I want to start by disclosing that I am super proud of my scars and I consider them a mark of pride, but I also want them to heal in the best possible way. I want my body to tell my story but at the same time, I want my beautiful belly button to go back to its glory days. I do not think I am being unreasonable; I know the marks will be there forever and they will always show as a reminder of my sacrifice to have a better quality of life, but I also want them to fade a little, so they are not as dark.
I had surgery back in October 2020 for my second laparoscopy and because I already knew how my body heals, I was extremely clear with my surgeons in reminding them how important my belly button was for me and to please be as careful as much as possible because I really did not want to have big excisions. I was so comfortable talking about how I wanted my scars to look to my surgeons that even though it was not important in the scheme of all the health issues that could happen during surgery, I felt it was important enough for me to discuss it with them. I wanted to have clear expectations of how I was going to look after the surgery and me telling them how I felt about the scars was a huge step to my recovery since they were going to affect my appearance, making me feel a little self-conscious.
Scars are normal and they form as part of the natural healing process following an injury and in this case a surgery. When the dermis which is the second layer of skin, is damaged, your body forms collagen fibers to repair the damage resulting in a scar. Most of the time, the faster a wound heals, the less collagen will be deposited and the less noticeable the scar will be. Scars can form differently according to the severity of the injury, location in the body, based on our age, and the type of scar.
I have a hypertrophic scar on my left side of my arm from when I was a kid and I cut myself while playing. I know that most of my scars are hypertrophic ones which are characterized by excess tissue that forms over the skin as it heals. Unlike a keloid scar, it does not grow outside the injured area. Hypertrophic scars are commonly darker than other skin in the area. My scars are usually raised, thick and puffy and over time they turn white.
In here I am going to tell you some of the products and tricks that have worked in healing my laparoscopy scars. It has been 7 months of consistency and patience, but I believe that it has paid off. I even went to a dermatologist a month ago to try to treat them with laser, but I was told that they were too new for the treatment and I was going to cause more damage instead of helping them and the second reason was that they were healing good.
There is no known way to make scars totally disappear, but many will become lighter over time on their own. Natural healing remedies and over the counter remedies can speed up the lightening process and make a scar less noticeable. Here are some of the remedies that have been effective for me.
- Sunblock: Covering your scar from the sun is extremely important so it can heal properly. If you are outdoors and even if you are wearing a one piece, make sure to put on some sunscreen on your scars to protect them.
- Mederma: I started to use Mederma on top of my stitches a week after surgery. I did not put any pressure in the are and I just applied it very gently on top of them. My stitches were the ones that dissolved themselves so eventually they came off on their own. I am still applying Mederma three times a week.
- Vitamin E: I cut open a vitamin E capsule and I squeeze the oil onto the scar. It is important to follow it with a massage on and around the scar for at least 10 minutes. After half an hour you can wipe it off with a wet cloth.
- Bio-oil: This has been my holy grail for the entire process. As soon as all my stitches were off, I started to rub bio-oil onto and around the scars. I even started using it to massage the areas of the scars while watching tv. A month after the surgery, I had the follow up appointment and my surgeon noticed that the scar on my belly button was starting to get raised and he mentioned that I had a lot of collagen built up in the scar, so he recommended me to massage it daily with an oil to dissolve the collagen build up and for it to look flatter. I use this oil daily even after applying Mederma.
- Aloe Vera: Here and there I buy from the supermarket aloe vera and I make little cubes which I freeze after. Once a week mostly on weekends I use one of the cubes of aloe vera on the scars with a light massage. It is very soothing, and I believe it has helped.
I hope that my remedies and tricks can help your scars look less noticeable. Please let me know if you like this type of content and if you have questions.
**Please note this has been my personal experience and results and the recommendations have worked for me but may have various results for different types of skin and scars. This is not medical advice, please consult with your doctor prior to taking any medications or over-the-counter products herein.