My husband fell a month ago and got some cuts on his face that required stitches. The scars are very red and some of them are lumpy. A doctor friend told him that the scars will improve naturally, so he should wait and see how they look in a year and then get treatment at that point if he still doesn’t like them. Is this true? Would it help to use a scar cream in the meantime?

It’s true that scars evolve for many months, and in the past the “wait and see” approach was common. However, as our understanding of scars has grown, it has become clear that scars should be treated as early as possible. We like to see surgical scars as soon as the stitches are removed. Scars that are treated when newer have a better end result, often need milder treatments, and often need fewer treatments compared to an established scar.

Not only scars, but just about every skin problem that we see does better with early intervention, whether it’s acne, wrinkles, aging skin, melasma, or sun damage. The more entrenched a problem becomes, the more difficult it is to improve it.