Scarred, But Maybe Not For Life - Beauty Addict

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Scarred, But Maybe Not For Life

Many of you know that I broke my right wrist last July, necessitating a REALLY FUN surgery that involved the insertion of a titanium plate. This resulted in a 3.5" scar on the underside of my wrist so, true to form, I set out to test out all the various scar crap creams and patches that I could find.

I started with perhaps the most heavily marketed scar remedy, Mederma. Made with onion extract (yes, you read that right), Mederma is supposed to help make scars softer and smoother. It didn't seem to work on mine, but that might be because I just couldn't stick with it. The "clean, fresh scent" was actually rather overpowering, and at times I swore I could smell onions. Plus, when the product dried it left this clear, shiny film that was not only unattractive, but peeled and flaked off throughout the day.

I had far better results with silicone patches. The first one I tried was Curad Scar Therapy, and by the second day I was hooked on the silicone patch method. The science around how they work is still a little hazy, but it's thought to be a combination of constant pressure and temperature, possibly combined with some effects of the silicone itself. Whatever the case, thees clear pads helped keep my scar flat and skin-colored. Half of the scar had become slightly hypertrophic (raised and red), while the other half nearly disappeared - and the Curad patches definitely helped the hypertrophic part blend in with the rest of my skin.

The only thing I didn't like was that the edges of the rectangular patches would peel slightly and attract dust and fuzz, so I had to change them frequently (and they're not cheap). Still, I definitely saw results and would recommend them in a heartbeat.

I had similar success with Neosporin Scar Solution Silicone Scar Sheets. These have a rounded rectangle shape (eliminating the peeling edges) and are fabric backed; they blend in with most skins but will definitely show up against darker skintones. No matter though, because the small patch still looks better than the scar!

These sheets worked just like the Curad Scar Therapy, and I'd readily recommend either one of them. One odd note about the Neosporin: the directions say you can wash them and wear them again, which I thought was gross at first, but then ended up trying it on a weekend away from home. It works! Rinse them with warm water to remove any dead skin and dust, let them dry, and the adhesive will be as good as new. Don't be afraid to do this - they're pretty pricey, and your wallet will thank you.

I also found some similar sheets by a generic drugstore brand, and while they seemed to work just as well, I found that the adhesive wasn't as strong. So, it's probably worth it to shell out for the Neosporin or Curad.

As of today, the hypertrophic portion of my scar is still a little "fat" and raised, so I might look into getting it lasered in about a year if it doesn't improve further. But overall, I'm happy with the way my little battle scar looks, and it was definitely helped along by the patches!

Have you had any successes or failures with scar treatments? Post your story in the comments!