Can you please let me know what you think about my using scar healing products for my Mohs surgery scar on my forehead? I had my stitches removed a week ago and it's still a bit inflamed (though my doctor liked the way it came out). My doctor didn't mention anything about healing oilments. I'm considering using either Bio Oil, Mederma or silicone scar pads, all of which boast of healing scars. Do you recommend any of these products? Are they safe? Thanks so much. -Andrew
Which Scar Healing Products Post Mohs Surgery on Forehead?
Doctor Answers (4)
Improving facial scars after surgery
It is always best to speak to your surgeon prior to using any corrective treatment for a scar especially on a fresh wound. If the wound is healing well and there is no sign of infection, treatment for prevention of scarring can begin. Studies prove that silicone scar pads are more efficacious than topical products such as Mederma, vitamin E, etc. Unfortunately, it may be unsightly to wear a silicone scar patch on the face during the day, but it can be worn overnight. During the day, make sure the scar is protected from the sun because the sun will be more likely to make the discoloration (redness, brown color) last longer. Luckily, most scars on the face heal beautifully if the surgeon orients the scar in the proper direction to fit in the normal skin tension lines. Other treatments that can improve healing and prevent the appearance of scars include Botox and lasers. Botox used in the forehead can weaken the muscles that cause brow and forehead movement. With less movement, the scar will be less likely to stretch or be under tension and this results in faster healing. A pulsed-dye laser can help reduce the redness more quickly and a fractional laser can help to blend the scar with surrounding skin. Botox and laser treatments are usually not covered by insurance, but can usually be done immediately after suture removal.
Scarring after surgery and how to improve it
I don't find that the cost of the products available on the market today justifies the minute improvement in outcome. I recommend to my patients to begin massaging the scar 6 weeks after surgery. I ask them to clean the skin then apply firm direct pressure right over the scar and press firmly against the bone. Then they are to repeat this for the entire length of the scar. If the scar is on a fleshy part like a cheek, then pinch the scar between fingers and pretend it is a piece of dough you are rolling out and flattenning. The whole massage procedure lasts about 30 sec to 1 min and is repeated multiple times throughout the day. After a few weeks of massaging, the scar thickness goes down significantly.
Scar Healing Products After Surgery
Every doctor may have a particular preference as to what product to use. You might ask the doctor who performed the surgery what they recommend. Also, it takes 6-12 months to get the final cosmetic result following surgery and during this time it's particularly important to protect the scar from sun exposure so wearing a sunscreen and hat would be a good option.
As I mentioned, many doctors have specific preferences. I think what works the best are silicone based products. The exact mechanism of action (i.e. how it works) isn't completely clear with siliconge gel pads (may have something to do with moisture or with electronic fields impacting collagen alignment), but over times these pads help to soften or fine tune the final cosmetic result. Unfortunately, frequently they are difficult to use or patients give up using them because of the hassle of putting them in place every evening. Anothe option is a product like Biocorneum which is a combination of silicone gel and sunscreen and is available in a limited number of plastic surgeons' and dermatologists' offices. This product is applied to the scar twice daily and dries within a couple of minutes of application. This is the product most of our patients will use. Other options include Kelacote which is available outside of doctors offices and Prosil (both silicone based products). I suppose you could use one of these and separately apply a high-SPF, broad-specturm sunscreen and get similar results. I personally don't feel that Mederma or Vitamin E or Aloe products don't work as well as the silicone based products in improving the final result. Best of luck
Web reference: http://www.emohs.com
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There is a special cream that I like to use to minimize any potential scarring specifically for the face. Unfortunately it is not available outside any plastic surgeon's office. Additionally, you will need to stay out of the sun and use sunblock. You can inquire at your plastic surgeon's office or you can purchase it and have it mailed out to you.
Web reference: http://www.kimberlyleemd.com/
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.
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