Scar Therapy

There is a point in recovery where the little scabs on the incisions have fallen off, the newly healed scar line has healed revealing fresh bright pink skin and all sutures/dressings have finally been removed. It is at this point when we can pivot our thinking towards scar therapy. 

Scarring after a mastectomy is inevitable, however there are steps to be taken that can minimize the appearance of scars and ensure they heal properly. While these steps may accelerate the point in which a scar reaches its “mature” phase (the bright pink color has faded and it blends in with the surrounding skin), there is no substitute for time. Being patient and allowing yourself grace while the scar fades is essential. Scars can take 1-2 years to reach maturity. 

Aside from keeping the scars clean and protected from ANY sun exposure (UV rays can considerably darken the pigment in scars), it is also important to add in two easy interventions to help your scar along. 

  1. Massage the scars. Massaging scars can help to break down the scar tissue that has accumulated below the surface of the skin. By breaking down this tissue the scar line will have a flatter and more smooth appearance. Gently massage the scar using circular motions for a few minutes several times per day. This process will take weeks to months of diligent commitment, but the results will show with time.

  2. Use a scar treatment. There are A LOT of opinions when it comes to which topical application is best for treating scars. Some physicians swear by expensive compounds while others believe in a “less is more” approach. The truth is, the holy grail for scar therapy is yet to be discovered. When it is discovered- it will be a multi-billion dollar drug. But until that time there are a lot of very good options on the market. Below is a list of options patients in my clinic have used over the years. Each of these options offer hydration and protection of the scar, both of which are important components in scar therapy. 

Remember: If one option worked better than another, everyone would be using it ;)

Vaseline -$

Aquaphor -$

Vitamin E oil -$$

Bio oil -$$

Cocoa Butter -$$

Scar Away -$$

Mederma -$$

Biocorneum Scar Gel $$$

Silicone Gel Sheets $$$

SkinCeuticals Advanced Scar Control $$$$

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