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Preventing or Minimizing Scars After Surgery

Whenever the skin sustains damage, there is the possibility of scarring. As a child, skinning your knee may result in a scar. The same is true of surgery, even cosmetic surgery, regardless of the skill of your surgeon. Making an incision in the skin, which typically requires cutting through all of the layers of the skin, can result in scarring, regardless of where on the body surgery is performed.

Of course, surgery performed by a less skilled surgeon may result in a greater degree of scarring, but many times the skill of the surgeon has no effect on the amount of scarring that takes place.

Why doesn’t the skill of the surgeon make a difference in many cases? Because your surgeon cannot control all the factors that determine how badly you will scar. Certain factors beyond your control influence your ability to heal without scarring. These risk factors cannot be changed, but help determine if you will scar badly after your procedure.

If you are seriously concerned about scarring, consider discussing the following methods of scar minimization and prevention with your surgeon. Your surgeon may be able to prescribe additional treatments that lower your chances of scarring.

Risk Factors For Scarring

  • Your Age

    As we age, our skin becomes less elastic and becomes thinner. This is because collagen (which makes the skin elastic) changes as we age, and the fat layer under our skin becomes thinner. The result of these changes, along with sun exposure, smoking, exposure to the environment and other lifestyle issues, means that skin does not heal as well or as quickly as we age. The benefit to age is that the imperfections that occur over time, like sun damage, work to help conceal scars that might be more obvious on younger skin.

  • Your Skin Tone and Complexion

    Some skin colorations are more likely to scar than others. Those with dark skin tones are more likely to form hypertrophic and keloid scars, which are characterized by an overgrowth of scar tissue. However, some scars tend to blend in better with darker skin while people with fairer skin may find that their scars are more noticeable.

  • Size and Depth of Your Incision

    A large incision is much more likely to leave a scar than a small incision. The deeper and longer the incision, the longer the healing process will take and the greater the opportunity for scarring. A larger incision may be exposed to more stress as you move, which can cause slower healing.

  • How Quickly Your Skin Heals

    You may be one of the genetically blessed people who seem to heal magically, quickly and easily with minimal scarring, or you may be diabetic and your skin tends to heal slowly. How quickly you heal is a personal thing and can change with illness or injury.

Wound Care Treatment

  • check Silicone wound dressings and Silicone gels are best for after surgery scar care. Studies have shown that silicone can help reduce scarring and is commonly used after plastic surgery. Discuss Silicone dressings  Silicone gels with your surgeon. Dr. Hochstein highly recommends the Bio Corenum for after surgery on the incisions.  Bio Corenum is the only FDA approved Scar Gel on the Market today and can only be found at Dr. offices

  • check In some surgeries, the placement of the incision is not absolute. You may be able to talk to your surgeon about where the incision is placed to either hide or help minimize scars. For example, Face Lift/Neck lift incisions are placed behind and inside the ear when possible, tummy tuck incisions may be disguised by a bikini.

  • check More doctors are recommending that patients (or a licensed massage therapist) massage their scars. This should be done after the wound closes and any staples or sutures are removed. Massaging an incision and the surrounding tissue may even out any bumps or lumps that remain after the healing process.

  • check If you are prone to forming keloid scars, talk to your surgeon about having a steroid injection to prevent the formation of another keloid.

Minimizing Scars After Surgery



  • Painless, comfortable procedure
  • Customizable treatment
  • Amazing, ablative results
  • Little to no downtime

Halo™ Hybrid Fractional Laser Halo™ is the world's first hybrid laser that features two laser wavelengths, one ablative and one-non-ablative, to significantly improve the appearance of scars. This treatment is ideal for patients with mild acne scarring or hypertrophic (raised) scars, especially those that are a result of surgical incisions. Each laser wavelength can be adjusted to target the ideal skin depth and microscopic treatment zone(s), which allows for a completely customized procedure to meet each patient's specific needs. Halo™ also has integrated cooling that keeps the skin cool and patients comfortable throughout the entire procedure. Patients will see a noticeable improvement after just one treatment, but the recommended series of three treatments at six-week intervals may be needed to achieve optimum results.


Dr. Hochstein’s Scar Management Program



Our chosen product to address scarring is Bio-Corneum+ (or BC+). Using BC+ will provide the best environment for the scar to heal and will help speed up the healing process. We recommend that all of our patients use this after their sutures are removed and their wound is closed. We carry this in our office as a convenience for you. It is a self-adhering, self-drying silicone gel that also contains a mild broad spectrum SPF 30. At suture removal, start applying BC+ twice a day to your scar for at least twelve weeks, or until you stop seeing noticeable results. If you have a tendency to form hypertrophic or keloid scars, you may want to use it for 6 months to a year. BC+ has been shown to help prevent the formation of these types Scar of scars. One drop is enough to cover a three inch scar. Spread a very thin layer of BC+ over the scar area. It should dry within a few minutes and will form a slick surface over your scar. BC+ will gradually wear off throughout the day, which is why we have you reapply it at night to make sure you are getting a solid 24 hour per day exposure to the silicone. If you have any questions, please call the office.


Skin Medica TNS Ceramide Treatment Cream

Nourish and refresh the skin’s appearance after cosmetic or dermatological procedures such as:

  • Dermabrasion or Microdermabrasion
  • Chemical Peels
  • Laser or Light Treatments
  • Cosmetic Surgery Following Complete Wound Healing

Skin Medica TNS Ceramide Treatment Cream can help:

  • Nourish and Refresh Aged Skin by Encouraging Rejuvenation
  • Nourish an Restore the Skin’s Appearance as a Result of Environmental Exposure
  • Nourish and Restore the Skin’s Appearance as a Result of Occupational Exposure
  • Nourish Stressed Skin Compromised by Other Skin Conditions

Signs and Symptoms of an Infection

  • General Signs and Symptoms of Infection

    Malaise: One of the most common symptoms of a systemic infection, or an infection that is moving through your body, is that you will feel tired and lacking in energy. You may sleep more than usual, or not feel up to doing your normal activities. These feelings are also common for patients who are recovering from surgery who do not have an infection. The difference is that when recovering from surgery most people feel a bit better each day, rather than feeling better for a few days then suddenly feeling exhausted and lethargic as can happen with infection.

    Fever: A fever is often accompanied by feeling chilled. A fever can also decrease your appetite, lead to dehydration and a headache. A low-grade fever (100 F or less) is common in the days following surgery, a fever of 101 or more should be reported to the surgeon.

  • Signs and Symptoms of An Infected Surgical Incision

    Hot Incision: An infected incision may feel hot to the touch. This happens as the body sends infection fighting blood cells to the site of infection.

    Swelling/Hardening of the Incision: An infected incision may begin to harden as the tissue underneath are inflamed. The incision itself may begin to appear swollen or puffy as well.

    Redness: An incision that gets red, or has red streaks radiating from it to the surrounding skin may be infected. Some redness is normal at the incision site, but it should decrease over time, rather than becoming more red as the incision heals.

    Drainage From the Incision: Foul-smelling drainage or pus may begin to appear on an infected incision. It can range in color from blood-tinged to green, white or yellow. The drainage from an infected wound may also be thick, and in rare cases, chunky.

    Pain: Your pain should slowly and steadily diminish as you heal. If your pain level at the surgery site increases for no apparent reason, you may be developing an infection in the wound. It is normal for increased pain if you "overdo it" with activity or you decrease your pain medication, but a significant and unexplained increase in pain should be discussed with your surgeon.

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Miami Florida Plastic Surgeon | Leonard M. Hochstein M.D.

Leonard M. Hochstein M.D.
Address: 585 NW 161st Street, Miami, Florida 33169
(Miami Metro)
Telephone:(305) 931-3338
Fax:(305) 931-3324