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Best Scar Therapy Advice?

I'm sure you doctors all get asked this a lot but what's the best scar remedy? I read to apply vitamin e scar guard messages coco butter all sorts of different ways. So I'm a little confused. I haven't been able to ask my ps yet and my consultant didn't give much info. When can I start to apply product? Do I use vitamin E and a scar ointment or just one or the other? Thank you so much for your help and advice and taking the time to answer my question. :)) xoxoxo

Doctor Answers 12

Best Scar Therapy Advice?

None of these products have been tested in the manner in which pharmaceutical drugs are tested, and few have been compared in studies that would make it possible to answer your question properly.

Most surgeons prefer some sort of silicone based product. Those do require some time to apply, so the thought of using multiple products seems like only someone with nothing but time could consider. You may start once the wound is entirely sealed, with zero drainage. Usually that is true by 3 weeks, but sometimes longer. 

Most patients heal well with no specific treatment. All the best. 

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.
Best wishes,
Pablo Prichard, MD

Pablo Prichard, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

Scar Management After a Tummy Tuck

You should consult with your surgeon to see what he recommends, as each surgeon will have their own opinions. For my patients, I have them wait until their incision is fully healed, and then I have them use a silicone dressing. Be sure to keep your incision out of the sun for 6 months up to a year! Good luck!

Miguel Delgado, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 54 reviews

Scar treatment

One of the best scar treatments available for a tummy tuck (which is an incision closed under tension), is Embrace, which is a silicone sheet applied under tension. This is much more effective than regular silicone tape. Silicone gel is ok but not as effective as Embrace. I would not recommend the use of Vitamin E to a newly healing surgical incision. Discuss this in more detail with your plastic surgeon.

William Bruno, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 239 reviews

Best scar therapy is to leave it alone.

All of the concoctions you mentioned have no effect on the outcome of the scar. The best thing is to make sure that there is no irritation and let mother nature take care of the healing.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Scar Treatment?


Most of the claims about scar creams, vitamin scar treatments, and "magic scar formulas" are scientifically unsubstantiated and have no validity. Currently silicone sheeting is the most effective product for scar management. Depending on the anatomical area, sheeting is not always easy to use. In that case, bioCorneum®+, a silicone gel with SPF protection has been demonstrated to be effective.  It is important to realize that scarring is dependent on many factors including: the location of the scar, its cause, your general medical health, and your individual ability to heal, which has a significant hereditary component. I would suggest that you discuss your concerns with your plastic surgeon, who should be board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and ideally a member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS).   


Robert Singer, MD  FACS  

La Jolla, California


Robert Singer, MD
La Jolla Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Scar management after plastic surgery

I have tried almost everything out there on patients over the past 20 years and in my experience I think that a relatively new product called Scar Recovery Gel is the most effective product in minimizing the appearance of scars. It is available without a prescription but usually only available through a physicians office. I will usually recommend it for all patients and have them begin applying it to a new healing scar within a week of surgery. Consult with your plastic surgeon regarding specific instructions for your particular case.

M. Dean Vistnes, MD
Bay Area Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Post op scar therapies

Thank you for your question.  Each plastic surgeon has their own preferred way of handling scar aftercare.  I am assuming you have already had surgery and wondering how to treat the scar postop.  In my office we like to use paper tape on the scar for 3 months.  I put it on at the end of surgery, we remove it at the 2 week postop visit and the patient starts using it immediately.  The pressure from the tape helps keep the scar flat.  For patients who are allergic to the tape adhesive or simply do not want to wear the tape, we use a silicone based product such as Biocorneum or NewGel which comes as a sheet of silicone or a gel.  I do not recommend Vitamin E.  Do not start any topical treatments until your plastic surgeon advises you the scar has healed enough to start topical treatments.  Hope this helps.  Tracy M. Pfeifer, MD, MS

Tracy Pfeifer, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Scar therapy.

Definitely ask your plastic surgeon when this treatment can be begun.  I generally say one month post-op.  I recommend silicone gel sheeting which is widely available online.  Best of luck.

Scar treatment after surgery

It is not known for sure if the many creams  and gels out there really work for scars after surgery.  I don't think it makes a difference for facial scars because they almost always heal beautifully and the creams are unnecessary.  For body scars the most commonly used cream is called Mederma.  Again not sure how much it really works, but I often recommend it over vitamin E or cocoa butter.

Ronald J. Edelson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 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.