Cosmetic Surgery Tips

Best scar treatment after tummy tuck

If you’ve had a tummy tuck, you know that the scar left behind can be pretty unsightly. And while it’s natural to want to get rid of that scar as quickly and painlessly as possible, there are some things you should know about scar treatment after tummy tuck surgery.

The first thing to know is that there are different types of scars, and not all scars are created equal. Some types of scars form when a wound heals. These scars form over time, and they’re soft to the touch because they lack collagen (the protein found in connective tissue). This kind of scarring is called “atrophic” or “hypertrophic.” Others form when skin is damaged by burning or freezing—these kinds of scars heal with hard tissue instead of soft tissue. These are called “keloids.”

Tummy tucks can leave keloids on your belly button if your surgeon accidentally cuts through the bottom half of the button while removing excess skin from your abdomen. Keloids tend to be raised above normal skin level and may look like a shiny bump or lump under your skin (although they’re not always raised). Keloid scars can also be red and painful around their edges,

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Best scar treatment after tummy tuck

The tummy tuck procedure can leave noticeable scars. The appearance of scars following a tummy tuck procedure is one of the most frequent concerns that Dr. Paul Pin hears from patients. Obviously, patients want to do whatever is necessary to reduce the appearance of these scars. Below is some helpful advice for patients undergoing tummy tuck surgery, including information scar creams, how scar creams work, and which application methods work best.

When to Start Using Scar-reducing Creams

Patients can begin to use scar-reducing creams on the tummy tuck incision site as soon as the incisions have healed over and there are no more scabs. Cream should never be applied to an open wound or over skin that is still scabbed. Once the skin has healed over, the scar should appear very thin. This is the best time to begin using a scar-reducing cream. Beneath the skin, the body is busy producing collagen to help it heal.

How Do Scar-reducing Creams Work?

Scar-reducing creams work to hydrate and moisturize the skin, which will prevent itchiness and flaking. In addition, they help to break up excess collagen formation that can lead to more noticeable scars. Depending on the scar placement, patients may find creams easier to use than silicone sheets, which may not stay in place or have a tendency to fold over and roll up, particularly in the lower stomach/groin area.

What Are the Best Application Methods for Scar-reducing Creams?

The cream should be thoroughly rubbed into the tummy tuck scars. Some scar-reducing creams are designed to dry on the skin and flake off. ScarGuard is a good example of this type of scar treatment. Others, such as Mederma, are more like a thick skin lotion.

Massaging the area around the scars at the same time as applying the cream will help to further break up any excess collagen under the skin. Use small, gentle, circular motions, taking care not to pull too hard at the scar itself.

If patients plan on wearing clothing that may expose the scars (such as a bikini bathing suit), they should opt for a cream with a sun block to reduce the risk of hyperpigmentation. With hyperpigmentation, the scar becomes noticeably darker than the surrounding skin.

If the scars do not fade, or start to feel thicker lumpy, schedule a follow-up appointment with Dr. Pin. He may suggest other options, such as silicone sheeting or laser treatment to break up the excess collagen and reduce the appearance of thick, red, or raised scars.

Dr. Pin has extensive experience with tummy tuck procedures, and will attempt to place incisions in discreet places, so that scars will be less visible. Patients should feel free to discuss with him their concerns about scarring at the initial consultation visit. He will work with patients to achieve the best possible appearance from their tummy tuck procedure. Contact the Dallas practice of Dr. Paul Pin today to schedule an information consultation. A member of Dr. Pin’s staff will be happy to set up a time that is convenient for you.

Tummy tuck scar removal cream

According to the Plastic Surgery Statistics Report, more than 123,000 Americans decided to trim and smooth their waistlines with Tummy Tuck Surgery (abdominoplasty) in 2019. Tummy Tucks are consistently one of the most requested plastic surgeries from year to year. Despite its popularity and high patient satisfaction, abdominoplasty does present a drawback for some people in the form of a significant scar.

“A Tummy Tuck has a dual focus. It removes excess skin and fat after weight loss or pregnancy, and corrects abdominal muscle laxity,” explains Dr. Robert Wilke, a board-certified plastic surgeon with Edina Plastic Surgery. “Because quite a bit of skin is typically removed, a long incision is required that will result in a scar after surgery.”

When your plastic surgeon assesses your abdominal area for Tummy Tuck Surgery, he or she is looking at the skin from the bottom of your rib cage to the crease of your groin. Generally, the scar that is left behind after surgery sits very low across the abdomen. This makes it easy to hide beneath the waistline of clothing or a bathing suit.

“How your skin scars after surgery is very dependent upon the skill of your surgeon, your genetics, and how you care for your scar after your procedure,” says Dr. Wilke. “A few weeks after surgery, after your skin has healed, patients can begin to use products at home that help lighten and fade their Tummy Tuck scar. After a few months, you can begin exploring in-office treatments that can make your scar even less noticeable. At Edina Plastic Surgery, we’re lucky that we have our Skin Artisans medical spa right next store to provide many of these treatment options.”


Abdominoplasty scars can be quite noticeable for up to a year following your procedure. Scars on lighter skin types generally turn pink first and then fade to a thin, white line. Darker skin types may heal dark and pigmented at first and then lighten over time. Although this scar will never entirely go away, here are some of the most popular and effective treatment options to minimize its appearance.

#1 – Taping

“We typically close abdominoplasty incisions with dissolvable sutures placed under the skin,” explains Dr. Wilke. “We then cover the incision with steri-strips/paper tape, which protects the incision and minimizes tension.  The light pressure from the tape against the incision has been shown to help minimize scarring as well.  We often have patients continue to tape the incision for about 6 weeks; changing the tape every 5-7 days.”

#2 – Scar Fading Creams & Topicals

“There are many scar creams on the market,” says Dr. Wilke. “None of them are a miracle cure for scarring, but, nonetheless, they can be helpful to minimize a scar.  The simplest and least expensive option is using moisturizing cream with vitamin E.  Some of the more advanced creams contain silicone, and some have hydroquinone or other skin lightening agents to suppress pigment cell activity.  We usually don’t recommend using these creams until about 6 weeks after surgery.”

#3 – Laser and Light-Based Treatments

How your Tummy Tuck scar appears a year after surgery is, most likely, how it will remain without the aid of additional treatments. This is when you can begin exploring options like resurfacing lasers or intense light-based treatments to pull any pigment from the scar or fade residual redness.

“Laser resurfacing treatments like HALO™ and Profractional can make scars less noticeable by smoothing their texture,” says Dr. Wilke. “Light-based treatments like BBL (Broadband Light) target darker pigment cells, which can lighten the coloration of a scar and reduce redness. In some cases, both treatments may be beneficial, but it’s important to realize that you will need multiple treatments to see significant improvement.  At Edina Plastic Surgery, we believe in an all-inclusive approach to surgery that addresses our patients needs from start to finish.  We’ve created a Post-Surgical Scar Treatment package to ensure that our patients have the best opportunity to heal with minimal scarring after any surgery we perform.  This package includes a series of 6 BBL and Profractional laser resurfacing treatments performed 4-6 weeks apart as well as Stratamed Scar Recovery Gel.”

#4 – Microneedling Collagen Induction Therapy

Microneedling devices, like SkinPen®, use tiny surgical-grade needles to create thousands of micro-injuries to your skin. In turn, this stimulates your skin’s collagen and elastin production, and it heals firmer and smoother. This treatment can be especially beneficial for scars that have healed unevenly. A series of microneedling treatments can result in a soft, flat Tummy Tuck scar that blends very well into the surrounding skin.

#5 – Permanent Cosmetics or Tattoo

“This is thinking outside of the box, but I have had patients who eventually choose to cover their Tummy Tuck scar with a tattoo,” says Dr. Wilke. “This is obviously not for everyone, but because the scar sits so low on the abdomen, it AND the tattoo can be easily covered. Patients will need to wait until their scar is fully healed, about a year, before they can have a tattoo.”

In recent years, the Permanent Cosmetics industry has begun to provide options to disguise surgical scarring. This technique involves your provider using a flesh-colored ink that is closely matched to the skin surrounding your scar and essentially “filling in” your scar. It is crucial to not only go to a reputable provider for this treatment but also to avoid tanning the skin near your scar, as the scar will not achieve the tan of the surrounding skin.

“As surgeons, we do everything we can during your surgery to minimize the appearance of your future Tummy Tuck scar,” says Dr. Wilke. “An experienced surgeon will avoid making your incision too high, and strive to make it as small and symmetrical as possible without sacrificing your results. To date, I have never had a patient who didn’t think that the rewards of their Tummy Tuck far outweighed the scar!”

Tummy tuck scar treatment reviews

If you’re getting a tummy tuck, you can expect to have a scar. However, there are steps you can take to reduce its visibility. What you do before your surgery is just as important as — if not more important than — what you do in recovery.

Here’s what you should keep in mind ahead of your surgery, what to watch for afterward, and what your options for scar removal are.

What you can do before your tummy tuck

When selecting a surgeon, it’s important that you look at their portfolio. This will give you a frame of reference for their skillset and typical results. You’ll want to choose someone who has proven themselves as a reputable surgeon and with whom you feel comfortable.

Before your surgery, talk with your surgeon about the scarring. You can bring up any specific concerns you may have and determine what your scar is expected to look like. Depending on your individual surgery, you may have a V- or U-shaped scar.

Bring underwear or bikini bottoms to your surgical planning appointment so you can get a clear idea of where the scarring will be in relation to your panty line.

You should also completely stop smoking for at least six weeks before your surgery. This will help to reduce complications.

What you can do after your tummy tuck

It’s extremely important that you follow all of the aftercare instructions provided by your surgeon.

Some general guidelines include:

  • Try to walk as soon as possible after your surgery. This reduces swelling and the risk of blood clots.
  • Continue to refrain from smoking for at least six weeks.
  • Follow a healthy diet. Include plenty of liquids, fresh fruit, vegetables.
  • Refrain from lifting heavy items and avoid any strenuous activity for at least six weeks.
  • Avoid any activity that stretches, bends, or causes you to put pressure on your abdomen.
  • Avoid sexual activity for three weeks after your surgery.

Apply topical vitamin E

Some researchTrusted Source suggests that using vitamin E topically can improve the appearance of scars. It can also help to keep your scar moisturized.

Be sure to use 100 percent pure vitamin E oil. You should apply it to your scar at least once a day for the first couple of months. You can also use this as a chance to massage the scar tissue once it has healed.

If you experience any type of skin irritation or allergic reaction, discontinue use.

Don’t forget the sunscreen

It’s important to use sunscreen on your scar for at least a year after your surgery. If you can, it’s best to avoid sunning the area.

Scars are made of new skin and react differently to the sun than normal skin. Using sunscreen will prevent a scar from becoming darker than the surrounding skin.

If you can, use a formula that’s made specifically for scars. You should also use something that’s SPF 30 or higher.

A few popular options include:

  • Mederma Scar Cream
  • Professional Sunscreen for Scars
  • Bioderma Photoderm LASER SPF50+ Cream
  • ScarScreen SPF 30

Watch for signs of infection

It’s important to clean your incision daily. Not only will keeping your scar clean and healthy reduce its appearance, it will also reduce your risk of infection.

See your doctor if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • excessive bleeding along the incision line
  • increased or severe swelling, bruising, or redness that isn’t getting better
  • severe pain that isn’t relieved by medication
  • yellowish or greenish drainage from the incision
  • any discharge that has an unpleasant odor
  • loss of feeling or motion
  • oral temperature over 100.4°F (38°C)
  • fever or chills

What you can do if you still experience scarring

Your scar will be mostly healed after about 12 weeks, but it can take up to a year for it to fully heal. You may want to wait until it has healed to decide if you want to undergo any surgical procedures that will minimize its appearance.

These methods won’t be able to completely remove the scar, but they can help to improve its size, color, and texture.

Steroid applications and injections

You may choose to use steroid applications or injections to get rid of raised, thick, or red scars. These treatments may be used at the time of surgery for scar prevention or four weeks after surgery for correction.

The cost will depend on the size and severity of the scar. It’s usually a few hundred dollars per treatment.

Laser treatment

Laser treatments are also available. Vascular lasers collapse the tiny blood vessels on the surface of the skin that cause redness. Laser surfacing is one of the best options to improve the texture and color of scars. This technology can resurface the skin. Scarred skin is replaced with healthy collagen which improves the overall texture and color.

Check with your doctor to see how long you should wait before beginning laser treatment. Laser treatments are expensive. If you go with this treatment, you’ll likely need two or more sessions over the course of a few months.

Surgical scar revision

Scar revision surgery is an option if you want your scar to be closer in tone and texture to your normal skin. Your doctor may use a combination of topical treatments, minimally invasive procedures, and surgical revision. You’ll still be able to see the scar, but it will be less noticeable.

As with laser treatment, you should check with your doctor to see how long you should wait after your tummy tuck to have scar revision surgery. They may advise you to wait at least a year so you can see how your scar has healed over time first.

Costs for this procedure vary.

Punch grafts

Punch grafting is a technique where a small hole is made in skin using a small tool. The scar is removed and replaced with new skin from another place on your body, usually from behind your ear. You will still have a scar, but it will be smoother and less noticeable.

The bottom line

It’s important to take into account that a tummy tuck will leave you with a permanent scar. Think about why you are having a tummy tuck and what results you want to get from it. If the intended results outweigh the disadvantages of having a scar, then it will probably be worth it.

You can also think about the possibilities for scar reduction. Take steps before and after surgery to facilitate a healthy healing process so that the scarring is as minimal as possible.

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