If you’re undergoing plastic surgery such as a body contouring or skin tightening procedure, you may be wondering if you need to shave any hair present in the area. While it may seem like a good idea to shave any hair present in advance, this is not the case. While smooth skin does make it easier for your plastic surgeon to create clean and precise incisions, surgeons tell patients not to shave because it could be risky.
What happens when you shave?
Shaving before your cosmetic procedure may seem like a good idea because your skin is clean and smooth. However, when you shave, you create micro-abrasions on the skin that can only be seen at a microscopic level. And these micro-abrasions can present a problem when undergoing plastic surgery.
Risk of Infection
Micro-abrasions can lead to further infection because they are a breeding ground for harmful bacteria. And if there are any bacteria on the skin, the chances of infection in the surgical site increase, leading to unnecessary complications. Thanks to modern medical advancements, the risk of infection are low but not zero. The CDC recommends surgeons use electric razors when necessary to shave patients before surgery to reduce infection and risk of micro-abrasions on the skin.
When to shave before & after surgery
If you do have to shave before surgery for whatever reason, it is recommended to do so 48 hours before surgery. When shaving after surgery, it is essential patients wait about two weeks after surgery. And to limit your chances of infection, even more, it is safest to use an electric razor both before and after surgery.