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Scars from operations

I wish there was more support for scars

I am a lady of 43 years of age and a year ago I had double knee surgery. I needed the surgery to prevent my knees from dislocating which they did frequently and also help with the pain. As I waited so long I had to have both knees operated on at the same time and thus I have 2 large scars on each knee and a smaller one on each. At the time scarring was the least of my issues but now I have had my confidence knocked in his I look. I look after my scars by applying bio oil twice daily to try and reduce their appearance. They have reduced slightly but at no time have I been given any help from anyone on his best to look after them, other than when I first left hospital. Everyone says they look neat and tidy which they are but to me they are something I keep hidden by clothing. I gave recently left a 26 year marriage and my husband was not supportive in fact his remarks were upsetting and have helped in knocking the confidence out if me. I am still recovering from the surgery but wish there was support and advice when it comes to scars.

Sandra, UK

I use my scar to teach other's the dangers of sun exposure

As an avid swimmer in Queensland, Australia (skin cancer capital of the world) I would often swim for hours without a shirt honest and projection. This means that I was constantly sunburn on my back. This has meant that I have had to have a grade 2 malignant melanoma removed from my back. They excised a 50mm circle of skin from my back, which has led to a significant scar on my right upper back and right shoulder. This means that every time I take my shirt off, the scar can clearly be seen as even after 8 years it is very red and very visible. This makes me exceptionally self-conscious, even more than my growing waistline. I also worry about any hairs I have on my back as people will also be drawn to seeing these also. This is very hard as the climate in Australia, more than the UK where I now live meant I was always removing my shirt to swim. Additionally I do use the scar to teach my class (i am a teacher) about then need for sunscreen and skin/Sun safety. 

Hamish, Australia

I'm glad it's hidden most of the time

12 months ago I was involved in an RTA in which I broke my left femur and suffered cuts to the back of my left hand. The following day I had surgery to insert a metal plate and femoral screw into my leg. I was left with a scar running from my upper hip to my knee, plus scars on the back of my hand. My stitches were removed around a fortnight later. At the time the scar didn't bother me too much as my leg was swollen and badly bruised. It didn't feel like my leg! Once the wound had healed I started applying Bio-Oil daily and within a few months the lower part of my scar and those on my hand had faded to white. I am continuing to use the Bio-Oil on the upper part of my scar. It is still red and raised which I have been told is because the area is still healing internally. I'm fortunate with where my scar is as it is hidden by trousers and most skirts. However, when I started swimming 2 months after the accident I was frequently asked about the scar. I don't mind telling people what it is, but I'm pleased that it is hidden most of the time.

Christine, UK

Overcoming Pregnancy Scarring

After the birth of my first son within a few days i was getting terrible pains in my stomach. This went on for 6 years until one day i was so poorly and could not keep anything down we called the GP and he came to the house, by this time i was jaundiced. He diagnosed me with gallstones. I was sent to hospital for tests to confirm which it did. As i had fallen pregnant i could not be operated on so i had to wait until my second son was born.   When my son was 10 months old i finally went into hospital and had my gall bladder removed where i had a 6 inch incision across my stomach. I did find this hard to look at and thought my husband would be repulsed by it. But i was wrong he was very supportive. I did cause my scar to stretch as i picked my son up when i was not supposed to luckily i did not split it open.  After nearly 30 years since i had this done i do get conscious of my scar when on holiday and i can see people looking at it, but i would prefer for people to ask about it than stare. Everyone that has scars have a story to tell.

Nancy, UK

My Constant Reminder!

My scar is a daily reminder of a horrible time in my life, it's a constant reminder that I nearly died. But it's also a reminder that I'm still here to tell the tale. I try and take positives from it and vow to make every day count. 

I can remember clearly when the sick started, it was a Tuesday evening around 9.30pm when I had an overwhelming urge to be sick and ran to the toilet. I felt dizzy and hot, I decided to have an early night. I didn't think much of it at the time. I've been having tummy trouble, bloating, abdominal pain and constipation for months and was waiting for an outpatients appointment. I'd had fish and chips for tea and assumed it had set my tummy troubles off! Read the full story...

Deborah, UK

My scar is a reminder of some painful surgery

I had a basal cell carcinoma removed from the side of my nose but unfortunately it has left a white tissue scar area with the side of the nose being numb and tingling. It is obvious to me whenever I look in the mirror as a white reminder of some painful surgery as the surgeon did not find the area to numb with the first aneaesthetic and so the removal was prolonged. My stigma is increased by knowing other people who have had a similar procedure with more natural healing and very little visible scarring and more flesh-like colour blending.

Patrick, UK

My scar is a small sacrifice for a better quality of life

I have a 100mm scar at the base of my neck/top of my collar bone from a total Thyroidectomy three years ago. I had staples after the surgery which made the area look much worse than it was - a little scary to be honest.  A week and 1/2 after surgery I went to have the staples removed and to my surprise the scar wasn't as bad as thought. I had visions of being mistaken for Frankenstein before this day!  

As months went by my scar was undetectable unless someone looked real hard or was told it was there. In three years only one person has asked what surgery I have had to have such a scar. I never cover it up as I like to wear t-shirts, I guess because I can't see it I don't notice it myself - even when looking in the mirror.  The only thing I do is put sunscreen on it when it is hot as it is more visible if I go red.

I have never been upset or depressed with my scar as I was so sick before the surgery I feel it is a small sacrifice for a better quality of life.

 

Toni, London

Infection in my scar tissue

I had a hernia operation during childhood. When I was 8 I had stiches that left a scar on my right side of my groin area. I felt it was in a private place, so it did not bother me too much at first.

But when I grew up I was embarrassed to let my girlfriends see my scar and it made things very awkward for me when I slept with them. I took care of my scar by rubbing cream on my scar and kept it clean.

But in 2013 I lifted something heavy and got a tear in my scar tissue which became infected. I spent a fortnight in hospital and had antibiotics to clear up the infection, then I had a hernia repair operation that left me very sore but the scar was now clean and my hernia mended. After I got discharged I got no aftercare but put cream on the scar and kept it clean. I dare not lift anything heavy anymore and am very restricted in what I can and will lift in future.

I often feel delicate in the groin area because of my scar and tend to take things easy.  My scare is ok now but I often worry that I might tear it again, but should be ok if I continue to keep the scar clean and moisturise it.

 

Colin, UK