I just finished my second hair transplant with a new doctor. This doctor said that I should use Polysporin, not just on the donor area, but also on the recipient area. Is this okay? Why would this be helpful? I just want to make sure I’m not hurting the grafts.
Following your hair restoration surgeon’s individual advice is a good idea. There are many ways to “skin a cat” and different approaches can get equally good results. The one thing I would caution against is putting a thick coating of any ointment (Neosporin, Polysporin, Bacitracin, or even Vaseline) on the grafts right away, as this can interfere with the necessary coagulation that occurs at the interface of the graft with the recipient site.
We had an eyebrow patient several years ago who reminded me of this fact: She came into the office the next day for a hair wash and check of things, and she swept her hand over the eyebrow area and 25 grafts just slid out of their sites like greased pigs. Before that, we had always applied Bacitracin immediately post-op: No longer. However, starting the next day, using a thin coating of one of these (I prefer either Bacitracin or plain Vaseline, since they have the least sensitizing ingredients in them. Neosporin is the riskiest because of the Neomycin) over the graft area once or twice a day. It is messy and that’s why not a lot of people do it. But, I’m convinced that if a patient wants the scabs gone the quickest way possible, that a twice daily coating of an ointment vehicle is the best way to go.
To clean it off, say, for the morning shower, I recommend applying some baby oil first to help liquify the ointment, and then use Dawn detergent to get it all off. Then whatever conditioner the patient likes could be used. Creams are a lot cleaner and easier to use, but aren’t quite as efficacious in scab removal.
Our “default” routine in our practice is to apply Vitamin E/aloe cream every night to the grafted area and simply shower and shampoo every morning. Around 20% of our patients elect to purchase and use the Graftcyte kit with copper peptide. Although I’ve seen a handful of miraculous healing from this kit, I’m not convinced that it is superior to simply spraying a saline mist on the grafts every hour of the waking day, which we also give to each patient.
Mike Beehner, M.D.
Editorial Assistant and Forum Co-Moderator for the Hair Transplant Network, the Coalition Hair Loss Learning Center, and the Hair Loss Q & A Blog.
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