Plastic Surgery Scar Management

Immediately After Repair

Follow instructions provided by your team for care and follow-up.

When to Call

  • Call for fever greater than 101.5 degrees, and child not otherwise sick.
  • Call for redness outside the incision (photo A).
  • Call for any drainage that is thick and yellow.
  • Concerns for abnormal scar (photo C).


  • Avoid contact sports/vigorous activity/direct trauma to surgery site until released to activity by your team.
  • Your cut/incision will be as strong as it will get at six weeks.
  • The scar will then continue to change for several months.

Contact Information

Nursing Line

  • Weekdays 7:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
  • 412-692-6845

Plastic Surgery On-Call

  • Emergency
  • Nights/Weekends
  • 412-692-5325

Scar Process

  • It will take six to 18 months for the scar to have its final appearance.
  • Your scar should gradually soften and fade over these six to 18 months, but will look pink initially (photo B).
  • Some scars never fade. If your scar stays pink after 12 to 18 months please call to discuss options.
  • If your scar becomes raised and rubbery instead of flat, this could be an abnormal scar process (photo C). Please call if noticed.


  • Start scar massage with favorite moisturizer when approved by your team. You can do massage without moisturizer as well.
  • Massage often. Several times a day for several minutes is OK.


  • Sunscreen should be used as soon as approved by your team. This will be once the cut/incision is healed.
  • Sunscreen will help protect the scar from permanent hyperpigmentation or "tattooing," a permanent darker color that can result from sun exposure and will not fade.
  • You should apply the sunscreen frequently and use a barrier (hat or clothes) to cover if anticipating prolonged, direct sun exposure.
  • This is most important while the scar is pink and changing.

Scar Products

  • If you are going to use a scar-management product, we prefer silicone-based materials. There are several different brands, such as ScarAway®, Mepiform®, and Biocorneum®.
  • You can use a silicone tape and massage directly over the tape.
  • You can also choose as silicone gel and do your massage with the gel.


  • We try to wait 12 to 18 months before revision in order to see the final scar result.
  • We cannot 'remove' a scar but would be happy to assess to see if it could be improved.

Photo A: Signs of Infection

Scar Signs of Infection

Photo B: Immature, normal scar

Immature Normal Scar

Photo C: Red Ropey Scar

Red Ropey Scar