Scar treatment

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Seastreet

Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2020
Messages
16
Heya, it has been 4 weeks since my AVR surgery. Can I start applying some creams for to lighten my chest incision scar now? Does anyone have any recommendations please?
 

caro

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Joined
Jan 7, 2020
Messages
18
Location
NYC
Hi! I would ask nurse or doctor if it's OK. I waited until any remnants of the stitches were gone before applying anything. I think it took longer than 30 days for them to completely dissolve. I've been using argan oil and shea butter. My scar has faded a lot since February. I cover up my scar when outside or apply sunscreen.
 

Seastreet

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Jun 12, 2020
Messages
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I see the term “dissolve” thrown about a lot. For me my stitches just fell off in the shower. Is that what it is? My scar is just one red pinkish line down my chest now.
 

LondonAndy

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Aug 1, 2015
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If the skin is healed you can start applying cream, but I think normally that is at least six weeks. I used Bio Oil daily for some months once mine was safe, and last August at a BBQ I sat next to a guy who had had his surgery less than a month earlier than mine (in Sept 2014) and my scar was almost invisible compared to his untreated scar.
 

almost_hectic

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Jun 30, 2015
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naples, florida
I used a silicone cream called ScarAway every day for a number of months, my scar is just a flat smooth line now that's almost the same color as my skin. Not like some of the thick red scars I see on some heart patients. Its also best to keep it out of the sun for the first year while the scar heals. Sun can darken the color of your scar which can become permanent is what I have read.
 

Seastreet

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Jun 12, 2020
Messages
16
May I ask what it means to wait until the wound has fully closed before applying creams or gels? If I remember correctly, my chest incision has been closed since day 1 haha. Just deliberating whether I should should using Dermatix 5 weeks post op
 

LondonAndy

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I am not sure how I would describe fully closed. Is there still redness? Does it feel as if rubbing the skin might cause any tearing apart again? Or that a fluid applied might be able to go through the incision? Hopefully someone has a better way to describe it!
 

almost_hectic

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Jun 30, 2015
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naples, florida
Fully closed means just skin, no scabs. Wait until any scabbing has fallen off by itself. If it doesn’t fall off by itself or just rinse off in the shower it’s still healing underneath. Removing it prematurely is a sure way to increase scarring potential
 

almost_hectic

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Jun 30, 2015
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naples, florida
Just realized you said you had stitches. That’s interesting. My incision was closed with surgical glue. So there were no stitches to remove. I guess every surgeon has their own way they like to do it.
 

SumoRunner

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Oct 25, 2006
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937
Location
Latham, NY
It's been so long I forgot all about the stitches. What I remember is the staples holding the breast bone together. One afternoon a nurse comes in with a pair of pliers, opens the shirt and says hold your breath. Yank, yank, yank! Oh yeah, and the scar is not a problem after a few months if you have a hairy chest. I can't tell if you are M or F.
 

Protimenow

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Aug 10, 2010
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3,587
Location
California
One month after my surgery - sometime in September 1991, I thoroughly embarrassed my daughter, and had a major part in mortifying a lot of her classmates, when I took her to a father/daughter dinner at her school. I think that one of the fathers noticed my still healing scar, just peeking out above the top button of my shirt. I told them that I'd just had my OHS, and that it had only been a month.

At that point, one father after another, opened HIS shirt, to show HIS scar. There must have been five or six of them - probably not all valve replacements, possibly coronary bypass surgeries, possibly something else. But having a group of fathers, all opening their shirts, and all looking at each others' scars, must have been a quite memorable - and at the same time quite forgettable - event for these young girls.
 

Cactus52

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Oct 10, 2017
Messages
37
Location
Atlanta GA
Well I go this week for mine. My daughter in law who is a truly gifted tattoo artist has designed a zipper tattoo that she will give me when I am healded. Never had one before but I think it's warranted in this case.
 

Protimenow

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Aug 10, 2010
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A zipper tattoo sounds like a good idea - but what happens if you need another OHS? They may have trouble trying to get the edges to line up.

Perhaps something a bit wider, with enough width to handle another surgery may also work -- perhaps a cat's scratching post, with a cat stretching to use it?

I'm sure that others here can come up with clever ideas for tattoos that cover the scar....
 

tom in MO

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Jan 17, 2012
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1,381
Location
MO USA
Well I go this week for mine. My daughter in law who is a truly gifted tattoo artist has designed a zipper tattoo that she will give me when I am healded. Never had one before but I think it's warranted in this case.
You won't be the only one. Somewhere on this forum there is a picture of another person with a zipper tattoo.
 
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