banwell or one of his aesthetic nurses would be delighted to discuss suitable treatments with you. The Banwell Clinic also offer PERSONALISED SCAR TREATMENT PACKAGES – please phone 0845 2600 261 and ask for more details.

  • WHAT PROBLEMS COULD I GET WITH MY SCARS?

    Early problems following surgery include infection, bleeding and the wound pulling apart (minor dehiscence). Adverse (abnormal) scarring can also occur such as hypertrophy and keloid scarring. Hypersensitivity of scars is also not an uncommon problem (this is usually due to not enough massaging in the early post-operative period).

  • PROBLEM SCARS - HYPERTROPHIC SCARS?

    Hypertrophic scars are red (pink) lumpy scars that continue to grow, after the original wound has healed.

    We do not completely understand why hypertrophic scars arise, and there is a lot of research being undertaken to further our knowledge. It seems as if the body does not switch off the scar forming mechanism after a wound has healed, and scar tissue continues to be produced, forming a lumpy scar. This is more likely if been a delay in your wound healing, such as after an infection, or when the wound has pulled apart and has been left to heal naturally. Some areas of the body are more prone to them such as the chest and the shoulders.

  • PROBLEM SCARS -KELOID SCARS?

    Keloid scars are lumpy scars that continue to grow, long after the original wound has healed (like hypertrophic scars]. The main difference is that they continue to grow outside of the original area of surgery/injury and may be quite sizeable.

    Like hypertrophic scars, we do not completely understand why keloid scars arise. Keloid scars are common in Afro-Caribbean people and also people from the Far East. They are also seen in those with pale skin and red hair. Keloids are difficult to treat - there is no known cure for them.

  • HOW CAN HYPERTROPHIC AND KELOID SCARS BE TREATED?

    Unfortunately, hypertrophic and keloid scars can be difficult to treat. Surgery to remove the scar and re-stitch the wound may be considered in certain circumstances. This tends to be when the original wound had healing problems due to an infection - if the wound can be re-stitched and heal the second time around without an infection, it is less likely to become hypertrophic or keloid. Mr Banwell also has access to certain Clinical Trial treatments for scars. Please book an appointment with scar expert, Mr Banwell, to discuss this in more detail.

    Silicone gel - in the form of a sticky gel sheet applied to the scar or alternatively as a liquid from a tube (e.g. Dermatix or Kelo-cote).

    Steroid injections – (eg. Triamcinalone) a regular course of steroid injections into the scar itself, repeated every 6-8 weeks (this may also be performed in combination with surgery). This help flatten lumpy scars and aids in the improvement of red scars.

    Rarely surgery may be performed in conjunction with radiotherapy treatment for certain keloid scars. 

    The success rates of these different treatments is variable, and depends on your individual situation and the reason for having developed the hypertrophic scar.

    Once the hypertrophic or keloid scar has improved in terms of size and texture it may not trouble you again. However, in some cases, the hypertrophic scar recurs and further treatment may be necessary.

    If the hypertrophic scar comes back, your treatment course may be restarted or another type of treatment may be used.

Please contact Mr Banwell's office on 01342 330302 or email help@skinhealth.org.uk for further information.

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