Top Tips to Minimise Gynaecomastia Scars

By Dr Jake Lim – Plastic Surgeon | Updated: April 14, 2024

Best Practices to Minimise Scars after Gynaecomastia

Gynaecomastia, a common condition affecting men, is characterised by the enlargement of the glandular tissue in the breast. It’s a condition often linked to an imbalance of sex hormones. Gynaecomastia can affect one or both breasts, sometimes unevenly, and it can be corrected with surgery – the procedure is called gynaecomastia surgery. As with any surgical procedure, gynaecomastia surgery will leave scars. A common concern for patients undergoing this surgery is how to minimise scars after gynaecomastia.

In this blog, Sydney Plastic Surgeon Dr Jake Lim will discuss best practises to minimise scars after gynaecomastia.

Gynaecomastia Surgical Approach

The gynaecomastia procedure, also known as male breast reduction surgery, usually involves liposuction and/or excision techniques. You’ll be under general anaesthesia during the procedure, and it takes about 90 minutes or more to complete. Depending on the severity of your condition, Dr Lim may use liposuction to remove excess fat and glandular tissue or excision techniques to remove excess skin.

Post-surgery, you may experience some pain and swelling, but these are normal and temporary. Dr Lim will provide specific instructions on post-operative care, including how to manage discomfort, when to resume normal activities, and what to watch for regarding healing. One critical aspect of recovery is scar management, which is a necessary step to achieve an optimal aesthetic outcome.

Why Scar Treatment is Necessary after Gynaecomastia

The main reason why scar treatment is necessary after gynaecomastia is to help minimise the visibility of scars. Taking proactive steps to manage and reduce scar appearance is crucial to your overall satisfaction with the procedure.

Moreover, scar treatment can help reduce the risk of keloid or hypertrophic scars, which are raised and often darker than the skin surrounding them. These types of scars can be more noticeable and harder to treat if not managed early on.

Proper scar treatment can help ensure that your skin heals correctly, reducing the risk of further complications. This includes preventing infection, maintaining skin elasticity, and ensuring a smooth and even skin surface.

Dr Jake Lim’s Tips to Minimise Scars after Gynaecomastia

Here are Dr Lim’s top tips to help reduce scarring after gynaecomastia surgery:

  1. Follow Your Surgeon’s Post-Operative Instructions

Adhering strictly to the guidelines provided by your surgeon is crucial. These instructions are tailored to your specific needs and the nature of your surgery. They usually include advice on wound care, medications to take or avoid, and when to resume physical activities. Following these instructions helps ensure proper healing and reduces the risk of complications that could worsen scarring.

  1. Wear Compression Garments as Advised

Compression garments play an important role in the healing process. They help reduce swelling, provide support to the surgical area, and can improve the contour of the skin. Wearing these garments as recommended can significantly impact the appearance of scars, as they help the skin to heal smoothly and evenly.

  1. Avoid Direct Sun Exposure

UV rays can cause scars to become darker and more noticeable. It’s essential to keep the surgical area covered or use a strong SPF sunscreen if exposure to the sun is unavoidable. This is particularly important in the months immediately following surgery, as the scars are still new and more susceptible to damage.

  1. Maintain a Healthy Diet and Stay Hydrated

Good nutrition is vital for healing. Eating a balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals, especially those known to aid skin healing (like Vitamin C and Zinc), can help your body repair itself more effectively. Staying hydrated is also important as it helps maintain skin elasticity and overall health, which is beneficial for scar healing.

  1. Avoid Smoking and Limit Alcohol Consumption

Smoking can significantly impair healing by reducing blood flow and oxygen to the skin, leading to worse scarring. Similarly, excessive alcohol consumption can lead to dehydration and poor wound healing. It’s advisable to avoid smoking and limit alcohol intake during the recovery period.

  1. Gentle Scar Massage

Once your surgeon gives the go-ahead, usually a few weeks post-surgery, gentle scar massage can be beneficial. This helps to break down scar tissue and can improve the appearance and texture of the scar. Use a non-irritating moisturiser or a product specifically designed for scar treatment, and gently massage the area in circular motions.

  1. Use Silicone Sheets or Gels

Silicone sheets and gels are widely recommended for scar management. They provide a protective barrier which helps to maintain hydration of the scar and reduces scar thickness and discolouration. These should be used as per the product instructions and after consultation with your surgeon.

  1. Regular Check-ups and Prompt Attention to Concerns

Regular follow-up appointments with your surgeon are essential to monitor your healing progress. If you notice any unusual symptoms like increased pain, excessive swelling, or changes in the scar appearance, it’s important to seek medical advice promptly. Early intervention can prevent complications that might lead to more significant scarring.

Effective scar management after gynaecomastia surgery involves a combination of following professional medical advice, taking care of your overall health, and using specific scar minimisation techniques. Each of these tips plays a role in ensuring a good aesthetic outcome and should be considered an important part of your recovery process. Scars can improve over time, and with the right care, their appearance can be significantly reduced.

Scar Treatment Options

There are many different treatment options available for scars after gynaecomastia surgery:

Topical Treatments:

  • Description: These are creams, gels, or silicone-based products applied directly to the scar. They are most effective on new scars but can also be used on older ones
  • How They Work: Silicone-based treatments, for instance, hydrate the scar and create a protective barrier, which can reduce scar thickness and discolouration. Other topical treatments may contain ingredients like onion extract or vitamin E, thought to improve the appearance of scars
  • Suitability: Ideal for minor scars and as a first-line treatment

Steroid Injections:

  • Description: Steroid injections are commonly used for hypertrophic scars and keloids, which are raised, red, and sometimes itchy or painful
  • How They Work: The steroids help to reduce inflammation, flatten the scar, and alleviate discomfort
  • Suitability: Best for raised scars, particularly keloids or hypertrophic scars

Laser Therapy:

  • Description: Laser therapy uses focused light therapy to either remove the outer layer of the skin’s surface or stimulate the production of new skin cells to cover damaged skin cells
  • How They Work: There are two main types of lasers used: ablative (which removes layers of skin) and non-ablative (which targets the dermis to promote collagen growth)
  • Suitability: Effective for various scar types, including acne scars and scars from surgery or injury

Cryotherapy:

  • Description: This involves freezing the scar tissue, causing it to die and fall off
  • How They Work: Liquid nitrogen is applied to the scar, which freezes and destroys the skin cells in the scar
  • Suitability: Often used for small keloids and hypertrophic scars

Dermal Fillers:

  • Description: Fillers are substances injected into scars to raise depressed or sunken scars to the level of surrounding skin
  • How They Work: The most common fillers are made of hyaluronic acid, which is naturally found in the skin
  • Suitability: Best for atrophic scars

Surgical Removal or Treatment:

  • Description: Involves surgically removing the scarred tissue. Techniques can vary depending on the scar’s size and location
  • How They Work: Dr Lim may cut out the old scar and close the skin with tiny stitches, leaving a thinner, less noticeable scar
  • Suitability: Used for larger scars or when other treatments have failed

Radiotherapy:

  • Description: A less common treatment, typically reserved for severe keloids
  • How They Work: Low-dose, superficial radiotherapy is used to prevent the recurrence of severe keloids after they have been surgically removed
  • Suitability: Only for severe cases due to the potential risks associated with radiation

Microneedling:

  • Description: Involves using a device with small needles to puncture the top layer of the skin
  • How They Work: This process stimulates the skin to regenerate and produce collagen, potentially reducing the appearance of scars
  • Suitability: Effective for different types of depressed scars

Chemical Peels:

  • Description: This treatment uses a chemical solution to remove the top layers of skin, which can help reduce the depth of scars
  • How They Work: The chemicals cause the skin to blister and eventually peel off, revealing new, less scarred skin beneath
  • Suitability: Best for certain types of acne scars and small, superficial scars

The choice of scar treatment depends on various factors, including the type and severity of the scar, as well as the individual’s skin type and overall health. It’s important to consult with Dr Jake Lim to determine the most appropriate treatment. Moreover, it’s important to have realistic expectations; while many treatments can significantly reduce the appearance of scars, they may not completely remove them.

In addition to these treatments, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, protecting scars from the sun, and avoiding smoking can also improve the appearance of scars over time.

Natural Remedies to Minimise Scars after Gynaecomastia

In addition to professional treatments, there are several natural remedies you can use to minimise scars after gynaecomastia. These include aloe vera, which has anti-inflammatory properties that can promote healing; vitamin E, which can improve skin elasticity and reduce scar visibility; and onion extract, which has been shown in studies to improve the appearance of scars.

Again, it’s advisable to discuss these options with Dr Lim before incorporating them into your scar treatment regimen. Although these remedies are natural, they may not be suitable for everyone, and it’s important to use them correctly to ensure their effectiveness.

FAQs about How to Minimise Scars after Gynaecomastia

FAQs

Can you get rid of gynaecomastia without scars?

  • It is challenging to completely eliminate gynecomastia without any scarring, as most surgical procedures to address this condition involve incisions. However, the extent and visibility of scarring depend on various factors, including the surgical technique used, the extent of the gynecomastia, the patient’s skin type, and their individual healing process. Less invasive techniques, such as liposuction, often result in smaller scars.

Where are gynaecomastia scars localised?

  • The location of gynaecomastia scars largely depends on the surgical technique used. In liposuction, scars are usually small and placed in inconspicuous areas, such as the armpit or along the edge of the areola. For excision techniques where glandular breast tissue or excess skin must be removed, scars are located around the edge of the areola or within the natural creases of the chest.

How visible are the scars after gynaecomastia?

  • The visibility of scars after gynaecomastia surgery varies from person to person. Generally, scars are more noticeable in the initial months following surgery but tend to fade over time. Proper post-operative care, such as using silicone gel or sheets and avoiding sun exposure, can reduce scar visibility. It’s important to have realistic expectations and understand that while scars may fade, they may not disappear entirely.

Is there a cream to reduce gynaecomastia scar?

  • Yes, there are creams and topical treatments available that can help reduce the appearance of scars following gynaecomastia surgery. Silicone-based creams and gels are commonly recommended, as they have been shown to be effective in flattening and fading scars. These products work by forming a protective barrier over the scar, which helps to maintain hydration and promotes a more favourable healing environment. Other ingredients, such as vitamin E, onion extract, and certain peptides, are also found in scar treatment creams and can aid in the healing process.

Should I massage the scar after gynaecomastia?

  • Yes, massaging the gynaecomastia scar can be beneficial as part of the healing process, but it should only be done once the wound has sufficiently healed and with Dr Lim’s approval. Gentle massage can help to break down scar tissue, improve circulation, and promote a smoother, less noticeable scar. It’s recommended to start massaging a few weeks after surgery, using a non-irritating moisturiser or a specific scar treatment product. The massage should be gentle, using circular motions and light pressure to avoid any discomfort or damage to the healing tissue. Regular scar massage, as part of your post-operative care routine, can improve the appearance and texture of the scar over time.

Further Reading about Male Procedures with Sydney Plastic Surgeon Dr Jake Lim

Medical References about Scars and Gynaecomastia

About Dr Jake Lim

Highly qualified and experienced specialist plastic surgeon Dr Jake Lim focuses on facial plastic, cosmetic breast and body contouring after significant weight loss

Dr Lim creates the best possible plastic surgery results for his Australia-wide and international patients.

Dr Lim is passionate about making sure each and every patient has access to the right information about available treatments and procedures and is able to make well-informed decisions.

At My Klinik, patient safety, education and achieving optimal results are our top priorities.