Is There a Skin Prep Recommended Prior to Reduction Surgery to Help Minimize Scaring? A Topical/vitamin/homeopathic Remedy?

Doctor Answers 4

I have never heard of a skin prep that improves scarring.

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Hi Lil'scrap.  I have never heard of a skin prep that will improve scarring.  The appearance of your scars will be determined by how your surgeon closes your incisions, how well you follow your postoperative instructions, and how your body heals. The final soft, thin, flat scar may take up to a year or longer of patience. It is easy to make scars worse, but hard to make them better. Sun avoidance is important, as is proper nutrition and a healthy lifestyle. While there are many products on the market which claim to reduce scarring, in my opinion, it is difficult to identify one that is clearly superior.  Many patients ask about vitamin E and cocoa butter.  These are inexpensive, and will not make anything worse.  Whether or not they make a difference is hard to say.  Few of my patients have had much luck with mederma or silicone sheeting.   These products may be expensive.  In my opinion, things that sound too good to be true usually are, so be careful about products that make extravagant claims about scar improvement.  My advice is to ask your doctor.


Richmond Plastic Surgeon

Pre op skin prep

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To my knowledge there have never been any studies done on pre op skin preps or conditioning.I will have patients use anti bacterial soap pre op to lessen the chance of infection.

Robert Brueck, MD
Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 69 reviews

Skin prep to improved scars

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Thank you for your question.  There are several things to consider.  If a patient is prone to hyperpigmentation, you can start using hydroquinione prior to the surgery and continue it afterwards to help reduce hyperpigmentation.  Patients can also use extra virgin olive oil or Bio-oil to massage into the skin preoperatively.  This can help make the skin more supple which may in turn help the scars.  Patients are also advised to take Vitamin C which is necessary for collagen formation and thus helps in the healing process.  The surgeon will also take steps to produce a good quality scar such as layered closure and I prefer Quill sutures which in my opinion give a very good quality scar.  Postoperatively my patients use paper tape on the scars, which helps to keep the scar flat.  There are some things which should be avoided pre-operatively, for example you should not be on Accutane.  Your plastic surgeon will discuss his/her protocol with you as different surgeons may use different methods.  Hope this helps.  Tracy Pfeifer, MD, MS

Tracy Pfeifer, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 29 reviews


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I think most of the measures to improve scars involve modifying the scarring process postoperatively. I do not know of any oral or topical regimen that will favorably alter the wound healing process preoperatively. I am sure there many "cocktails" out there that claim to help. Would make sure you avoid all of the medications and over the counter herbal medications and vitamin that may have an adverse effect on post op bleeding. Arnica may help bruising and swelling post op but that won't necessarily alter the scar quality.

Glenn Lyle, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon

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