Choosing the Right Cream for Scar Management After Surgery

by Ella

Surgery is a common medical intervention used to treat various health conditions, ranging from minor procedures to major operations. While surgical procedures aim to improve health outcomes and quality of life, scarring is an inevitable consequence of tissue healing. Fortunately, advancements in scar management techniques, including the use of topical creams, offer patients options to minimize the appearance of scars and promote optimal wound healing. In this article, we delve into the world of scar management after surgery, discussing the importance of choosing the right cream and exploring effective topical treatments for post-surgical scarring.


Understanding Post-Surgical Scarring

Scarring is a natural part of the body’s healing process following surgery or injury. When the skin is wounded, the body initiates a complex series of biological processes to repair the damaged tissue. During this process, collagen, a structural protein in the skin, is produced to rebuild the injured area. However, the quality and quantity of collagen production can vary, leading to the formation of different types of scars.


Common types of scars that may occur after surgery include:


Hypertrophic scars: These scars are raised and may appear red or pink. They develop when there is an overproduction of collagen during the healing process and typically remain within the boundaries of the original wound.


Keloid scars: Keloids are thick, raised scars that extend beyond the boundaries of the original wound. They result from an overgrowth of scar tissue and can be itchy, painful, and cosmetically bothersome.

Atrophic scars: Atrophic scars are characterized by a loss of tissue, resulting in a depression or indentation in the skin. They may occur after procedures such as skin grafting or acne surgery.

Surgical incision scars: These scars form along the site of a surgical incision and vary in appearance depending on factors such as wound closure technique, tension on the wound, and individual healing characteristics.

Choosing the Right Cream for Scar Management

Topical creams play a crucial role in scar management by providing hydration, promoting collagen remodeling, and reducing inflammation. When selecting a cream for scar management after surgery, several factors should be considered:

Ingredients: Look for creams containing ingredients known for their beneficial effects on scar healing, such as:

Silicone: Silicone-based creams and gels are widely used in scar management due to their ability to hydrate the skin, improve elasticity, and flatten raised scars.

Vitamin E: Vitamin E is an antioxidant that may help promote wound healing and reduce scar formation, although evidence of its effectiveness is mixed.

Allantoin: Allantoin has moisturizing and soothing properties and may aid in the healing of scars by promoting cell regeneration.

Onion extract: Onion extract has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties and may help reduce scar redness and thickness.

Hydrocortisone: Topical corticosteroids such as hydrocortisone can help reduce inflammation and itching associated with scar formation.

Formulation: Scar creams are available in various formulations, including gels, ointments, and lotions. Consider your skin type and preferences when selecting a formulation. Gels are often preferred for their lightweight, non-greasy texture, while ointments provide greater occlusion and hydration.

Safety and Compatibility: Ensure that the cream you choose is safe for use on post-surgical wounds and compatible with any other medications or treatments you may be using. Consult with your healthcare provider or surgeon before starting any new scar management regimen.

Effective Topical Treatments for Post-Surgical Scarring

Numerous topical treatments have been studied for their effectiveness in managing post-surgical scars. While individual responses may vary, several products have shown promise in clinical trials and are commonly recommended by healthcare providers:

Silicone-based creams and gels: Silicone has long been considered the gold standard in scar management due to its ability to improve scar texture, color, and overall appearance. Silicone-based creams and gels form a protective barrier over the skin, locking in moisture and creating an optimal environment for scar healing. These products are available over the counter and in prescription-strength formulations.

Onion extract-containing creams: Creams containing onion extract, such as Mederma®, have gained popularity for their purported ability to reduce scar redness, thickness, and discomfort. Onion extract is believed to exert its effects through its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

Vitamin E creams: While the evidence supporting the use of vitamin E for scar management is mixed, some individuals may benefit from using vitamin E-containing creams or oils to moisturize and nourish the skin. However, caution should be exercised, as vitamin E can cause contact dermatitis in some individuals and may not be suitable for use on fresh surgical wounds.

Hydrocortisone creams: Topical corticosteroids such as hydrocortisone may be prescribed to reduce inflammation and itching associated with scar formation, particularly in hypertrophic or keloid scars. These creams should be used under the guidance of a healthcare provider and for short durations to minimize the risk of side effects.

Scar massage oils: Massaging the scar with oils such as rosehip seed oil, lavender oil, or coconut oil may help improve scar texture and flexibility by increasing blood flow and collagen remodeling. However, more research is needed to determine the efficacy of scar massage in scar management.

In addition to topical treatments, other scar management modalities may be recommended depending on the type and severity of the scar, including:

Silicone gel sheeting: Silicone gel sheets provide continuous contact with the scar and are thought to enhance hydration, reduce collagen production, and improve scar texture and appearance.

Pressure therapy: Applying pressure to the scar using specially designed garments or dressings may help flatten hypertrophic and keloid scars by inhibiting collagen synthesis and promoting collagen breakdown.

Laser therapy: Laser treatments such as pulsed dye laser therapy and fractional laser resurfacing can help reduce scar redness, thickness, and irregularities by targeting blood vessels and stimulating collagen production.

Surgical revision: In cases of severe scarring or functional impairment, surgical revision techniques such as scar excision, tissue rearrangement, or skin grafting may be considered to improve scar cosmesis and restore normal tissue function.

See Also: Laser Treatment for Burn Scars: Types, Benefits & Risks


When should I start using scar management creams after surgery?

The timing for initiating scar management creams varies depending on the type of surgery and the recommendation of your healthcare provider. In many cases, it’s advisable to wait until the surgical wound has fully healed and any sutures or dressings have been removed before applying scar creams.

How often should I apply scar management creams?

The frequency of application varies depending on the specific cream and the instructions provided by your healthcare provider or the product manufacturer. In general, scar management creams are applied one to two times daily, although some may require more frequent application for optimal results.

Are scar management creams safe to use on all types of scars?

Scar management creams are generally safe for use on various types of scars, including surgical scars, hypertrophic scars, and keloid scars. However, it’s essential to follow the instructions provided and consult with your healthcare provider before using any scar management product, especially on fresh surgical wounds or open wounds.

How long does it take to see results from using scar management creams?

The time it takes to see results from scar management creams varies depending on factors such as the type and severity of the scar, the duration of use, and individual healing characteristics. Some individuals may notice improvements in scar appearance within a few weeks of starting treatment, while others may require several months of consistent use to achieve optimal results.

Can scar management creams completely eliminate scars?

While scar management creams can help minimize the appearance of scars and improve overall skin texture and tone, they typically cannot completely eliminate scars. However, they can significantly reduce scar visibility and enhance cosmetic outcomes, especially when used as part of a comprehensive scar management regimen that may include other modalities such as pressure therapy, laser treatments, or surgical revision.

Are there any side effects associated with using scar management creams?

Side effects associated with scar management creams are generally rare but may include skin irritation, redness, itching, or allergic reactions in some individuals. It’s essential to perform a patch test before applying the cream to a larger area of skin and to discontinue use if any adverse reactions occur. Additionally, some scar management creams may not be suitable for use on certain types of scars or in individuals with specific medical conditions, so it’s essential to consult with a healthcare provider before starting treatment.

Can I use multiple scar management creams simultaneously?

Using multiple scar management creams simultaneously may not be necessary and could potentially increase the risk of skin irritation or adverse reactions. It’s generally best to choose one scar management product based on your specific needs and goals and to follow the recommended application instructions provided. If you’re unsure which product is best for you, consult with a healthcare provider or dermatologist for personalized recommendations.


In conclusion, choosing the right cream for scar management after surgery is an important step in promoting optimal wound healing and minimizing the appearance of scars. Silicone-based creams and gels, onion extract-containing creams, vitamin E creams, and hydrocortisone creams are among the topical treatments commonly recommended for post-surgical scarring. However, individual responses to scar treatments may vary, and consultation with a healthcare provider or dermatologist is recommended to determine the most appropriate scar management regimen for your specific needs. By incorporating effective topical treatments, along with other scar management modalities such as silicone gel sheeting, pressure therapy, laser therapy, and surgical revision, individuals can achieve improved scar outcomes and enhance their overall quality of life following surgery.


You May Also Like

Womenhealthdomain is a professional women's health portal website, the main columns include women's mental health, reproductive health, healthy diet, beauty, health status, knowledge and news.

【Contact us: [email protected]

[email protected]

Call: 18066312111

© 2023 Copyright