After Tummy Tuck Surgery What is the Best Scar Cream to Use to Reduce the Appearance of Long Incision?

Doctor Answers (4)

Scar care after tummy tuck

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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.
Best wishes,
Pablo Prichard, MD


Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Melarase cream and pulsed dye laser for scars - Los Angeles

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I have patients use Melarase cream for dark discoloration and treat with pulsed dye laser to reduce redness and scar thickness. Raffy Karamanoukian Los Angeles

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Post surgery care for scars

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The evidence for scar creams is very poor and so I often don't recommend any post surgery scar creams to my patients. Best thing is to follow the surgeon's post operative instructions and to avoid any tension to the scar line. If after the area heals and you are not fully happy with the scar, there are a variety of options that can help improve the appearance of a scar such as dermabrasion, laser, steroid injections, etc etc.

Omar Ibrahimi, MD
Stamford Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

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Scar Cream

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Scar formation is a natural and unavoidable process in human healing. It can also go awry: hypertrophic scarring occurs when scars exceed the size of the original injury; keloid scarring occurs when a tumor-like growth begins at the location of injury. These pathobiological developments can be treated by a variety of means, including steroid injections and even radiation therapy. For more routine scars that are slightly raised or thickened, there are two treatments that have known efficacy: 1) Scar Massage & 2) Topical SiliconeScar massage works by physically breaking down the scar tissue by repeated manual pressure. This should be performed as often as possible (i.e. 5-10 times per day. Topical silicone can take the form of silicone sheets or silicone ointment. When the ointment is used, this can be incorporated into the scar massage regimen. Silicone acts by a variety of means (e.g. temperature, charge) to reduce scar burden. My preference is to use Biocorneum cream: this incorporates SPF 30 sunblock with liquid silicone ointment. Sun avoidance is perhaps the most crucial factor in preventing untoward scar appearance, and it must be emphasized in any healing regimen.

Adam J. Oppenheimer, MD
Melbourne Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.