When Using Silicone Sheeting for Scarring, Does One Apply Sunblock to the Scar First?

Based on the MD responses to questions about non-surgial scar treatment, it seems that there is some consensus that silicone sheeting and sunblock are reccomended. Is it best to apply sunblock to the scar and then put on the silicone sheeting? Or would the presence of sunblock on the skin interfere with the mechanism of action of the silicone? If so, could you apply sunblock to the outside surface of the silicone sheeting?

Doctor Answers 4

Silicone and sunblock combination best for healing scars

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Silicone gels or sheeting are recommended for the first 2 months in the life of a healing scar. Silicone is the only topical product that has shown a clear advantage in scientific studies to improve the ultimate appearance of a healing scar.

Likewise, sunscreen is recommended to help prevent darkening (hyperpigmentation) of the scar. These products can be messy when applied separately. I recommend a combination product, such as Biocorneum Plus, which has the silicone plus an spf 30 sunscreen. This product can be found online or in physician's offices.

Baton Rouge Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Scar Removal

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Apply the sunblock first, let it absorb, the use the silicone.  This should be good. Thank you for your question and good luck with everything.

Vivek Bansal, MD
Danville Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

To help thick red scars: silicone gel sheet covered with bandaid or zinc oxide paste

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It can be difficult to figure out what to do for a thick red surgical scar with all the conflicting advice out there, plus the many "scar creams" on the market that have little double-blind, placebo-controlled evidence (the best quality evidence). It's important when being bombarded with scar cream commercials to remember that scars improve on their own over time, regardless of treatment, if they are not "true keloid" scars, which are tumorous tissue that grows in lumps beyond the original injury site--NOT hypertrophic scars which are normal scar tissue that is thickened but stays put where the original injury was.

Many people, including some surgeons and doctors, call everything thick a keloid. It's important to differentiate. Keloids need intervention by a doctor. Hypertrophic, thick scars may flatten by themselves over time (but will likely spread no matter what) but they can also be helped with injection of a cortisone, or by the application of silicone gel sheets. No matter what, keeping them out of the sun is important. This can be accomplished with sunscreen if there is no gel sheet. If there is, best to cover the gel sheet with something opaque like a bandaid or clothing.

Jessica J. Krant, MD, MPH
New York Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

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When Using Silicone Sheeting for Scarring, Does One Apply Sunblock to the Scar First?

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The sun block should be applied first if the silicone sheet is not opaque. There may be some interferance with silicone sheet sticking to the skin in which case an opaque tape can be applied on top.

Mohsen Tavoussi, MD, DO
Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon

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.