How Do You Prevent Scarring After Sutures Have Been Removed on the Face?

I recently had sutures on my face (below my brow bone and underneath my eye). The sutures were removed a week later. Right now, I think I have been taking the right preventative measures-leaving the area moist by applying Mederma at least 3-4 times a day? I also use sunscreen/sunblock of SPF110 when leaving the house. Is there anything else I should be doing? Given this my face, I am a little worried. Also, there is some redness the area. Anything to be worried about? Thank you!

Doctor Answers 3

Vbeam laser treatments and paper tape help reduce redness and improve scarring after suture removal

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When sutures are removed the scar is generally red and sometimes bumpy.  Treatment every 2 weeks with the Vbeam laser after suture removal has been proven to improve scarring and hasten the healing process.  Wearing flesh-colored paper tape over the areas 24 hours a day for the first 2 weeks is also very helpful in eliminating the redness and promoting a smooth scar.  Keeping air off the scar is, in general, very helpful so any occlusive cream or ointment will help it heal faster.  Mederma is not very effective on scars in my opinion.  There has never been a controlled study comparing Mederma to anything else or to placebo.  It's worthless.  Definitely wear sunscreen over the scars.

Nashville Dermatologic Surgeon

Scar prevention

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Once the skin is penetrated/injured, a scar is permanent.  I usually have patients keep it taped for 6 weeks or longer and somtimnes use topicals, always recommend sunblock, and soemtimes suggest silicone sheeting.  Lasers to improve the color are not on the top of my list.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Unfortunately you are going to have a scar regardless

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Anytime the skin is cut, scarring resutls.  So the answer to your question directly is that you can't per se prevent scarring after sutures have been removed.  You can take some steps to ensure that the scar heals in the best way possible.  Keeping the area moist helps, but you really don't need to do this for more than a week after the suture removal.  Save your money on the Mederma, numerous studies have shown that it does not work.  The sunblock is a great idea, as this will help prevent post surgical hyperpigmentation (darker skin).  Your redness should gradually fade after the surgery.  Sometimes if there is an exuberant redness response, I will use the pulsed dye laser to help with the redness and scarring.

Brent Spencer, MD
Frisco Dermatologic Surgeon

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