Let's Talk Scars
All right if you are a breast cancer patient who has had to have anywhere from a lumpectomy to bilateral mastectomy you are probably familiar with scars by now. You know those lovely reminders we have on our body to let us know what we have lived through and what could potentially come back?
Over the past two years I have been working hard to try and get my scars to "heal". I'm not going to lie in the beginning it was really hard to look at them. Not just because they were fresh, red, raised and still not closed, but because it was a reminder everyday of what I had been through and what I was still going through. As time went on they became my new normal. I don't look at them as a collage of memories from one surgery to the next, but as my life story. No one, and I mean no one makes it out of life with out scars. Some may be visible and some are invisible ones you cannot see. With that said of course I still want them to continue to heal until they are flesh with my skin color and tone. Here are a few items I have used to help this process.
First before you start anything make sure your wounds are closed and not scabbed. You don't want to be putting anything on them until they are fully healed. As always speak with your doctor before you start putting anything on them.
Second not all scars are the same! Different parts of the body heal differently. My lymph node removal scars under my arm healed with just vitamin E oil, tamanu oil and rose hip oil. The scar is so minimal now its almost blended in to my skin. As for my DIEP (deep inferior epigastric perforator) flap site, my GAP (gluteal artery perforator) flaps site, and my new chest, hello foobs, those are a completely different story. I did the exact same thing and these scars are giving me a run for my money.
Third you must stay hydrated and lotion up in between your application of these products. Your scars are still forming and need to stay as hydrated as possible to heal.
As for the products I'm using now I have found that silicone has been working the best. I started with ScarAway Advance Scar Sheets. These sheets were suggested to me by my PT. They last about two weeks per patch and you can cut them to fit your scar. The down side is they don't do great all over the body. If you need them for your chest or stomach they are great. They stay on and then when you are done you just use a little warm water to clean them off, let them dry and reapply. For my GAP flap site they were really hard to keep on. They constantly fell off and were more of a pain then anything. What I have found that is working great is the Silicon Scar Gel. This stuff is the same concept except you rub it on for 3-4 minutes twice a day. This has worked wonders! After two months I am seeing that the scars are fading. It can be a pain to put it on twice a day but once you do it your done you don't have to worry about a sheet or patch. It also encourages you to massage that area. You have a ton of scar tissue there so the more you can loosen and break it up the better.
As always make sure you use a brand you feel comfortable with and that is approved by your doctor. The ones linked above are what I use and have found help me. If you have any tips or tricks that help with your scars let me know! I'm always looking for new and better ways to help heal my body.