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Thyroid Scar & Wound Care

After thyroid surgery, you will have a scar on your neck from the operation. Though at first this scar may be easily visible, there are simple ways to reduce the redness and visibility of the scar. First and foremost, wear sunscreen! Exposure to sunlight can either hyper-pigment or hypo-pigment the scar, ensuring that it will remain visible. Whenever you are outside, regardless of the season, whether for a long or short period of time, apply a sunscreen with a high SPF to the scar area. Sunscreens should be scentless, with no added perfumes or oils, and have a high SPF of at least 45. Continue to apply sunscreen as long as it takes the scar's redness to disappear. For adults, this may take 6-12 months. In young patients, it may take as long as 18 months for the scar to fade.


A short video about thyroid scar care

My general rule about sunscreen and scar treatment: If you do not use sunscreen and then your scar hyper pigments, do not tell people that I performed your surgery! As your doctor, I can only help you so much. Take responsibility! You must take the necessary post-op steps to reduce your scar visibility, so wear sunscreen!

Another essential step to scar reduction is to massage the scar. One week after the stitches are removed, begin to massage the scar 3-6 times a day with hand or face lotion. Massage the lotion in the same direction as the scar and with the same firmness that you would use to rub in lotion on your hands. This process will help to flatten the scar and reduce harmful scarring that could impact head and neck movements. In addition to this, try using a Vitamin E cream on the scar.

Some people may be sensitive to Vitamin E creams or hand lotions. If redness appears or worsens, discontinue use of that product and switch to a different one. Other scar reducing products, such as Mederma, have mixed results. Therefore, I do not specifically endorse any specific scar reducing product.