Tummy tuck Revision to get a lighter scar, options?
Doctor Answers 3
How to prevent hyperpigmented scar after tummy tuck
In order to prevent a hyperpigmented scar, there are a few things that I do. First, I have the patient use a 4% hydroquijonone cream 2x per day on the skin where the scar will be. This cream is restarted about 2 weeks after surgery. I also use Quill sutures, which takes more tension off of the skin closure compared to a smooth suture, which I believe helps. Additionally, 2-3 weeks after surgery I start injecting the scar with a mixture of 5FU and Kenalo; this helps tremendously. Typically I do use papertape to help flatten the scar but this does not address the hyperpigmentation. The injection makes a big difference. Hope this helps.
Tracy Pfeifer, MD, MS
Will a Scar Revision Lighten a Dark Scar?
Revising a scar will not necessarily lighten a scar. Have you tried bleaching creams on the scar? The scar could hyperpigment again if revised. Compounding pharmacies often make bleaching creams stronger than the standard 4%. Fraxel restore which is a nonablative laser may also help. Have an evaluation with a plastic surgeon who is accustomed to treating hyperpigmented (dark scars) to obtain the best results. Taping a scar does not help decrease the hyperpigmentation.
Dark abdominoplasty scar
Dark scars after surgery are typical for patients with type 4-6 skin (darker skin types). Even flat scars will be more visible if pigmented. Any attempt of surgical revision will create similar scar. However, considering that you are still in process of scar maturation you may expect scar to continue improving within next 5-6 months. Consultation with a plastic surgeon with experience in laser treatment of surgical scars may be beneficial. We had very good response using 15/40 Erbium laser for similar scars. Good luck.
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