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Scar Minimisation- product reviews

Kiwi Stoker2011-04-14 14:14:23 +0000 #1
Hi Everyone,

Well since there seems to be a number of us here who had had or will be having operations (whether due to an injury or otherwise) I thought I would post of my almost 3 year experiences with scar minimisation products.

I have two surgical scars- one 20cm scar that runs from above my armpit down my arm- that's almost 3 years old and is the result of a plate and screws repairong my broken shoulder. The second is more recent, in December surgery to repair tendons and remove scar tissue in the muscles on the same shoulder and I ended up with a 10cm scar on the top of the shoulder. I think surgical scars or scars that extend through the entire skin layers are the worse (my road rash scars are pretty invisible now).

Both scars are visible when I wear tank tops or thin strap tops. I don't want to remove the scars, they are part of me, but I do want them to look OK and not like a horror story. I wanted to use no-invasive methods to reduce their look.

1) Vitamin E oil. I started with this on scar 1 as soon as it was healed and didn't require a bandage. It was sticky! And it didn't really do anything. BTW massaging a scar with some form of moisturiser IS GOOD for it. It keeps it supple. However I think anything would work.

2) Next up was a heavily advertised product called Bio Oil. Supposively it is formulated to be like oil produced by birds for their feathers and it "a miracle on scars". Well 3 months of it and no change, in fact the middle of scar 1 started to keloid (spread wider than the orginal scar). My Beauty Therapist cousin doesn't think much of it either, saying the oil was "unnatural" feeling.

3) OK time for something a bit more medical. Mederma and Hiruscar cream. They have the same active ingredient that is something from leeches. There is a vaguely unpleasant smell, the Hiruscar tries to cover it with a fragrance but Mederma doesn't. As I was putting it on my shoulder I noticed it. Anyway this stuff did work. After a month the purple colour faded from the scar and it returned to a more normal skin colour.

BTW for best results you need to work on scars early, before 2 years, otherwise they become pretty set.

After scar 2 "arrived" I started Hiruscar after 3 weeks, when the bandage came off and the dissolving stitches were trimmed. I found out the hard way to becareful with clothing covering the scar. My bra strap pushed into my scar and made part of it wider, the skin was so delicate. Also this scar had parts raised and parts sunken in so looked bad.

The Hiruscar cream was OK but the uneveness of the scar worried me, so I got on the internet to find out was there something else that might work.

4) Silicon gel sheets. These are thick, self sticky gel sheets you put over the scar and leave on for as long as possible. You then wash the gel in soap and water and it returns to being sticky and you can reuse. They last for 1 month and since they are a bit pricey ( my 12 x 3cm strip was NZ$50) that is good. You start by wearing it for 4 hours and build up the time to get your skin used to it.

I have been wearing my Smith & Nephew Cica-Care gel strip (other brands include My Scar-away etc) and after ONE week my scar has lost its purple colour and I can see it evening out. Gosh I wish someone had told me about this stuff earlier! Apparently you can buy underwear with this stuff inside for c-sections.

The sheets don't smell, stick well (until the skin oils overwhelm it and then you just wash it to restore) and you can wear it at night or under clothes. Some areas might need to have it taped down, but my shoulder has held up to me sleeping on it and turning over.

Anyway if someone wants to buy you a get well soon gift and you don't want flowers, consider getting some scar silicon gel sheets instead.

I hope you find this info useful!


withm2011-04-14 14:24:59 +0000 #2
Wow - I'd not heard of the silicon gel sheets but they sound very promising. I did have very good results with Mederma following my shoulder surger. You almost have to be looking for it to see it now. But then again, my scar was only about 3" long - miniscule compared to yours. Hope your healing continues.
zoom-zoom2011-04-14 14:36:23 +0000 #3
I had breast reduction surgery 6 years ago. The silicone gel sheets were still pretty new technology, but that is what my surgeon had me use. My scars are damned near invisible. I know they're there, but can barely see them...and I know where to look. The only spots that really show are where I had my drain ports.

Vitamin E can be risky...some people have a reaction to it, which can make scarring worse. I wouldn't mess with that.
nscrbug2011-04-14 14:28:03 +0000 #4
The silicon gel sheets DO sound interesting, but I don't think they would be a viable option for someone with scarring on their face (me). I got the chickenpox last April and did some pretty intense scratching on my face, leaving quite a few pock marks on my forehead. I too, have tried the Vitamin E and Bio-Oil and found them both to be pretty useless...and sticky! It felt like I was slathering honey all over my face...it was that sticky and gross.

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