Surgery on its own is a lot to go through, but the post-surgery scars really make the experience that much more difficult. Scars from surgery are often tricky to avoid or get rid of, but there are some products that can help.

Keep reading to learn more about post-surgery scars, as well as the best scar creams for after surgery.

What Causes Scars?

Scars are our body’s reaction to injury, and are a natural part of the healing process. They form when the dermis, which is the deepest and thickest layer of the skin, is damaged. In response, the body forms collagen fibers to repair the damage. This leads to the formation of tissue in the area that looks and feels different than the rest of the skin. Scars can vary in appearance, from flat to pitted to raised.

How Do Scar Removal Creams Work?

When it comes to the best scar creams for after surgery, one of the top ingredients to look for is silicone. The use of silicone for scar management has been studied extensively, and researchers have proven that the ingredient helps reduce the appearance of scars and prevent their formation.

So how exactly do silicone-based scar creams work? “Silicone not only helps keep the scar moist and protected, it modulates the expression of growth factors involved in collagen synthesis,” says Dr. Susan Bard, MD, a board-certified dermatologist based in New York. This helps with the remodeling of scars, eventually reducing their appearance.

Does Vitamin E Help Scarring?

Many have heard that vitamin E can be useful in reducing the appearance of scars. However, this has not been proven to be true through studies. “The studies on Vitamin E efficacy are inconclusive, and according to most studies its scar-reducing capabilities are overstated,” says Dr. Konstantin, a double board-certified facial plastic surgeon based in New York City.

“Applying Vitamin E might help to improve the healing process by moisturizing the area of the scar. It doesn't hurt to use it, however, more effective scar treatment options are available.” It is best to stick with ingredients that are proven to be beneficial in treating scars, like silicone.

3 Best Scar Creams for After Surgery

If you are looking to use one of the best scar creams for after surgery, you can try out one of these silicone-based products.

1. Aroamas Professional Silicone Scar Sheets

Aroamas Professional Silicone Scar Sheets

#1 Silicone Scar Sheets are Recommended by Dermatologists

When it comes to treating scars, doctors highly recommend silicone sheets. These silicone sheets use medical-grade silicone, and have been clinically proven to improve the overall appearance of scars. The adhesive strips stay on the skin, but are still flexible, breathable, and soft. Each sheet can be washed and reused for up to 2 weeks, and there are 8 sheets in the package. They are also odorless and don’t contain any toxic ingredients.

How to Use: Clean and dry the affected area. If needed, cut the sheet so that it is the size of the area. Peel off the adhesive liner, and then apply the sheet to the skin. Wear the sheets for a minimum of 12 hours per day for the best results. The sheets should be taken off when taking a shower.

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2. Aroamas Advanced Scar Removing Gel

Aroamas Advanced Scar Removing Gel

Best for: after surgery scars on face, legs and body

The same brand also produces a silicone scar gel. This clinically-tested gel product contains medical-grade silicone, and has been proven to prevent the development of scars and minimize their appearance. The gel is odorless and colorless, and it dries quickly on the skin. It can be used anywhere on the body, and is appropriate for all skin types, even those with sensitive skin.

How to Use: Clean and dry the affected area. Dispense some of the gel, and then gently massage it into the skin. It may be applied 2 to 3 times per day.

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3. Advanced Silicone Scar Gel

Advanced Silicone Scar Gel

Best for: after surgery scars on face, legs and body

This is another one of the best scar creams for after surgery. The doctor-recommended gel is made with medical-grade silicone. This formula is suitable for all skin types, and can be used anywhere on the body. It is scent-free and doesn’t contain any coloring, and it absorbs quickly into the skin.

How to Use: Clean and dry the affected area. Dispense some of the gel, and then gently massage it into the skin. It may be applied 2 to 3 times per day.

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How to Use a Scar Cream Correctly

Once you’ve purchased one of the best scar creams for after surgery, you need to know how to use it correctly. The first thing to know is when to use the cream. “Immediately after surgery, no creams are needed,” says Dr. Wendy Kar Yee Ng, MD, FRCSC, a board-certified plastic surgeon based in Orange, CA. “It is best to let the body's natural healing process take place.” This initial wound healing may happen as soon as 5 to 7 days after surgery, but may take up to 2 to 3 weeks.

Once the wound is healed and you start topical treatment, it is vital that you stay on track with scar cream application. “Being diligent and consistent is the key to successful scar care,” says Dr. Konstantin. “In order to maximize the benefits of topical scar care, one has to use the prescribed cream consistently for at least 2-3 months. Occasional on-and-off treatment will not help with improving the appearance of scars.”

Other Ways to Prevent Scarring After Surgery

In addition to consistently using a scar cream, there are a few other precautions and steps patients can take to prevent post-surgery scarring, or at least minimize the appearance of scars. Perhaps one of the most important steps is keeping the affected area protected from the sun.

“I recommend avoiding the sun and using sunscreen to protect the incision from the UV rays that may cause discoloration of the wound and the surrounding skin,” says Dr. Nicholas Jones, MD, FACS, a board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon based in Atlanta, GA. He also advises that patients should return to their doctor as soon as possible if there are any issues with the area, such as itching, drainage problems, or the development of a raised scar.

Besides proper sun care, Dr. Ng recommends massaging the area to help with healing. “Once initial skin healing has occurred, I recommend massage, which encourages collagen fibers [to] lay down as flat as possible,” she says.

Professional Options When Scar Creams Aren’t Enough

Unfortunately, topical treatments don’t always work to a patient’s liking. “People often believe that their scars will go away in entirety if they just find the ‘right’ scar cream,” says Dr. Konstantin. “Unfortunately, this is not the case. Some scars require additional forms of medical treatment such as lasers, injections or even surgical removal.” Dr. Konstantin recommends that patients with persistent post-surgery scars meet with their doctor to discuss which option is best for them.


When can you start using scar cream after surgery?

It is best to wait until the wound heals before applying a scar cream. This healing process timeline will vary from person to person, but in general, it may take anywhere from 5 days to 3 weeks.

What is the best over-the-counter scar treatment?

The best over-the-counter scar treatments contain silicone. In studies, silicone has been proven to help reduce the appearance of scars and prevent the formation of abnormal scarring.

How do you prevent scarring after surgery?

There are a few steps patients should take to prevent scarring post-surgery. Once the wound is healed, patients should apply one of the best scar creams for after surgery. Patients need to be diligent about applying this topical product regularly. They should also avoid the sun, and wear adequate sun protection. Massaging the area can also help encourage the collagen fibers to lay flat on the skin.

Summary: Best Scar Creams for After Surgery

The Bottom Line

Scars are a part of the body’s healing process. Scars form when the dermis is damaged. The body responds by producing collagen fibers to fix the issue, which creates irregular tissue on the skin. The best scar creams for after surgery contain silicone, which has been proven to reduce the appearance and formation of scars. Once the wound is healed, patients should avoid the sun and use proper sun protection, apply scar creams regularly, and massage the skin.