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Do you hide your scar?

JenGJJenG Posts: 232
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:39 AM in Scoliosis
It's Summer here in Australia and very hot in Queensland. Most of my summer clothes have a low or scooped back and my scar shows. I decided early on that I would not go out of my way to hide it but at the same time don't want to gross anybody out.

Do you always hide your scar, or do you wear it with pride?


  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,839
    with pride.
    Its sort of like a Badge of Courage.
    Though, I would admit that men probably dont care as much about how it looks as women do.
    But still the same.
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • I joked with my kids about getting a tattoo... My youngest said "what, a butterfly?" I said "No - a ZIPPER!" They got a kick out of it.

    I have lots of scars (I played rough when I was a kid), plus I have vitilago on my hands, fingers, wrists, elbows, knees, ankles and feet. What's another scar in the midst of all that?

    Trick is to be comfortable in your own skin. If it bothers others more than you, who cares? Does it change who you are on the inside?

    Gosh - that sounded so corney... Sorry.
  • dilauro said:
    with pride.
    Its sort of like a Badge of Courage.
    Though, I would admit that men probably dont care as much about how it looks as women do.
    But still the same.

    I don't try to hide mine...as I too wear these "bought and paid for" markings! I call my neck scars my "gills"...I started life as an aircraft mechanic, so with safety wire, cotter key tails etc., you can imagine some of the slice and dice marks on my arms! Heck, some of them make my surgical scars look like nothing!

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • I have an old "classic" vertical Ceasarian scar on my tummy & my $$$ 8" PLIF scar on my back..as my granddaughter said "At least they line up!"

    I wear a 2-piece swimming suit sometimes & make no attempt to hide them or explain then. I am proud to have come thru all my procedures & still walk upright!

    BTW: just got my new truck license plates: they read "FZNSR5R" (fusion survivor.)So far I've gotten 4 honks & a few thumbs-up!

    If I'm ever (heaven forbid...) in a accident, my body's evidence will validate the plates! :)

    Wear them proudly! We paid (& continue to pay) dearly for them!

  • I never went out of my way to hide them, and I don't care if they show. I'm a spiney for life and I can sport my scar if I wanna. B) It's about 9 inches long now since they made the new incision for the catheter. My abdomen looks like a road map from all my other non spinal surgeries: appendectomy, hysterectomy, etc.
  • "My scars cost a fortune. I wear them with pride. People can wear expensive jewelry. I wear $500,000.00 in scars!

    But I am a man and scars can be real sexy on a man."

    Haha good one Paulgla!
  • RangerRRanger on da rangePosts: 805
    Hey JenG,
    Every scar tells a story, and with all of mine I could write a book! LOL So why even try to hide them, we paid enough for them, right? From the lower back surgery, to the anterior and posterior neck surgery, to the self-inflicted chainsaw bite above the knee, and the multi-compound fracture to my hand, I've had a few sutures in my life and I know there are more on the horizon. I can see where the ladies may be a little more self conscious about scar tissue but IMO I agree with Ron, they are sort of a badge or medal of surviving a battle. And scars can look sexy on a woman as they can on a man.
  • Ranger, it sounds like you could produce a coffee table book of photos of your war-wounds!

    I agree, our scars are bought and paid for and we should not be ashamed of them.
  • I have scars on both sides of my neck from 3 fusions. There is really no way to hide them. I can't stand to have any clothing touching my neck! The only time I've worried about the scars on my back was when I was water walking at a fitness club. I have 5 scars, one was opened up 3 times and is quite large and deep. I was kinda worried that seeing them may disturb some people. And I have no desire to give an explanation to strangers! I excersize at home now so it is no longer an issue.

    Faith M
  • I guess it's me - I made sure to shop for bathing suits, 1 piece that had as high a back as possible - before my surgery and afterward. When I went to the pool this summer, I knew some of my scar showed but not much. I had 3 pretty swimsuits and they all were cut with a high back, no low or scoop back for me.

    When shopping for summer sleeveless tops, I was the same way, didn't want anything with a very low back. I am just
    glad that my surgery scars are where they can be hidden under my clothing - maybe this goes back to wearing a back brace in junior high - but it's private to me and I guess I don't want my scars to show. I don't mind looking at them and of course my husband has seen them but to me, it's not something I want to show.

    (of course I don't have a 1/2 million dollars worth, I am only the owner of about $350,000. worth of scars!!)
  • I'm very proud of the 3" vertical scar on my neck and am kind of ticked at my surgeon for doing such a good job that it doesn't show much any more. LOL I consider it my badge of courage and I earned and paid for every centimeter of it.

    My upcoming back scar won't be seen by anyone but my hubby and MIL (my recovery nurse) because I wouldn't wear a bikini in a million years.

  • I don't feel the need to hide any of my scars, except as mentioned previously it is different for a man. I don't see the need to hide them.

    Scars show where you've been but not where your going.
  • Being a member of the extreme butt crack club... (9" scar starting just above my butt) I can't say I have too many opportunities to "show off" my scar. However, I do notice myself tugging at my shirt a it from time to time when I bend down...but it's the whole "scar looks like an extended butt crack" thing and has nothing to do with it being a scar...just don't want people to think I've got plumber's butt!
  • I was really self-concious growing up...I had to wear a back brace from age 8 till I was 15, and I got teased a lot. I hated it when people asked me what was sticking out of the back of my shirt (was my brace sticking out on the upper right side of my back). I have had three surgeries on my back, now, and the scar is the last thing I think about now. For a long time I remained very self-concious, but I have come out of my shell...and like today, I wore something I would have never ever worn before. A spaghetti strap shirt and the straps criss-cross in the back and shows not only my scar, but also the right side of my back that sticks out more than the left side. But you know what?...I'M ME, AND I'M PROUD TO BE ME! People can take me for who I am or not at all. I know I am happy, and my hubby loves me just like I am.

    Scoliosis for 30 years; Thoracic curve measures 50, Lumbar curve measures 38; DDD L1/L2, L2/L3
  • I've had 6 lumber surgeries and really my scar isn't too bad. Like others I wear it with pride!! My kids are funny they think my scar is cool it fasinates them. Don't think people even really notice figure if I gross someone out that's there problem. If I can wear a bikini at 35 I'm sure in the heck not gonna let a scar stand in my way... You'll be just fine but do whatever your comfortable with.

    Jeauxbert- funny you mention the zipper tattoo my husband and I have joked about that for years...
  • I have a T-shirt that says something to the effect

    "Scars are like tattoos only the stories are better!"

    All of mine except one chicken pox scar and one where I took a dive through an old storm door window pain at age 5 are under clothing 90% of the time.
  • "Scars are like tattoos only the stories are better!"

    Wrambler, that is excellent! I love that statement. Thanks for posting it! :) :) :)

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Don't be scared to see what you see
  • I couldn't hide all of my scars even if I wanted to as I have a scar on my cheek about 1/2 inch long that I've had since I was 9 (nail through cheek).

    I brag about most of my scars even the 9 inch long one on my shin.
    Like wrambler said "scars are like tattoos only the stories are better!" that is so true and I have plenty of both.

    i also have thought about getting a tattoo over my back surgery area. I was thinking about getting a realistic tattoo of what it looks like while they are doing surgery.
  • on my stomach, so far and since I'm a 30's something mom I don't worry about wearing a bikini or short tops anytime soon. :-)

    As far at bathing suits go, I find that the tankini's are the way to go. I even found bottoms that look like surf board shorts, but are actually very light weight swim bottoms. They are great because it is hard to pull up on regular swim bottoms or a one-piece after a lower lumbar fusion. The swim shorts are loose enough that I don't have to tug on them, but not too big to swim in.
  • Hi Iam Leona I love my scars cuz I paid for them. I have my rods and screws form my last surgery. I ahve had three of them but this last one was in 2008 to take the rods out. I have one 10in scar on my tummy,and one on my back the same size and they took part of my hip bone. I am in pain everyday but I deal with it.
  • nope, i would prefer that no one see my 9" scar that starts right above my butt crack (please refer to my avatar for a lovely view). i was laughing at awalker's post about tugging t-shirts down lest someone think i have a butt crack from hell. lol. too flippin' funny =)) hahaha, i really "crack" myself up sometimes. i don't really mind being the "butt" of the jokes every now and then though, as it keeps me humble.
  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,110
    I dont even attempt to hide scars!! They are part of me and I am not ashamed. They are my battle wounds so to say
  • Hide the scar? No way,,,, You might as well show it off,

    Where they took bone from my hip for fusion=. That where i was shot when i captured a and saved a girl from being car jacked by a 300 pound Gorilla!

    Front scar from adr surgery=. Thats from when i was attacked by a biker gang i believe there was about 30 of them.

    Fusion scar on lower back= Shark attack while surfing in Hawai!

    Thats my story and i am sticking with it. Git-ir-done
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,839
    I have more scars on my body from various surgeries, that the only way I could hide them was to always wear long pants, long sleeves, turtle necks, etc even in the summer!

    So many people spend a lot of money in getting tattoos.
    Well, my scars are just that tattoos. And I wear them proudly

    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • I have had 16 surgeries including 4 back sugeries of which 3 were fusions. The doc should have installed zippers. I have nice, long up and down ones front and back, and on my stomach I also have 2 horizontal ones (I used to tell people I worked for a magician and he missed when he sawed me in half!!). Those are the major ones but there are many many more. They are mine and it doesn't bother me to show them.

    I'm not fond of all the scar tissue I collected along the way, especially from my abdominal scars. But its fun to tell people I have 2 belly buttons because thats what it looks like!!

    L4/L5 laminectomy, L4/L5 360 fusion with instrumentation, L1 to L5 fusion, L5/S1 fusion w/ disc replacement, left and right SI joints fused.
  • hhhmm, i gotta rethink what i said above, i said i don't like people to see my scar; however, check out my avatar. hhhmmmmm 8} :?
  • About to add a 12-14 inch one... I bought and paid for these buggers! Hide em.. I don't think so! (G) Sorry, never been a model, and if others have issue - THEY can get over it! (G)

    Ruth, mine will be pretty straight, so trying to figure out the "L" shape. ???

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • as for your query brenda, i have a hockey stick looking scar ... because ... i'm canadiam =)) . but seriously folks, the bone harvested for my fusion came from my pelvis, and he only wanted to mske 1 cut. dang that hurt like a SOB.

    for us frequent fliers i think the surgeons should close with snaps, zippers or velcro. :))( s/he wouldn't have to keep making cuts for the surgeries yet to come'cause the incision would basically remain open. the openings could be from C1/C2 to L5/S1 in the event we have a cervical surgery one day and then a lumbar one next, before you had a chance to say englebert humperdink 3 times. on our good days we could have our back double as a pajama bag. this way if we fell on our backs 2-3 sets stuffed in there would cushion our fall big time! :D brilliant!

    EDIT: i think my hydromorphone is kicking in. yupper ... i'm feeling a bit loopy :O). loopy shmoopy. speaking of shmoopy, isn't charlie brown's dog named shmoopy?

  • My sister had surgery to put in rods when she was 16 they run right from the base of her neck down to the top of her "crack" she was worried about people seeing them for a while but shes getting married this year and has an almost backless dress!
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