Many people will undergo surgery at some point in life, sometimes multiple times. Surgery may be needed for medical or cosmetic purposes. Regardless of the reason, scars are generally a part of the healing process after a surgery. Usually cosmetic surgeries hide or conceal scars, but they may sometimes show to a degree. Medical surgeries often bare obvious scars which can be quite unappealing.
It is also true that some people will experience different types of scars than others due to genetics, and this may also factor into how much a person scars. They may be raised, lumpy, pink, or even somewhat purple. Scars will also naturally fade over time and may never go away completely. Still, there are some things that you can do to prevent the appearance of scars after you have undergone surgery. If possible try to begin treating the area soon after the surgery because older scars may be harder to fade. You may still have to wait for the wound to heal, however, or it could aggravate the skin depending on what you are applying to it.
One of the first things you can do is make sure that you completely follow the doctor's instructions about taking care of the wound and avoid putting stress on the incision. You may want to have a talk with your doctor about how you are worried about scars, as they may be able to prescribe you certain medications.
You can also apply an antibiotic cream to the wound. This should be done after the incision has finished bleeding. Antibiotic creams keep the area from becoming infected and this will make it easier for your body to begin healing and repairing itself. Infections can also create worse scars, so keeping the area clean and free of infection can help to reduce damage to skin, and thus minimize scarring. If an infection does occur try to identify it quickly so you can begin treating it.
A few lifestyle changes may actually help to reduce scarring, though they may not be easy for some people to achieve. Smoking for example can prevent scars from healing and increase the risk of getting them, so you may want to stop smoking a couple of weeks before and after the surgery, if not longer. It is also suggested not to drink caffeine or alcohol when a wound is healing as they both dehydrate the skin, and that makes it harder to heal. This is also the reason that you should drink plenty of water and stay hydrated. Eat healthy and try to eat quite a bit of protein because it helps the skin heal.
After your wound heals use a scar treatment gel, usually about 2-6 weeks after surgery. There are a lot of products out there which help to reduce scars by flattening or lightening the scar and slowing down the production of collagen. After a few months, if the scar still hasn't faded very much, you can talk to your doctor about scar revision and surgery. There are noninvasive treatments like dermabrasion which you may seek out first.