Tummy Tuck Scar 3 Months Post Op. Will Hydrocortisone Help Reduce the Darkness/Puffiness of My Scar?

My tt scar and belly are dark, will Hydrocortisone 2.5% ointment help reduce the darkness or puffiness on my scar or belly?

Doctor Answers 10

Scars from Tummy Tuck

Thick scars or hypertrophic scars are helped with cortisone, but you need a prescription strength Steroid. The scar is usually red and elevated. If it is dark, aside then figuring out why they are dark, a trial of bleaching cream may be of value. Remember not to expose your scars to the sun as long as they are red.

Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Dark scar three months after TT

Three months is still rather early in terms of scar maturation. Even untreated, chances are the scar will improve over the course of the first year after surgery.

Steroids are often used for hypertrophic, or thickened scars. Better for hyperpigmented (dark) scars is 4% hydroquinone, which your surgeon can prescribe if he or she feels it is warranted. ?Photo? 


Thanks, best wishes

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Scar care after tummy tuck

Thank you for your post. In tummy tuck and other lift/tightening surgeries, tension is the enemy. The scar is healing gradually over 12 weeks or so, and until it is strong, it is the weakest link. As there is a great deal of tension in tummy tucks, body lifts, breast lifts, etc., the scar is at high risk of 'stretching' or widening. Silicone sheeting, although having the ability to make a scar flat, does nothing to prevent stretching of the scar. Creams or steroids or lasers also do not have the ability to prevent stretching of the scar. Those are used if scar is thick or dark, but not to reduce the wideness of the scar, which is the main problem. Massage also does not help keep the scar thin, and can actually worsen the scar in the first 12 weeks because you are actually adding tension to the scar. Massage is for softening a hard or thick scar, but if used early, will hasten the scar widening. Only tension reduction has the ability to keep the scar as thin as possible. You may notice in a lot of tummy tuck scars that the center portion of the scar is the widest with the sides toward the hips being the thinnest. This is because the maximum tension is at the center, and least amount on the sides. Embrace removes a lot of the tension by putting more tension on the skin on either side of the incision and drawing the incision together. It is expensive though at about $100 per week for 12 weeks. When patients do not want to spend the money for embrace, I tape the incision trying to remove as much tension as possible for 12 weeks and recommend no stretching back and to sit most of the time, keeping tension off the scar.
Best wishes,
Pablo Prichard, MD

Pablo Prichard, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Hydrocortisone/Kenalog can help reduce the visibility of scars in some patients

Yes, these treatments can help although at this stage your scars are still forming and transforming and they take about a year to fully mature.  In that time they may get better without any treatment at all

Martin Jugenburg, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 458 reviews

Tummy tuck scar 3 months Post op. Hrydrocortisone will it help?

Hydrocortisone is not the answer to a better scar.  Unnatural maturation of the scar is the key.  Due to lymphatic systems and other blood vessels have to go and drain into the venous and lymphatic left over.  Time will help and time will tell.

John S. Poser, MD
Gainesville Plastic Surgeon
3.8 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Reducing Size and Color of Scars

Hydrocortisone will not help reduce the puffiness and darkness of your scar. the best and most effective treatment for scars is a silicone sheet or silicone based topical cream such as BioCorneum, which is what I recommend for my patients.

Scott Loessin, MD
Key West Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 104 reviews

Scar management

You are just 3 months postop.   There are several things you can do to help with your scarring/healing.   Please talk to your PS about scar massage therapy.  In addition, silicone gel sheets have been show to help.   If you are manifesting with a thick scar, steroid injections may be needed.  Please followup with your PS to get on a scar management program.  Best of luck!

Dr. Basu

Houston, TX

C. Bob Basu, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 210 reviews

Laser will help dark tummy tuck scar.


I would not use steroid creams.  Talk to your plastic surgeon, but laser treatments can be very helpful.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Dark & Puffy Scar 3 Months Post Tummy Tuck



Thank you for your inquiry.

Without photographs it is hard to assess your scar and provide you with accurate answers.

Nonetheless, at 3 months post surgery your scar is not 100% healed but more maturing.

If your scar were to be hyperthophic then corticosteroids could help if necessary.

The darkness of your scar could be treated with some bleaching if it fits your condition after your final recovery is established.

I encourage you to be a little more patient as scars get better with time. Do not expose the scar to the sun as it will get darker if not completely healed.

Best of luck to you.

Dr. Sajjadian

Ali Sajjadian, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 195 reviews

Post TT scar

Hi, you are still in the golden period where you can help this scar to subside and shrink. And to have a better looking scar. First, you need to mositurise the scar with a silicon gel ( or any other similar product) or keep the silicon sheath over the wound and do a frequent massage and deep pressure while masssaging. You can have the prescription of these silicon gel or sheath from your doctor. The cortisone injection can be used, if the scars are too bad and painful. Having said that, you need to be assissed and examined properly by your surgeon. Some lasers can help to reduce the those scars as well. At the end , you problem is treatable, just need to do it under medical supervision and early.

Fatema S. Alsubhi, MD
UAE Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 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.