Minimizing Scars after surgery

If you’ve found out that you need surgery, scarring may not be your first worry, but it’s certainly a factor that needs to be considered. This is especially true if your surgical site is in a noticeable location. While scarring is often just a part of surgery we have to live with, surgeons have developed methods of reducing scar visibility as much as possible. There are also ways you can minimize scarring after surgery by choosing the right products and receiving dermatologic procedures for treating scars after your skin has healed.

Caring for Your Skin to Minimize Scarring

After you undergo a surgical procedure, your surgeon should provide you with step-by-step instructions to help you care for the incision, stitches, and other aspects of your treatment. Be sure to follow this treatment plan, use all medications as directed, and get plenty of rest as you heal. While scar formation is a natural part of the body’s healing process, there are some steps you can take in addition to following your surgeon’s recommendations to reduce your risk for scarring, including:

  • Take lifestyle factors into consideration – Make sure to get plenty of rest, eat a nutrient-rich diet, stay hydrated, and avoid alcohol consumption and smoking.
  • Keep skin moisturized & protected – Use petroleum jelly or other protective ointments to keep the surgical site protected and moisturized to promote healing.
  • Minimize sun exposure – Sunlight can cause the skin to darken and increase the risk for darker, more noticeable scar tissue formation.
  • Massage – After the wound has closed and any stitches are removed, massaging the surgical site and surrounding areas can help loosen the skin and prevent hardening, lumps, and bumps that can form.

Dermatologist-Recommended Post-Surgery Skincare Products

If you’re interested in building up your post-procedure skincare routine with some new skincare products to reduce the appearance of scarring, our trusted dermatologists have provided some of their top post-procedure skincare product recommendations below.

Silagen 100% Pure Silicone Gel 15g

Silicone gel has been used to help in wound healing for decades. You may have been given silicone wound pads to promote healing after surgery. The Silagen 100% Pure Silicone Gel 15g provides the same healing properties as the gel sheets from your surgeon. It’s also proven to reduce discoloration, soften skin, and flatten scar tissue.

Silagen 100% Pure Silicone Gel + SPF 30 15g

Like the original formulation, Silagen 100% Pure Silicone Gel + SPF 30 15 g helps skin heal while minimizing the appearance of scar tissue. In addition to the standard wound-healing and scar-minimization, this skincare product also has sunscreen built-in to protect skin from sun damage.

Sente Dermal Repair Cream

Sente Dermal Repair Cream is a product that was designed to improve the appearance of aging skin, but it’s also beneficial for reducing the appearance of scars. The heparan sulfate analog technology helps promote healing, minimizes the appearance of hyperpigmentation, and smooths skin’s texture.

ALASTIN Skincare Regenerating Skin Nectar with TriHex Technology

Product - Alastin Regenerating Skin NectarThe ALASTIN line of skin care products was formulated to keep skin healthy before, during, and after procedures. ALASTIN Skincare Regenerating Skin Nectar with TriHex Technology helps with skin cell regeneration, reduces healing time, supports the production of collagen and elastin, and minimizes the appearance of scars.

SkinCeuticals Phyto Corrective Gel

If you’re experiencing a lot of skin discoloration and hyperpigmentation related to your healing surgical site, SkinCeuticals Phyto Corrective Gel can soothe and hydrate the skin while minimizing redness and discoloration.


Scar formation can be exacerbated by sun exposure. The sensitive new skin forming after surgery is extremely sensitive to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. For this reason, it’s essential to minimize sun exposure as you heal by keeping the surgical site covered as much as possible. When not covered, the surgical site should be protected with sunscreen. You should use a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays. The best sunscreen options should also have a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher. Below, you’ll find our top recommended sunscreens:

  • ISDIN Eryfotona Ageless Ultralight Emulsion Broad Spectrum SPF 40 – This is a 100% mineral sunscreen, meaning it’s safe for all skin types, even sensitive skin. It was designed with aging skin in mind. It helps to repair and heal skin from sun damage and prevent future damage. The tinted formula also helps protect against free radicals and undoes the effects of accumulated skin damage.
  • EltaMD UV Restore SPF 40 – This is another broad-spectrum, mineral sunscreen. It’s lightweight and hydrating, making it great for all skin types and caring for surgically treated skin.

Dermatologic Procedures for Scar Removal

These topical treatments and skincare products diminish the appearance of scar tissue and prevent the development of scar tissue as you heal. Once your skin has fully recovered, the topical treatments can help minimize the appearance of scar tissue a bit, but there are dermatologic treatments to further reduce the visibility of scar tissue. There are numerous scar removal treatments that your dermatologist can provide. In many cases, a chemical peel will be recommended. Peels remove the outer layers of skin, revealing healthy, new skin below. This can create a more even skin tone and texture. Microneedling is another minimally invasive dermatologic treatment that reduces the appearance of scar tissue. In microneedling, numerous microscopic injuries are created on the skin to jumpstart the healing process, allowing the body to replace the scarred skin cells with new, healthy cells.

One of the most popular treatment options for scar tissue removal is laser skin resurfacing. This treatment option uses laser therapy to remove the outer layers of skin, revealing the healthy skin below. Over the course of several laser treatments, the color and texture of the skin will notably improve.

Want to Learn More About Skincare?

At DermSkincare, we have partnered with knowledgeable dermatologists at U.S. Dermatology Partners to curate a comprehensive list of skincare products that help people achieve and maintain healthy, beautiful skin. If you’re interested in learning more about certain types of skincare products, improving your daily routine, or finding the right treatment for a specific skin health concern, we hope you’ll take some time to explore the DermSkincare site.