Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Nurse Lisa... in the house

Truck driver for 28 years:
Sun exposure to left side of face

Tanning beds = bad
So... speaking of sunscreen in my last blog reminded me... i've been meaning to include a post about scar care. Quick side note: the skin is the largest organ in the human body and serves many functions. So... if you haven't figured it out by now, this post is going to be more of an educational post.
It's the Nurse in me... wanting to get out.

Well... I obviously have accumulated many battle scars over the years, but I didn't learn about scar care until I was older. See... I had my thyroid removed in 2006 when I had thyroid cancer. Fortunately for me, my cousin Suzanne is an occupational therapist and gave me great advice. Now... i want to pass it on to you as well. Of course, i have to put some kind of disclaimer in here as well about consulting your doctor first :o)


  • First the scar needs to be well healed. My dermatologist always recommends applying white petroleum/ vaseline &  cover with bandaid (daily). The moisture helps with the healing. 
  • SIGNS OF INFECTION: Increase in redness, swelling, tenderness, pus/ discharge, pain.
  • Once the incision is well healed after about a month... meaning no scabs, sutures, staples and total closure of the the wound, you should start scar massage.
  • If it is really painful, just try little things like pressing down on the scar so it blanches in color or turns white. Doing this is just helping increase blood flow to the area.
  • Although it may hurt at first, it will improve with time.
  • In the beginning, massage towards the scar as you do not want to stretch it out.
  • Afterward, massage the scar in different directions. The pressure from the massaging fingers help to flatten the scar. Moving the scar in different directions helps it not attach firmly to the underlying skin surfaces. There's nothing worse that a stiff scar especially if it's over a joint- this could limit mobility in the future.
  • Scar massage techniques can be found on the internet, they'll recommend all sorts of geometry. Circles, Xs, etcetera.
  • Continue to use moisture, i.e. products with Vitamin E, cocoa butter, and don't forget to use sunscreen on scars.
  • If the scar becomes red and raised, i.e. a keloid scar, you should see your dermatologist for additional treatment.
  • The other thing i swear by, and i should be their spokesperson since i have been doing it for free anyhow, is the use of silicone scar gel sheets. They can be pricey, but they are worth it. I use They are reusable & can be cut to size. They should be worn for 12 hours a day. They have a bunch of other products as well, but I am not familiar with them. I'm not sure why the silicone scar gel sheets work so well, but they help decrease redness and help flatten the scar. They are AWE-SOME!

I've always been told that it takes up to 2 years for a scar to heal, so I guess patience is key. I know... easier said than done sometimes. Next time I see you, i'm sure you'll be staring at my neck to check out my old scar. Kind of like when someone has a pimple on their nose... and you don't want to look at it... but you find yourself focusing on it the whole time you are talking to them :o).  I don't mind, you can stare at my neck all you want, just ignore the double chin. lol.

lots of love... Nurse little lisa lollipop :o)

P.S. I'll be ringing the bell sometime around noon tomorrow!

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