Protect scars from UV Rays

Many of us enjoy letting the sunshine warm us. But, UV rays are bad for you in many ways. According to the American Cancer Society, in addition to cancer, exposure to Ultraviolet (UV) Radiation can cause premature aging of the skin and signs of sun damage such as liver spots, actinic keratosis, and solar elastosis. The face, hands, forearms, and the neck are especially susceptible.

And, if you have a scar from an injury or surgery, unprotected exposure to the sun may contribute to undesirable scarring.

Protect Scars from UV Rays

In pre-surgical consultations, patients often ask if the will I have a bad scar. As a plastic surgeon, I work hard at making incisions as small as possible and placing them in the least visible places. After surgery, we provide instructions in how to reduce scars, but ultimately, you are responsible for scar management. And now, with summer and sun, it becomes even more critical for patients to protect visible scars from the sun.

What to use

In general, I really like silicone-based scar creams that have at least SPF30. These creams help prevent abnormal scarring after surgery, as well as soften and flatten raised scars, reduce redness and discoloration. And, the SPF 30 protects the scar and surrounding skin from the harmful UV rays. Patients report that they even relieve itching and discomfort associated with scar healing.

Wearing sunglasses is extremely important whenever you’re in the sun, but is even more crucial after eyelid surgery. Protect your scars, giving them time to heal!

And, remember to protect ALL your skin with good sunscreen, protective clothing, hats, etc. Your skin will thank you and you’ll be happier when you look in the mirror!

We’re here to help

My staff is well versed in product selection. Speak to them about what would work well for you. To schedule a confidential consultation or to find out more about scar management, call my patient coordinators or send them an email at


Located in Chicago’s Lincoln Park, our offices are a warm, friendly and comfortable place to share your wants, needs and concerns.

Lawrence Iteld, MD