The ABC’s of Vitamins in Plastic Surgery

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Many of my patients at Yager Esthetics are very into vitamins and supplements. In Spanish culture, they are a part of life since Rico Perez popularized them on television. What many people do not know is which ones are important for what reasons, and which to avoid before surgery.

Vitamin A is the heart of retin-A, a great product for skin rejuvenation. It must be avoided before skin care treatments such as peels, laser, and microdermabrasion. It also makes you more sensitive to the sun. The B vitamins are great for overall health and energy.

They can help in pregnancy, and for general well being. I love vitamin C. It is essential for wound healing, and I recommend that my patients take extra in the weeks leading up to surgery. It is also an antioxidant, and I have several skin care products that feature it, such as Obagi C, and Skinmedica. It is hard to take too much. Vitamin D is becoming more well understood for its protective effects on the heart. Hispanic skin is generally darker, and so the sun needed to absorb it does not penetrate as easily, and it is especially important to check your levels and supplement as needed.

Vitamin E is very popular, both as a cream and as a pill. It can sometimes irritate new scars, so I do not recommend it early after surgery for the scar. I also tell patients to AVOID it 2 weeks prior to surgery, as it can lead to more bruising due to its effects on circulation. A little known vitamin is K. It is used for clotting, and can be helpful for redness of incisions, and small spider veins.

In patients with easy bruising, it is important to consider adding this step. So, know your vitamins and why they are important. They are medications, so tell your doctor if you take any supplement or vitamin other than a normal multivitamin capsule.
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New York Plastic Surgeon