How Soon After Surgery Can I Start Scar Treatment?
I rarely recommend scar treatments to my patients.
There is little or no evidence that they work.
The various silicone products may slightly speed up scar maturation but I don't believe they are worth the time or expense in most cases.
They serve mainly to give people something to do while Mother Nature goes about her work. She takes at least a year and, depending on the skin type, two years or more to produce the final scar result.
The only exceptions would be in those patients who have a history of abnormal scarring, or in those where the scars are still thicker or redder than they should be for that stage of healing. In these cases modalities such as silicone sheeting or laser may be appropriate.
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Scar care after tummy tuck
Thank you for your post. In tummy tuck and other lift/tightening surgeries, tension is the enemy. The scar is healing gradually over 12 weeks or so, and until it is strong, it is the weakest link. As there is a great deal of tension in tummy tucks, body lifts, breast lifts, etc., the scar is at high risk of 'stretching' or widening. Silicone sheeting, although having the ability to make a scar flat, does nothing to prevent stretching of the scar. Creams or steroids or lasers also do not have the ability to prevent stretching of the scar. Those are used if scar is thick or dark, but not to reduce the wideness of the scar, which is the main problem. Massage also does not help keep the scar thin, and can actually worsen the scar in the first 12 weeks because you are actually adding tension to the scar. Massage is for softening a hard or thick scar, but if used early, will hasten the scar widening. Only tension reduction has the ability to keep the scar as thin as possible. You may notice in a lot of tummy tuck scars that the center portion of the scar is the widest with the sides toward the hips being the thinnest. This is because the maximum tension is at the center, and least amount on the sides. Embrace removes a lot of the tension by putting more tension on the skin on either side of the incision and drawing the incision together. It is expensive though at about $100 per week for 12 weeks. When patients do not want to spend the money for embrace, I tape the incision trying to remove as much tension as possible for 12 weeks and recommend no stretching back and to sit most of the time, keeping tension off the scar.
Pablo Prichard, MD
Tummy tuck scar treatment options
all wounds go through several stages of healing. There is no benefit of apply any "scar treatments" until after scars start to contract which is about 4 weeks. until then it is best to keep the skin well hydrated and moisterized.
Scar Treatment after Surgery
I recommend to my patients to begin using some kind of scar treatment within 2 weeks after surgery. Some patients use silicone sheeting because this treatment has been shown to decrease keloids or raised scars. Scar creams such as Biocorneum and Mederma have also been shown to decrease the color and help to lighten the scar quicker than doing nothing.
Timing of scar treatment after TT.
If I have a concern that a patient of mine may get an active, raised scar after TT or Breast augmentation, I will start using silicone sheeting early, at about 5-7 days, after surgery. The wound only needs to be closed for the sheeting to be placed on. There is little downside to this besides some minor skin irritation from increased moisture beneath the sheeting.
How Soon After Surgery Can I Start Scar Treatment?
As soon as your wound is no longer having any drainage you may start using topical scar creams as well as silastic sheeting. Watch out for any signs of skin maceration that may be caused by excess moisture under the silastic. Good luck!
Scar care following breast and body surgery
Thanks for your question. Scars - whether created surgically or acquired through trauma - go through a maturation process that begins during the initial healing of the wound itself, typically takes up to a full year or more to complete. During this time, we have some control over the quality of the final appearance of the scar. This begins with meticulous incision closure by the surgeon, followed by keeping tension off the healing wound and maturing scar, with steri-strips or tape, in addition to a bra or abdominal binder. Studies have also demonstrated the utility of silicone (in the form of scar sheets or gel) and scar massage in the first several months after healing, to flatten and smooth the scar. Finally, protection of the maturing scar from the sun, with SPF 30 or greater sunscreen or direct covering, keeps the scar from pigmenting or darkening relative to the surrounding skin. I have my patients begin the use of silicone scar sheets and massage as soon as the initial healing phase is complete - usually at around 2 weeks post-op.
Now might be okay, but ask your surgeon
If your incision line is closed and a fresh scar has formed over it, then you can start using the sheets. To be sure, though, you should ask your surgeon.
I usually wait until it has been 1 month after surgery before allowing the patients to apply scar gels.
Scar Treatment after tummy tuck
I offer scar preparations and laser therapy to my tummy tuck patients. It is always important to share anything like this with your plastic surgeon prior to using a product. Follow his guidelines.