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What Should I Use when I Massage Upper Eyelid Scars Scars?

Hi, I had upper eyelid surgery 3 weeks ago. My doctor told me to massage the scars twice a day with Tobradex ointment or vitamin E as he said that I had some irregularity in the stitches on one eyelid that should eventually flatten out. Which is the best stuff to massage the scars with? Can I use kelo-cote to massage the scars instead of vitamin E or Tobradex? Thanks.

Doctor Answers 7

Its not the type of ointment/cream that works

For the most part, it is the action of massaging the scar than can accelerate scar softening and evolution. The cream/ointment is recommended mostly to decrease the friction on skin so that the skin doesn't become overly inflamed and irritated.

Except for Silicone sheets or sprays, no other products have been shown to accelerate the scar flattening phenomenon. And Silicone products are not meant to be massaged in, but rather they are used as coating for the scar.

So to answer your question no cream or ointment is better than any other. However, to facilitate massaging around the eyes, the safest ointments to use are Ophthalmic Ointments. You can buy these over the counter. Sometimes a steroid cream [Tobradex or FML, for example] can help decrease swelling and redness if this is also an issue. You should be aware that longterm steroid cream use in or around the eye could potentially [though rarely] increase rate of cataract formation or increased eye pressure [leading to glaucoma]. You should not use steroid creams in or around the eye for more than 2 weeks without being closely followed by an Oculoplastic surgeon or Ophthalmologist.

Massage for 5 minutes two to three times a day is a good regimen, and you can do this for 3-6 months for scars. Again:  please do this only under the direction of your surgeon.

Seattle Oculoplastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

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What Should I Use when I Massage Upper Eyelid Scars Scars?

I think Kelocote is OK as long as it does not get into your eye, you can also use your eyelid moisturizer cream or squalene oil.

Julio Garcia, MD
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Scar massage doesn't work.

Don't massage your scar.  Massage releases histamine which increases inflammation and prolongs the remodeling process.  Topical agents don't work.  Don't waste your money. Best treatment for a remodeling scar: leave it alone.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Eyelid scar - try Avene Cicalfate

I always have my patients avoid Vitamin e. A great choice is the Avene Cicalfate cream which has zinc, sucralfate copper and avene spring water to promote healing. Very popular healing and moisturizing cream.A thick moisturizing cream with no fragrance should work also.

Definitely tobradex or nothing at all

The idea behind massaging the scars is to break-up the contracture and it works very well. In other parts of the body, kelocote or biocorneum is great but I don't feel comfortable with getting the silicone cream in the eye. Either use nothing and just massage with clean fingertips or use tobradex.

Jacob Freiman, MD, FACS
Miami Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 147 reviews

Tobradex ointment should be best for post blepharoplasty

Tobradex opthalmic ointment is the best ointment to not cause any irritation to the inside of the eyes. I have my patients use tobradex or another type of opthalmic ointment in the eyes post blepharoplasty for the first few days. This helps avoid any dry eye complications in the recovery phase. Vitamin E may cause irritation if it runs into the eyes. I remove my upper eyelid stitches five days post surgery and cut and loosen them a few days after the procedure. This helps to reduce any scar formation or tracking on the eyelids where the sutures were. Resulting in a fine line that heals rapidly with little to no visibility. Keep following your surgeons instructions and I wish you a quick recovery. Best regards!

Michael Elam, MD
Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 149 reviews

Massage techniques

I usually ask my patients to use an antibiotic cream on their incisions for the first 2 weeks of surgery.  After that, I ask them to massage the incisions firmy with clean fingers in small, circle-like motions.  I ask them to especially focus on the inner corners.  The ointment isn't really necessary at this point, but the massage helps break up deeper scar tissue that may try and form.  I don't recommend the Vitamin E oils near the eyes.


Good luck!

Jasmine Mohadjer, MD
Clearwater Oculoplastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

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.