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Topical Ointment after Facial Surgery – Vitamin E

I had an interesting conversation with my dermatology colleague in the DC office. The dermatologist recommended Vitamin E ointment to help reduce scarring after surgical procedures, such as excisions, skin biopsy, and mole removal. The dermatologist claimed facial incisions looked better after using topical Vitamin E.

I’ve already talked a bit about ointments to help prevent facial scars in a previous blog post. So I asked her to review the medical literature again with me. Vitamin E ointment was not found to be any better than plain petrolatum for scar prevention. It did, however, contribute to skin allergy and contact dermatitis after prolonged use.

These educational debates among Maryland and Virginal skin care specialists occur commonly. For my northern Virginia face lift patients, we use an antibiotic ointment and avoid getting the incisions wet for the first two days after the cosmetic surgery. Once initial healing complete, then topical petrolatum jelly or silicone gel (patient’s choice) is used on the incision daily for approximately 1-2 months.

What did we learn? Always speak with your Washington DC facial plastic surgeon or dermatologist and follow their advice. You can talk about recent scientific research or journal articles with your specialist. We learn from each other, both from patients and physicians.

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    Houtan Chaboki, M.D.