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Tips for optimal scar healing

Dr. Freiman

Plastic and reconstructive surgeon Jacob J. Freiman, M.D., offers these tips for optimal scar healing:

Preop

Surgeons should tell patients not to smoke, as nicotine knocks oxygen off of hemoglobin, allowing bacteria to win over one’s healing cells. Other patient education points: Don’t go in the sun, avoid tanning salons and use moisturizer.

Postop

Tell patients to do all those things, and remove sutures within 10 days. Tell patients not to put tension on their wounds. Recommend Arnica.

And two weeks post-op, start scar therapy with either silicone tape or a silicone-based cream.

“In my experience any… scar cream other than one that contains silicone doesn't work. Don't use anything else on wound (i.e. vitamins or oils), as they will make the scar worse,” Dr. Freiman says. 

Related: Scar wars: Linear vs geometric incisions

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