Good scar oils / creams
February 10, 2019 8:19 PM   Subscribe

I have a fresh incision that I plan to work on soon to keep the tissue soft. What scar oils or creams work well?

I have a 4.5” bikini cut from a hysterectomy. It’s still healing (2 weeks) so I have some time. I will be applying soft massage with creams and oils once the glue and scabbing flakes to keep the scar minimal and soft. I want to treat any texture and tightness more than appearance. In the past I’ve used bio oil and mederma but only for small incisions. Are there others that are better?

YANMD - I will ask mine when I next speak to him.
posted by Crystalinne to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (15 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Generic Vitamin E cream worked wonders on my thyroidectomy scar.
posted by scruss at 8:22 PM on February 10, 2019 [4 favorites]

Yeah, Vitamin E is what the surgeon recommended when a family member recently went through surgery.
posted by Toddles at 8:26 PM on February 10, 2019 [2 favorites]

Someone I used to know showed me his incision from open heart surgery that he was still recovering from. He had taken Calendula orally and used it topically. The scar was a few inches long and it looked like someone had taken the very finest felt tip pen and drawn a faint red line down his chest. I’ve never tried it myself but I was amazed at how minimal the incision was and it was still healing so who knows what it looked like when fully healed. Given the appearance then I would day nigh on invisible.
posted by Conrad-Casserole at 9:12 PM on February 10, 2019

When my dog missed the ball and grabbed my lip/face instead, Vitamin E oil was a miracle worker.
posted by kimberussell at 3:39 AM on February 11, 2019

I have two 6-7 inch scars on my chest. The surgeon suggested silicone scar strips and vitamin E oil (though with the proviso "who knows if it really does anything, but it's cheap and won't hurt"). My scars started forming keloids and then changed course and flattened out, so are plenty visible, but I do think the silicone helped them flatten out. (I didn't really use the vitamin E oil--the sensation was too weird.)

Do remember that what happens with scars is a combination of genetics and luck.
posted by hoyland at 4:17 AM on February 11, 2019 [1 favorite]

I also used silicone scar sheets for two surgical scars on my chest. I'm fairly prone to scarring, but these scars are almost invisible now, so I'd put in another vote for the sheets.
posted by ITheCosmos at 4:27 AM on February 11, 2019 [1 favorite]

Emu oil did wonders for an incision scar I had near my collarbone. It healed so quickly and became so faint, that when I showed it to my doctor during my next checkup, he wanted to make note of it to mention to his other surgical patients -- as he said he had never seen anything work so well.

I've recommended it to various friends who've had great results with it as well, including a young lady who had been in a fairly severe car accident and had many facial scars. You'd barely notice any of them now...

Nowadays I find that Emu Oil is much easier to find in various drug stores and pharmacies than it used to be many years ago. And yes, Emu, as in the birds that look a lot like ostriches. Emu oil has been used by Australian Aborigines for centuries.
posted by Jade Dragon at 4:52 AM on February 11, 2019

My neurosurgeon recommended the silicone gel scar strips for my neck but I've never tried them, so thank you for this thread to remind me to do so.
posted by poffin boffin at 8:20 AM on February 11, 2019

I have a very long incision scar and about an inch-square patch of scar tissue on my arm (from almost 2 decades ago), and I was told to use vitamin E oil on it, which I did for about a year after the accident that caused it. From a few feet away it's barely noticeable unless you're looking for it or I have a tan. God knows if it was the oil or the original surgeon just doing a good job, but I'd do it again for a new scar, for sure.
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:47 AM on February 11, 2019

I had a parotidectomy and my surgeon recommended Vitamin E oil or Bio oil. I went with Bio oil and it worked fantastic, you can barely see the incision scar on my neck.
posted by googlebombed at 10:05 AM on February 11, 2019

I was in a bike accident about a year and a half ago and got some cuts and scratches on my face, including my nose. The ER doc was a younger woman who said the same thing had happened to her and she was worried about healing her face, so she talked to a plastic surgeon about what to use. She gave me some small wet/gel-like, bandages that I would trim to place over the worst cuts, holding it in place with a piece of bandage tape. At first I would apply some sort of antibiotic cream morning and night and then apply a fresh membrane-bandage thing; later I started massaging them with oil morning and night. It was a bit awkward walking around with these things on my face, but they did heal up pretty well (a few months later I started dating someone, and then a month or two after that pointed out the spots on my face; he hadn't noticed them despite being pretty close to my face a lot). I think I used those bandages for about three or four weeks, til I ran out. I don't know that you can buy that particular thing over the counter.

Lots of folks recommend Vitamin E oil, but I read around in the medical lit, and it seems to be more than it's about the massage itself -- which brings blood flow to the area -- rather than the vitamin. And apparently some folks get contact dermatitis from Vitamin E.

This article has some research on different approaches to treating scars and found that silicone gel sheeting was the only thing consistently effectively.

In any case, from my reading, it sounded like the latest thinking about wound care on the skin is that we want to keep our wounds wet/moist/hydrated, that that's what leads to better healing. Of course you should talk to your doctor about all this. But, you might want to thinking about getting some of the gel-like or silicone bandages and apply them after the oil or lotion. Scabbing and drying isn't good for scar prevention, it seems.

I can't speak to this particular product or this one either, but this seems like the kind of thing you could buy over-the-counter.
posted by bluedaisy at 11:01 AM on February 11, 2019 [1 favorite]

When I had surgery on my hand many years ago I was advised to use maximum strength Vitamin E oil, such as this one.
posted by essexjan at 2:57 PM on February 11, 2019

My hysterectomy scar is vertical! I used cocoa butter and later, Mederma. I've used the same on other scars, and I've only got one that didn't completely flatten.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 5:07 PM on February 11, 2019

Looks like vitamin E it is. I assumed that would be a top recommendation. I’ll still check with my doctor.
posted by Crystalinne at 10:28 PM on February 11, 2019

I recently had moles removed on my face. The plastic surgeon recommended coconut oil. Worked like a charm!
posted by PJMoore at 9:56 AM on February 12, 2019

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