Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

Scars from surgery

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,731
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:23 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Does anyone have a recommendation on what to use to minimize surgical scars?


  • i don't know. but my NS will not let me put anything on the scar until after my post-op visit next week.

  • Sorry if i am in the wrong spot here. I cannot find where to start my own topic. It has been 4 weeks since my l4 l5 discectomy and my incision is still swollen the size of a golf ball. It get smaller then larger. Is this normal. I get very bad stabbing pains in this area. I would like to post a pic but not sure how. If anyone can direct me to a picture of what the post incision looks like that would be great. thx in advance.
  • Crash,

    Hi. Each time I had surgery the incision area stayed raised quite a bit for atleast a month or 2.... maybe more actually now that I think about it.It freaked me out enough that I called my doc and asked about it. You have to remember that when they go thru so many layers of muscle that it is healing from the inside out. So swelling in the area is very likely. Atleast that is what I was told at the time. I told him that it felt warm too and he said that goes along with it.

    This is just what my personal experience was.

    Take care and keep on healing!


  • Hi! :H I was wondering the same thing. Post op told me aloe and coacoa butter. Plus remember sunscreen so it doesn't get darker than the rest of your skin when you are outside. A co-worker I spoke to told me she used VITAMIN E OIL on her surgery scars and they did a great job. If you go to your local pharmacy store, like CVS, RiteAid, Walgreens, etc. in the skincare section they should have a few solutions there too. If you don't see anything you like there, you can always google it;) I thought of going to places like AVON etc. Since I have no money until I get paid on Friday, I used some of my Oil of Olay Regenerist deep hydration regenerating cream. I have sensitive and dry skin, so I use a certain facial cleaner, and I use regenerist on my face and I love it. I put some on my scar for the first time yesterday and it already started to look a little better to me. It says on the bottle it doubles skin's surface cell regeneration rate...I guess maybe it does. Anyway, the point is maybe some products like that can also be effective for scars. Anti-aging, anti-wrinkle, etc. Sounds kinda like the same process to me. Anyone have any more imput on this theory? I'm sure someone with more smarts than lil ol me might be able to shed some light on that. Anyway, good luck. Hope this helped a little. By the way, I am going to go get that Vitamin E oil Friday and use both!! I figure it can't hurt! :)
  • Hi guys,

    The nurse, or was it the PT, or the PA...hmmmmm those pain drugs make me forget things 8}. Anyway...back to my point when I was discharged I was told to use Vitamin E and cocoa butter on my incision line. BUUUUUT, when I had hand surgery back in '02 and '03 I used Scargo on my incision site. The hand therapist I was working with was so impressed with what it was doing for my scar she started to recommend it to her other patients. I was able to pick it up at a local natural food store....or you can use this site I found:


    It's really great inexpensive and I HIGHLY recommend it. It's what I'll be using on my back since it worked so well on my hand.

  • You show me yours and I'll show you mine :O :D

    That just sounded too bad to not say - okay, now I'm blushing... (where IS that blushing smiley when you need it!)

    Hey Crash... I'm not sure, but golfball sized sounds not so good - like there is something in there. I have hardware and my incision is just a raised red ridge. If I can figure out a way to move my photo over from the one computer to the next I'll have to post the picture.

    edit - I think I did it:

    That dot scar on the side is from the post-op drain. Lately I've noticed that my scar is a LOT more vividly red than just a few weeks ago - the time of the photo. I'm expecting it to go white eventually - in either case, it certainly is not golf-ball looking at all.
  • saltz...how many inches is your scare? Just curious.
  • Neosporian works like a dream.
    I put it on each day I changed my bandage. ;) ;)
  • The scar - about 8 inches

    I think, it's hard to measure on my own, and I have to say that I don't show it much - it goes down a bit farther than I am comfortable showing :O (hence the cut off photo!! /:) )
  • I wish I could offer you a suggestion, but I'm a weirdo. I don't care about my scars. Lol. In fact, I actually like them. I have a 10" horizontal scar from having a C-section for my 10 lb 9oz baby! I have a nice red one from my MicroD, and I will have two more after my next surgery. Lol. They are battle wounds!! My skin heals funny... My MicroD scar isn't infected or anything... Both the NS and the PA checked it... But they both noted how red it was. It's been about 5 months but it's still just as red as the day after surgery. I'm a freak o' nature.
  • I agree-I do not mind the scar-it is a battle scar! I was kidding around with my daughter who was HORRIFIED when she saw it-I told her that I liked it and I was gonna get a tattoo to draw more attention to it! I was kidding-ofcourse! No one sees it but me-I do not wear 2 piece bathing suits or low rise jeans! Funny thing-my son saw it when he walked in while my husband was helping me get my brace on-he screamed "MOMMY! What did you DO?"! I laughed-we had told him I was having surgery but neglected to explain what that was. He says he does not understand why I did not die. He thinks if you get cut open like that then you just die! He is 7 years old but he is hearing impaired and has aditory processing disorder so some things he just can not "grasp".
  • how long after surgery can I start putting vitamin E on my scar? Dr. directions said to put nothing on for six weeks...which was this past thursday. I don't see him for another 2 weeks. it looks very dark. i had anterior cervical fusion done. Actually it has been hurting and feels real hard next to the scar..i am assuming this is normal healing?
  • Omg. That is soooo funny. What a cutie pie. I love when kids are so innocent... They don't understand and are so sincerely concerned... It's adorable! My son is Autistic, so I can relate to you in some ways.

    And the tattoo, hahahaha. That's pretty comical. Imagine what kind of tattoos could be done around scars... TOTALLY random, unrelated things... Like maybe a grass along the length of it. Or a flag pole. Or Christmas lights! YES Christmas lights tattooed so that they appear to be wrapping around the scar like a pole!

  • You should be taking care of your skin from day one, not only have all the muscles and layers underneath it been moved about during your op, but the skin will have been stretched, pinned back and irritated. Moisturize your back on the outer sides to begin with then there will be no issues with adhesive dressings not sticking , then when the magic day when your stitches are out and the scar is healed you will be washing more frequently than than the natural oils in your skin can be replaced and do their work of keeping the skin supple and intact , it is best to bathe in the evenings, so that by the time you wake up the natural oils and skin flora will have rejuvenated.
    For those who don`t feel that the skin feels dry or taught, then maybe a few drops of baby oil in the washing water is enough to ensure there is a good barrier.
    For those who are in a brace and are sweating more under the influence of certain pain meds, the even more frequent washing means you will have to moisturize, ensure it says creme, and is perfume free. Lotion has more water in it and is easier to apply, but you have to wait for the water to evaporate and it cools the skin, to a bug friendly temperature.
    Try to always wear cotton next to your scar as it is the best to absorb sweat and won`t dry your skin out. You are going to be moisturizing for a long time so choose cremes you know you can afford to have for 6 months or so, Vitamin E creme is fine if you can find one at a decent price with no added perfumes or alcohol which dry the skin .
    I have worked as a district nurse for many years and seen equally good results from patients who have used baby cremes , supermarket own brands and even in one case, sunflower oil with added vitamin E !
    My last point is, your diet must be taken into consideration, a poor diet , shows in the skin. Fresh fruit and vegetables, a good varied diet and if you are not a fish eater , a supplement of Omega 3 essential fish oils would be a good idea, and drink loads of water, to help your body flush all the toxins and bi-products of the general anaesthetic and the pain meds out and to keep you hydrated which helps prevent dry skin, constipation and many other problems.

  • We use the vit E alot in this house but we just take a vitamin E 400 SOFT GEL poke one end with a tooth pick take the tooth pick out and squeeze the vitE out and you have the best vitE (great for dry lips,scars,little scrapes,even canker sores,i could go on and on with things we use it for)anyway if you don't use all of the vit-E from the soft gel, just put the tooth pick back into the little whole on the side and you can use it at another time.
    do you think this is a god idea?
    or maybe everyone already does it well just my idea maybe it will help someone. patsy
  • LO-you've got some great tattoo ideas lol! Maybe make it the stem of a long stemed rose (in my case..a REALLY long stemed rose :) !
  • I just read this someplace---I think in Health magazine. A plastic surgeon told me he swears by cortisone cream.

    Also, you can have your scar injected with cortisone, which helps to minimize it. Insurance paid for my injections. It would have also covered it if a plastic surgeon had to redo the scar, to make it look better. It took about a year for mine to look ok. Now, it isn't noticable.

    Linda MI (my scar is from thyroid cancer, and matches Dave's from his ADCF)
  • I also use these every night. I keep a safety pin taped to the bottle and poke the gel tab and apply it liberally on the incision, it works amazingly well!!! My scar is just about a year old and hardly visible! It works on old scars too!!!

    Ladybug I hadn't thought about all of those other great ideas too! The generic bottles last forever and its way cheap! Pure Vit E :D

    I guess the docs all are different about when to do everything so everyone will be different as far as when to start, I started at about 8 weeks post-op
    Take care everyone and happy healing =D>
  • Heard that they can inject cortisone into scars to break up the scar tissue. It doesn't completely get rid of it, but it does minimize it. My physical therapist was talking to me about it when I saw her for a re-eval after Aquatic PT, before the next surgical consult. She was thinking they might inject stuff into my scar, but turns out I needed another surgery instead. I don't know about Cortisone cream though... I use HYDROcortisone for itching from bug bites and stuff Haha.
  • How much does a generic bottle cost... Like, ballpark. Also I am wondering if it works on stretch marks.

    There is something called creme de la mur. It's over 100 dollars for a small amount, but I guess it's like, miracle cream for scars. If anyone cares that much about them and is willing to pay, it's supposed to be amazing.
  • don't forget some gentle masssage with olive oil.
  • 400IU 250 generic gel tabs are $9.00
    I don't know about strech marks but it's worth a shot. I think I'll do mine too :)

    It may help at least calm them down maybe not help the actual skin changes I have in mine like "spaces" between the darn things. Anyways another great idea to use this. $100.00 is alot, holy cow....

    I would definitely try this first, mine don't bother me so much but if they're real bad &/or bother ya alot I guess I'd pay that much too if it were "for sure"

    Good luck let me know how they work & I'll do the same. If I can figure out a way to do a pic I'll show ya my incision results....It really works great!!!!!!!!!
  • My stretch marks have those damn gaps too!!! It's like, craterville over on my stomach. I think it was because I had my son at 16, and he was almost 11 lbs... I am 5'7" and at that time I was about 125, so not overweight or chubby at all.. My skin has like, NO elasticity at ALL. Lol. I got stretch marks behind my knees, my arms, my thigh... Like... WTF? As far as I know I carried him in my stomach, not my appendages.
  • One ALIF and one PLIF. I highly recommend a cream called ScarZone. You can get it at CVS, Target, Rite Aide etc. My ALIF incision is 8 inches long 18 mths post op and you can barely see a line. The line is a medium beige, not white. If you apply it for 2 min. rubbing with your finger back n forth over the incision twice daily it works great. I put it on my gall bladder removal scars that were 3 yrs. old at the time and they are totally gone. It's $11 a tube but it really works!
Sign In or Register to comment.