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The Effects of Vitamin E after Plastic Surgery

February 12, 2014

Vitamin E is often used after plastic surgery and cosmetic surgery to minimize scarring. A scar is the “glue” that our bodies create to heal wounds, be they traumatic lacerations or plastic surgery incisions. The composition of scar tissue includes blood vessels and collagen amongst other substances. The blood vessels in scar tissue gives scars their characteristic redness which makes the scar stand out against the generally lighter skin. The collagen component of the scar is the major component that provides strength and closes a wound or plastic surgery incision. Fine, desirable scars occur when only a minimal amount of blood vessels and minimal amount of collagen is laid down in the scar during the healing process. When blood vessels and collagen are minimal, a scar will typically appear close to skin tone (and hence blends well into the skin) and will also be narrow, flat and fine. The major role of vitamin E ointments is to minimize the amount of collagen that is laid down in the scar during the healing process. The precise value of vitamin E has never been conclusively proved in scientific studies but many plastic surgeons prescribe it. This is because there may be a real role for these ointments to minimize scars (albeit unproved) and there is also minimal to no risk with vitamin E use other than the very rare possibility of allergy.


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Robert S Backstein, MD STEELES AVENUE COSMETIC SURGERY
5109 Steeles Avenue West, Unit 13 Toronto, Ontario, M9L 2Y8
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