Plastic surgery has gained massive popularity over the past few years, as it allows the restoration of damaged tissue after traumatic injuries and also helps people who are not satisfied with some parts of their bodies.
According to a report released by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, more than 18 million cosmetic procedures were performed in the US in 2019.
The reason behind this massive surge is due to the increased number of plastic surgeons across the country, as well as the wider coverage of healthcare insurance that started compensating patients who undergo these procedures.
As the number of plastic surgeries increases, the proper ways to accelerate the wound healing process and scar healing become more important than ever. Let’s face it, patients want to recover faster and prevent scaring.
For this reason, let’s share with you the best vitamins and supplements for scar reduction and wound healing in order to speed up surgery recovery.
The major supplements to take after undergoing plastic surgery:
1. Vitamin C
When it comes to wound healing, taking oral vitamin C supplements or applying topical creams offers numerous benefits due to two major processes:
Neutralization of oxidative stress
As you may know, vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that neutralizes reactive oxygen species that harm skin cells and slows down scar formation.
This property also tempers down inflammation to prevent rashes and other dermatological conditions.
Acceleration of skin healing
Vitamin C is also known as ascorbic acid, which should give you an idea about the PH of this compound. The good news is that acidity is a powerful stimulator of skin regeneration that involves the deposition of collagen and elastin fibers.
This benefit is especially prevalent when vitamin C is applied topically.
L-Arginine is an amino acid that’s crucial for several structural and biochemical functions. The main role of this amino acid is to mediate the production of nitric oxide (NO), which is a molecule that regulates the diameter of blood vessels.
By vasodilating the vessels around your wound, L-Arginine improves tissue perfusion, which translates into faster transportation of nutrients and cells that interfere with wound healing.
In a 2014 study, researchers observed the effects of L-Arginine on wound healing and concluded the following:
- The administration of L-Arginine improves wound healing.
- The effects of L-Arginine on wound healing and infection are superior when started preoperatively.
- Taking L-Arginine supplements is safe except in certain cases (e.g., hypotensive patients with sepsis).
- Combining L-Arginine with omega-3 fatty acids delivers better results.
L-Glutamine is another amino acid that mediates wound healing and scar formation.
While researchers are still debating about the exact mechanisms involved in the action of L-Glutamine, many studies confirmed its effectiveness in this area.
According to researchers, L-Glutamine is an excellent choice for post-operative healing, especially when started early on.
In one animal-based study, they concluded that “Administration of glutamine supplements accelerated the wound healing process, and it seems that glutamine is effective in the initial stages of healing. Therefore, the authors recommend oral glutamine for patients with a burn injury.”
Zinc is an essential mineral that mediates several biochemical reactions and helps in the formation of connective tissue.
Unfortunately, our cells are unable to naturally produce zinc, which leaves dietary intake as the unique source of getting this mineral.
When consumed adequately, zinc is a great way to jumpstart your recovery after undergoing plastic surgery.
Here’s how it does it:
Acceleration of the healing process
As you may know, the process of repairing tissue damage that occurred at the incision site takes a lot of time.
Fibrocytes must produce large amounts of collagen to replace the necrotic tissue, as it’s a crucial step in restoring the structural integrity and function of that area.
An essential compound that mediates collagen synthesis is zinc, which is why most hospitals utilize zinc as part of their therapeutic protocol for burnt patients.
Reduction of inflammation and oxidative stress
Zinc is a potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant mineral that neutralizes the action of reactive oxygen species and proinflammatory cytokines.
While inflammation is vital for the process of healing after plastic surgery, the buildup of pro-inflammatory compounds can be very damaging, which is why zinc serves as a modulator of the immune and inflammatory response to accelerate wound healing and scar reduction.
Taking turmeric supplements offers numerous benefits, including the acceleration of wound healing and the optimization of scar formation to improve the esthetic appearance.
In a 2018 review paper, researchers analyzed numerous studies that tackled the topic of turmeric’s analgesic properties.
The primary compound that was studied is curcumin, which is the active ingredient found in turmeric and is known for its potent anti-inflammatory properties.
Researchers concluded that “Although the mechanisms of pain mitigating effects are not very clear, there is compelling evidence proved that curcumin plays an essential role.”
This property is important for patients who just underwent surgery to reduce their need for pharmacological drugs.
Reduces oxidative stress
As we explained above, oxidative stress is the enemy of wound healing since it continuously triggers the immune system to release inflammatory substances that interfere with the process of collagen deposition.
Fortunately, curcumin is a particularly effective antioxidant that quickly neutralizes the action of free radicals to allow the skin to heal properly.
Note that taking turmeric supplements will not only help you recover after the plastic surgery, but will also improve your overall health and reduce the risk of numerous debilitating conditions, such as coronary artery disease, diabetes mellitus, and some types of cancer.
Moreover, turmeric has the ability to boost the function of other naturally-occurring antioxidant enzymes.
The process of healing after plastic surgery is complex and involves numerous physiological and biochemical reactions that allow for the tissue to scar.
Hopefully, this article managed to shed some light on the most valuable dietary supplements that could be used for scar reduction and wound healing.
To take advantage of these vitamins and minerals, it would be nutritionally and economically more efficient to buy a product that contains all the compounds listed above.
For this reason, you might want to make the smart move like many of our readers have and get WoundVite, which contains Vitamins A, B, C, zinc, L-Arginine, L-Glutamine, Turmeric, and more.