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What is the best way to help scars heal?

If you recently had surgery, your healing scars may appear slightly raised, and red. Also, early after surgery, there may be areas of scabbing on the incisions. Once you are able to remove your dressings, it is very helpful to keep a thin layer of Bacitracin or Aquaphor ointment on the scars as they heal. If you have to wear clothing over the area that is scarred, you can apply the ointment twice daily, cover it with a dressing, and then put your clothes on. If you have open wounds or problems with healing, you will need to follow the careful instructions of your plastic surgeon.

After the early phase of healing has passed, you can continue to be active in helping to improve your scars. Scar healing is a dynamic process that continues for months or years. Remember to protect the scars on your body from sun damage. Scar massage can be very effective at softening your scars over time. Massage of your scars twice daily should be done with a scar softening cream or ointment such as Mederma or Scarfade. Some plastic surgeons will give you silicone sheeting to put on your scars as they heal. This is also available at many drug stores or online. You should consult with your surgeon to see if silicone sheeting is right for you.

Most scars will heal and fade over time. In the case of unfavorable scar healing, there are still options for improving scar appearance. These options should be reviewed with your plastic surgeon because they depend on what the scar problem is. Raised or keloid scars may improve with local steroid injections while widened or irregular scars may benefit from surgical revision. Let your plastic surgeon guide you as to what is best for your scars.

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