When Should You Start to Use Mederma After Tummy Tuck Surgery?

i am 2 weeks post tummy tuck and was told to use mederma cream by a friend. how many days after the surgery should i use the cream?

Doctor Answers 11

Scar treatment after tummy tuck

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Generally, topical scar treatments can be started after the steristrips fall off and there is no crusting on the incisions. This is usually after a couple of weeks.

2 Weeks is Typical

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Mederma is one of a large number of topical agents that are currently available for treating scars. This agent is applied directly to the wound surface after the steristrips have been removed.In most cases treatment is initiated two weeks following surgery, but may be delayed when areas of crusting or breakdown are present.

Scar care after tummy tuck

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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
4.9 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

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When to start scar creams after surgery

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Hi there-

I am not a fan on Mederma, and prefer that my patients not use it...

There are other creams and gels (mostly silicone based) that I do think work well, with fewer risks.

As for timing, I prefer my patients not use these until the early phase of maturation has begun- which will vary with the type of surgery you had, the part of the body, and your individual healing characteristics.

Ask your surgeon what he/she prefers for you.

Scar Creams

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You always want to wait until the incisions are completely sealed and healing.  This is usually 1-2 weeks.  After that, it should be safe as long as your surgeon has given you the ok.  However, there is no real data to support the use of any of the scar creams, treatments, etc. that are advertised and sold.  They usually do not hurt anything, but whether they actually help and scar formation is very subjective.

Mederma is not worth it in my opinion

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I am not a fan nor an advocate of Mederma. I am not aware of any validated study which truly supports its use other than an obscure study from the E-council in Germany which suggested some improvement in scars from Allium Cepa the active incgredient in Mederma. Many adverse reactions have been reported from the inactive ingredients.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Using mederma after surgery

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My rule of thumb is to wait UNTIL the incision is fully healed, from 2 to 4 weeks. This is because healing is an individual process, most take 2 weeks for full closure of the incision while others can take longer.

From MIAMI Dr. B

Scar Reduction

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I do not suggest to my patients that they use Mederma. I am unaware of any scientific evidence of improvement of scars with the product that is not related to massaging the product into the scar. I usually recommend a product containing silicone and have my patients begin its use about 2-3 weeks post-op.

John Whitt, MD (retired)
Louisville Plastic Surgeon

Myderma Cream

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2 weeks after surgery is a good time to start the creams as long as it is okay with your surgeon.  I have my patients use Myderma or ScarGuard.  Either cream is good for the scar.  Also, daily application of tape over the incision can be good as it provides a slight bit of pressure on the incision and helps keep it flat.  I hope this is helpful.  Good luck. 

Mederma cream

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Mederma cream for scars may be used on scars. It should not be used on open wounds, draining wounds, inflamed wounds or infected wounds. It should be massaged in daily into the wound and it's effectiveness is not consistent. It is not clear if it works in controled studies or if just the act of massaging the wound helps minimize scars.

Steven Hacker, MD
West Palm Beach Dermatologic 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.