Could the additional shearing forces applied by EMBRACE scar therapy cause blistering on an already tight, new scar? (Photo)

I asked my PS if I could considering using EMBRACE and he said that any additional shearing force applied to my already tight (recent LBL - and gorgeous I may add) scar could cause blistering ... He's experienced this with other products with a shearing force applied to them. I trust his opinion 100% and will go with that . His hesitance to EMBRACE is mainly due to its novelty, & lack of balanced feedback in what seems like carefully curated reviews of the product. Anyone care to chime-in?

Doctor Answers 5

Embrace therapy

I routinely recommend Embrace scar therapy for my patients because it improves scarring in most cases.  It has been proven that increased tension on a healing wound increases the risks of wound healing problems and poor scarring.  With body contouring surgery, the point of the operation is to tighten the skin as much as safely possible.  Therefore scarring is sometimes problematic with these cases.

Embrace therapy works to take the tension off the incision by placing it on the surrounding skin.  It also is made of silicone that has proven to be beneficial for poor scarring.  Some patients can get skin irritation or blistering in the areas surrounding the incision where the Embrace is attached to the skin.  I have found that this is the minority of cases. Most patients do very well with the treatment and don't have any blistering problems. Sometimes, when it does occur, the skin irritation occurs after many weeks and multiple treatments. Even if it is discontinued at this point it has still been beneficial.  

I would disagree with your surgeon's characterization that Embrace is a novelty.  It was designed by some talented physicians and researchers at Stanford University. It has not been around long enough for extensive clinical trials, however there is a recent peer reviewed study in the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Journal that demonstrated clinical improvement with scarring.  There have been no studies that demonstrated it does not work.

Embrace treatment requires that the patient make more frequent office visits and it adds to the cost of the procedure. Not all patients elect to undergo the treatment.  Some patients may heal very well without the treatment. Conversely, some patients may still have a less than optimal scar even with the Embrace therapy.  Overall however, I think it helps most patients.  When I have used it on only the central part of the incision, I can sometimes see a clear demarcation where the Embrace therapy was stopped. The scarring is worse in the nontreated areas.

I am happy that you're pleased with your results and have confidence in your surgeon. I would lastly tell you that there are very competent plastic surgeons who completely disagree with your surgeon's assessment of Embrace therapy. Best wishes to you!

Charlotte Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

EMBRACE works by transferring tension.

 The embrace scar management system works by taking the tension off of the scar. This is accomplished by placing tension on the tape on both sides of the incision. It is possible to use this scar management system after it is clear that the wound edges are healed. This is typically after there are no signs of scabbing or ischemia. Tissue with marginal blood supply could be made worse by this system.
Coordinate this with your plastic surgeon. 

Scar Creams

Hi, thank you for your question. Scars can be improved with topical treatments such as BioCorneum, Scar Guard , Scar Fade and Mederma. Redness can be improved with laser treatments and the scars can be kept narrow with products such as Embrace.On occasion, keloids or hypertrophic scars can develop and will need treatment including Kenalog, 5FU and laser. I would suggest following your plastic surgeon's advice. Best Wishes!

#scartreatment  #Embrace #blistering

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 110 reviews


I don't have any experience with this system but your scar looks pretty good overall for early post op.  Many of the scar regimen devices and creams etc have little science behind them and are heavily marketed. It is usually best to follow your surgeons advice 

David R. Alfonso, MD, FACS
Grand Rapids Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 54 reviews

Blisters rare.

Hello! I have used Embrace for over 2 years and feel that blisters are rare. Shearing forces could arise if the product is not placed correctly. That's why we place all our dressings in the office for body contouring patients. Great results and better scars is what I've noticed. Hope this helps! Dr. Aldo

Aldo Guerra, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 202 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.