Vaseline on Cleft Lip Revision Scar

I want to know if it is safe to use vaseline to keep my scar moist. It has been a month since I had cleft lip revision. Is it okay to use vaseline on the young scar for two weeks or longer? I am going to see my surgeon in two weeks for scar therapy.

Doctor Answers 4

Topical Treatment for Lip Scars

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Use of a petroluem based products topically can be used initially and can be helpful in minimizing the collection of crusting on an incision.  I think since you are one month post operatively I find that massaging the scar 5-6 times per day ten minutes or however much you can will be helpful.  Also topical compression with Cordan tape at night time while sleeping can provide some benefit as well.

Saint Paul Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Scar massage works best

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I wouldn't worry about putting anything on the scar one month after surgery.  If your scar is getting red and raised, you should consider massaging it.  I give many patients Cordran tape to put on their scar.  Your plastic surgeon should make those ultimate decisions.

Jennifer Keagle, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon

Clift Lip Revision Scar

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Thank you for the question.

Although vaseline is fine to use on a scar, assuming the scar is healed and stable, any moisturizer with a sunblock in it would be ideal. I would recommend applying a scar gel such as Kelo cote daily for several months. This will help optimize the results. Additionally, always use a good sunblock to minimize sun exposure and possible darkening of the scar.

Best of luck,

Glenn Vallecillos, M.D., F.A.C.S. 

Glenn Vallecillos, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Vaseline is not a good scar moisturizer.

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There's nothing inherently wrong with Vaseline (I use it for all of my laser resurfacing patients before their skin is healed to help keep normal tissues fluids from drying out and forming a scab) on your scar, but your scar is dry because it has no normal sweat or lubrication glands, and must be moisturized from adjacent skin or from what you put on it. Vaseline is petroleum jelly, and will not evaporate or be absorbed, so it sure seems to work. But it's greasy and messy and stays on the surface. Consider a slightly thinner oil such as Vitamin E oil (available in a jar or in Vitamin E capsules), and gently massage the scar with the oil. This helps the scar soften, the lymphatics to grow in the healing tissue, and any local swelling to diminish, while absorbing into the tissue and moisurizing the scar.

Any commercial skin lotion is also a suitable alternative or additive, but must be applied frequently until the scar heals, matures, and becomes lubricated from its neighboring skin. Consider Eucerin, Vaseline Intensive Care, Nutradern, Lubriderm, etc. Whatever is cheapest and does not irritate your skin or your nose (many lotions have scent added) is the best.

Also, remember to keep the scar out of the sun, as ultraviolet can permanently darken a maturing scar. A Chap stick or lip balm with sunscreen added (highest SPF the best) is another easy-to-use moisturizer, but also one of the greasier ones (see Vaseline above!).

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 263 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.