How Soon After Surgery Can I Start Scar Treatment?

I'm 17 days post op from. TT and BA. I Want to start using silicone sheeting I'm my.TT scar. How soon can I start? I did not have steri strips. My PS used stitches. I'm not doing anything with the scar except cleaning and putting ointment on it.

Doctor Answers 36

How Soon After Surgery Can I Start Scar Treatment?

I rarely recommend scar treatments to my patients.

There is little or no evidence that they work.

The various silicone products may slightly speed up scar maturation but I don't believe they are worth the time or expense in most cases.

They serve mainly to give people something to do while Mother Nature goes about her work. She takes at least a year and, depending on the skin type, two years or more to produce the final scar result.

The only exceptions would be in those patients who have a history of abnormal scarring, or in those where the scars are still thicker or redder than they should be for that stage of healing. In these cases modalities such as silicone sheeting or laser may be appropriate.


Vancouver Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 141 reviews

Scar Treatment after Surgery

I recommend to my patients to begin using some kind of scar treatment within 2 weeks after surgery. Some patients use silicone sheeting because this treatment has been shown to decrease keloids or raised scars. Scar creams such as Biocorneum and Mederma have also been shown to decrease the color and help to lighten the scar quicker than doing nothing.

Stanley Castor, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 119 reviews

Timing of silicone sheet after surgery

Thank you for your question. Breast incisions can be managed using a multimodal approach:
1) Scar massage - starting as soon as the surgical dressings come off and the incisions are sealed
2) Silicone sheets or scar gels for about six months to year as soon as the surgical tape/glue is off.
3) Embrace - a tension reducing dressing for the first 2 months
4) Fractionated lasers to help blend the scar into the background - done as a series, starting about 4 weeks after surgery and repeated every four weeks for six months.
5) Sunscreen to prevent the scars from darkening

The main role for silicone sheets is to keep the incisions hydrated during the remodelling phase of the scar maturation. This allows the underlying cells to work in a more optimized fashion. The brand is less important but compliance usually follows ease of use. Silicone usually has less skin irritation concerns with use compared to adhesives. They can also be re-used.

Young R. Cho, MD, PhD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Tummy tuck scar treatment options

all wounds go through several stages of healing. There is no benefit of apply any "scar treatments" until after scars start to contract which is about 4 weeks. until then it is best to keep the skin well hydrated and moisterized.

Sean Younai, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

How Soon After Surgery Can I Start Scar Treatment?

As soon as your wound is no longer having any drainage you may start using topical scar creams as well as silastic sheeting. Watch out for any signs of skin maceration that may be caused by excess moisture under the silastic. Good luck!

Mark Preston, MD
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Scar Treatment After Tummy Tuck

You should be able to start your scar therapy using silicone sheeting at this point (17 days post-op) since you have no steri-strips, but I agree that you should ask your surgeon about this.  I would allow my patients to begin scar therapy once the steri-strips come off on their own (I almost always will use steri-strips).

John Whitt, MD (retired)
Louisville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Timing of scar treatment after TT.

If I have a concern that a patient of mine may get an active, raised scar after TT or Breast augmentation, I will start using silicone sheeting early, at about 5-7 days, after surgery.  The wound only needs to be closed for the sheeting to be placed on.  There is little downside to this besides some minor skin irritation from increased moisture beneath the sheeting.

Jeffrey M. Darrow, MD
Boston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 102 reviews

How Soon After a Tummy Tuck Can I Start Scar Treatment?

For my patients at the 3 week post op appointment all dressings are removed and stay off. This is when I recommend to start a scar treament. I suggest that my patients apply micropore tape or a silicone gel/sheeting directly onto the incisions. An important thing to understand in the early stages is
the scar may appear very "pleated" with skin folds.  It generally takes up to 6 weeks for the scar line to smooth out, so basically do not be concerned with how the wound looks in the beginning.
I also ask my patients to start massaging the scar at the 3 week mark. Initially the scar typically has a deep lumpy feeling, this eventually settles but can take a few months. Keeping in mind it takes up to 12 months for a scar to fully mature, by this stage the scar is a fine white line.

Eddy Dona, MBBS, FRACS
Sydney Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

Silicone Sheeting usage following Tummy Tuck

Thank you for this great question! I provide Silicone Sheeting to all of my patients following a tummy tuck procedure with instructions to set this product aside until I inform them on how and when to start using this treatment. We are all naturally eager to start treating the scar immediately although it is imperative that the treatment is not too soon in order to assure the highest quality result is achieved. Realistically I typically do not have my patients start using this type of scar treatment until all of the glue is off and the incisions are completely closed; typically around 5-6 weeks post-operative. I suggest following up with your Board Certified Plastic Surgeon for treatment implimentation and directions as he/she may vary with their practice. I hope that you have found this information helpful and I wish you luck! 

Patrick Viscardi, MD
South Bend Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

#WhenToStareScarTreastment

Ask your plastic surgeon for specific advice, but in general I have my patients use scar treatments the day after sutures are removed. Regarding #SiliconeSheetingForScars and other options, here are some options to consider. Best Scar Management is important to minimize or completely hide from view, the telltale signs of your surgery—namely, scars. Both you and your surgeon want you to have the most minimal scarring possible. There are many possible causes for scars that are enlarged or not healing well. Unsightly scars are most commonly due to genetics, underlying medical conditions, or improper scar/wound care. The last part is very important and patients can make a noticeable difference in their scars’ appearance by following best scar management practices. Here are some simple tips.
Scar Management tips:
  1. Minimize tension on the scar. Steri-Strips and/or surgical tape are often placed in non-hair bearing areas at the time of surgery to minimize tension and keep pressure over the scar. This minimizes the stress that can pull the scar apart (dehiscence) creating a wound and delaying healing time, and can make the scar wider, or more “ropy”. In the first few weeks after surgery, I recommend the use of Embrace Scar Therapy which is an adherent silicone sheeting pre-stretched when applied so as to offload tension on the scar.
  2. Keep your incision site/scar clean to prevent infection. Follow your surgeon’s wound care instructions to the letter with out modification. Never apply different products then recommended without first discussing them with your surgeon. This is especially important during the first few weeks. If there are any signs of infection, contact your surgeon’s office right away and/or see your doctor or his nurse immediately. Typical signs of infection may include redness outside the immediate incision site, asymmetric swelling, and drainage, of pus, fever, chills, and “feeling sick”.
  3. Protect your scars from the sun. Staying out of the sun is the best advice. Minimal exposure to sunlight is prevents hyperpigmentation (permanently turning brown) and other problems that can make the scar more noticeable. Sunscreen, at least 30 SPF and an overlying make camouflage make up additionally protects the scar from the suns harmful rays. This advice is especially important the first year following your surgery.
  4. Use specific scar maturation products recommended by your surgeon. Patients seem to have their own opinions on this touting everything from Pure Vit E, Coco butter, to Aloe Vera, etc but most have minimal benefit other than keeping the scar hydrated. Although hydration is important there are better, scientifically studied products with greater efficacy. Most of the scientific articles written about this subject indicate that topical silicone gel or silicone sheets work the best. The best product available in my opinion is the Embrace Scar Therapy System by Neodyne BioSciences, Inc. available in many surgeons’ offices. Essentially this is an adherent silicone sheeting pre-stretched when applied so as to offload tension on the scar. For areas that are not applicable for this product (e.g. smaller areas or on the face), I prefer BioCorneum or Kelo-Cote products There are a lot of products to choose from, but silicone should be one of the key ingredients. Although Mederma, an onion extract derivative active ingredient rather than mainly silicone based may help, primarily silicone based products are better and many also contain other ingredients that may be synergistic (hydrocortisone or other steroid, Vitamin E, Sunscreen, etc).. If the reader has problems obtaining these they can call my office. Patient compliance is also critical – use often and according to directions or it will not work optimally. NEVER apply products without first discussing them with your surgeon.
  5. Monitor to make sure your scar is progressing optimally. Keep your scheduled follow-up appointments with your surgeon to verify that your scars are maturing as expected. Occasionally if indicated you may need a topical steroid preparation or even a series of injections (5-FU and/or Steroids) or laser treatments to treat or prevent scar hypertrophy or keloid formation (red raised scars), or other topical medicines to treat post inflammatory hyperpigmentation (brown scars) with prescription creams and possible laser treatments.

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 159 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.