Scar Treatment

UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA

DEPARTMENT OF OTOLARYNGOLOGY-HEAD & NECK SURGERY

SCAR TREATMENT INSTRUCTIONS

· After using Bacitracin for the first week, switch to using Vaseline for one further week. You will not need to clean the incision as frequently the second week.
· At the two week mark after your surgery, you may begin using makeup if need be.
· At the two week mark after your surgery, you should begin applying sunscreen (broad spectrum, at least SPF 30) to your scar each morning. Sun avoidance is also important for the first year as excess sun exposure can cause your scar to darken.
· At the two week mark after your surgery, you may begin using silicone therapy on your scar in an attempt to improve its ultimate appearance.
· Silicone has been shown to improve a scar’s appearance when used for 2-3 months. It can be applied to a scar in one of two ways; gel or sheeting.
· Silicone sheeting is slightly more effective than silicone gel, but can be unsightly and difficult to apply to contoured or mobile surfaces such as the nose or lip. One option for silicone sheeting is Scar Away, available over the counter at CVS.
· Silicone gel is applied much in the same way as the Vaseline was to your incision. It does not absorb into the skin and therefore does not need to be applied as frequently (usually twice a day). There are many companies that make silicone gel, and all should work equally well. One caveat is to use pure silicone gel, without additives (e.g. onion skin extract). Some gels that our patients have used with success include Dermatix Ultra and Biocorneum.  Biocorneum has the added benefit of an incorporated sunscreen.   If your scar is on an area of heavy pores (e.g. The lower half of your nose), silicone gel can block the pores and cause buildup.  In this case we recommend Regenacyn scar gel.
· Remember that your scar will take six months to mature, and will go through an inflammatory phase before it begins to remodel. This means that it will develop redness around the incision, and will also feel firm to the touch. These will decrease as you near the six month mark.
· Occasionally, a scar will require a steroid injection to help soften the scar, dermabrasion to help the scar blend in, or even a minor revision surgery. Your surgeon will discuss these options with you if needed during the healing process.
· Remember, wound healing takes time and your body does amazing things. Be patient!

* Drs Park and Christophel have no financial or professional interest in any of the products mentioned above.