I just had surgery four weeks ago and I can now start applying products to my scar. What do you recommend that works the best for fading a scar? Do the OTC products really work? I've used Mederma and Bio Oil on a neck scar from cervical fusion and it didn't make it disappear into a nice faded white line. I can't tell that it worked. Do you recommend laser treatment? If so which kind of Laser and at what week would you start the process?
What is the Best Way to Get Rid of a Tummy Tuck Scar?
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Doctor Answers 9
What is the Best Way to Get Rid of a #TummyTuck Scar? ANS:
I currently recommend silicone strips, such as Biodermis, as a pack of five, with each one being applied for almost 2 weeks...Then I have patients go to Scar Guard, which is a silicone gel and have them massage with that....Sun protection for sure and then give it close to a year...But scars are never invisible, just less visible!
Tummy Tuck Scar Treatment Options
The first concept is that there is no such thing as eliminating a tummy tuck scar. You will always have one, it is only how much fading will occur. The use of topical products will have minimal impact on the scar's appearance even though they are more convenient to use. Taping or silicone sheeting the scars up to three months after surgery is the more effective approach along with time.
How to treat surgical scars
That's a great question. There are a lot of different products and opinions regarding scar treatment. In most my patients I recommend taping for 3 months. It's the easiest and cheapest thing to do that really works. Other options are Mederma, and different silicone preparations. Check with your surgeon about what he/she recommends.
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Resolving scars after tummy tuck
Laser has not been helpful though we do use products such as Mederma, and some will benefit from silicone sheeting to help the scar resolve. The quality of the scar is often determined by heredity, skin type, and tension, so one solution will not fit all. Sun avoidance is a must.
Tummy tuck scar
Scars fade with time but never go away
Scars never disappear and can not be taken away with any means. Tincture of time makes them fade over 12-18 months and any product that you use meanwhile gets credit for what body would have done anyway.
Lasers for scars is simply waste of time and money.
Best Scar Management is important to minimize or completely hide from view, the tell tale signs of surgery – namely, scars. Both you and your surgeon want you to have the most minimal scarring possible from your surgery. Patients with scars that are enlarged or not healing well after surgery can be from many causes. Unsightly scars are most commonly due to genetics, underlying medical conditions or improper scar/wound care. The last part is very important and patients can make a noticeable difference in their scars’ appearance by following best scar management practices. Here are some simple tips.
Scar Management tips:
1- Minimize tension on the scar – Steri Strips and/or surgical tape are often placed in non-hair bearing areas to minimize tension and keep pressure over the scar. This minimizes the stress that can pull the scar apart (dehiscence) creating a wound and delaying healing time, and can make the scar wider, or more “ropy”.
2– Keep your incision site/scar clean to prevent infection. Follow your surgeon’s wound care instructions to the letter with out modification. NEVER apply different products then recommended without first discussing them with your surgeon. This is especially important during the first few weeks. If there are any signs of infection contact your surgeon’s office immediately and/or see your doctor or his nurse immediately. Typical signs of infection may include redness outside the immediate incision site, asymmetric swelling, and drainage, of pus, fever, chills, and “feeling sick”
3. –Protect your scars from the sun - staying out of the sun is the best advice. Minimal exposure to sunlight is prevents hyperpigmentation (permanently turning brown) and other problems that can make the scar more noticeable. Sunscreen, at least 30 SPF and an overlying make camouflage make up additionally protects the scar from the suns harmful rays. This advice is especially important the first year following your surgery.
4. – Use specific scar maturation products recommended by your surgeon. Patients seem to have their own opinions on this touting everything from Pure Vit E, Coco butter, to Aloe Vera, etc but most have minimal benefit other than keeping the scar hydrated. Although hydration is important there are better, scientifically studied products with greater efficacy. Most of the scientific articles written about this subject indicate that topical silicone gel or silicone sheets work the best. There are a lot of products to choose from, but silicone should be one of the key ingredients. Although Mederma, an onion extract derivative active ingredient rather than mainly silicone based may help, primarily silicone based products are better and many also contain other ingredients that may be synergistic (hydrocortisone or other steroid, Vitamin E, Sunscreen,etc). At the present time I prefer BioCorneum or Kelo-Cote products and if the reader has problems obtaining these they can call my office. Patient compliance is also critical – use often and according to directions or it will not work optimally. NEVER apply products without first discussing them with your surgeon.
5. – Monitor to make sure your scar is progressing optimally. Keep your scheduled follow-up appointments with your surgeon to verify that your scars are maturing as expected. Occasionally if indicated you may need a topical steroid preparation or even a series of injections (5-FU and/or Steroids) or laser treatments to treat or prevent scar hypertrophy or keloid formation (red raised scars), or other topical medicines to treat post inflammatory hyperpigmentation (brown scars) with prescription creams and possible laser treatments.
Scar care after tummy tuck
Pablo Prichard, MD
In my experience, I have found that oils and products like Mederma do not help improve the appearance of scars. I recommend a silicone gel sheeting. This is the only product that I have found that is effective. I tell my patients to start using this about a month after surgery. You apply the sheeting in a similar way to a band aide and wear it for a period of at least 6 months.
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.