Scar : Morning all, it is now 9 months... - British Heart Fou...

British Heart Foundation

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Thanksnhs profile image

Morning all, it is now 9 months since my transplant, doesn't time fly!, can ask how everyone that has has OHS gets on with their scars in the heat, the other week Scotland reached the sub tropical 😂temperature of 14 degrees, so out I popped to the garden, it was 4pm and I was covered in factor 50, two minutes later my scar felt like it was on fire, is this normal? I never had any bother with my icd one, could it be the wires? I am just wondering how I would cope abroad in really high temperatures, next question is for the ladies but I don't want to be un pc so gents feel free to answer, I am not ashamed of it but I don't like to "show" if that's the right word, it off either, again on holiday how does everyone cope wearing sun dresses and vest tops, it's a bit difficult to wear a polo neck on the beach!, I used to have bad psoriasis and I clearly remember people staring at my scabby legs like I had the plague, I just don't want people to feel uncomfortable or for them to stare, I am sounding a bit paranoid now, not even my friends have seen it I always keep it covered, but very difficult in the sun, I hope you are all keeping ok and looking forward to the restrictions lifting, I am, I can't wait to meet my friends that I haven't seen for a year, char

43 Replies

Hi char , i went to turkey 12 months after my quad bypass yes it gets warm but to be honest all i did was sun cream , in answer to the other question let them stare its the scars if life that make us who we are , i even wrote a poem about it will try find it and post it here , gaz

Thanksnhs profile image
Thanksnhs in reply to Garry56

Wise words, I am sure I will get used to it I just have so many now, it was just so burning hot it took me by surprise, my icd was never like that, char

That's beautiful!!

Thank you, but its true its how we are defined

Morning char,

Don’t remember having the feeling of burning that you describe it did feel a bit itchy stingy especially if I was a bit sweaty. Think maybe the salt? Where we have all those tubes in our neck was the same.

As for exposing your scar, that is your badge of honour it says I have been through a tough time but look I am still here, and still enjoying my life. We are the lucky ones, and have come out the other side. It’s a testament to the your donor heart. When you get to the beach enjoy and believe me no one will be upset.

Just waiting on my supermarket delivery and it’s sleeting really hard!

Take good care


Thanksnhs profile image
Thanksnhs in reply to 080311

Thanks, it was after people in Majorca just blatantly staring it was horrible, I am at clinic tomorrow I will mabe mention it to them, I was sitting with my hand over it to stop it burning, my friend was in EK yesterday and she said it was bad hailstones we got them hear about four hours later, what terrible weather for May, I certainly don't have to worry about the scar at the moment, jumpers are back on! 🙄 I hope you and hubby are doing ok at the moment, I have a really sharp pain it seems to be in my ribs little lumps, it's weird I will be glad to see my consultant tomorrow about it char

080311 profile image
080311 in reply to Thanksnhs

Sorry your having pain glad your seeing the consultant tomorrow, put your mind at ease. John is 80 next month and our youngest as bought him what’s called a Vegepod, as the name suggests it for growing veg! He can sit and garden very clever. It needs putting together! Beginning of the week it said Wednesday and Thursday were good so started yesterday and the hail came! Let us know how you go tomorrow will be thinking of you.


Thanksnhs profile image
Thanksnhs in reply to 080311

Typical Scottish weather, I just hope it's some sort of muscular thing and not any sort of heart issues, I still worry about infection or rejection , it has been there a couple of weeks, so I am thinking it can't be serious, I don't like to bother them, echo again tomorrow, I will keep you posted char

I’ve had moles removed in the past and had really good results applying vitamin E oil. You can barely notice the scars. I just buy a pot if capsules from supermarket, snip the end and apply morning and evening.

Thanksnhs profile image
Thanksnhs in reply to LaceyLady

Thanks I Havn't heard of that before and I have so many scars now, definitely worth trying, I have tried the bio oil and numerous other things on previous scars but none seemed to work, although they have faded through time char

LaceyLady profile image
LaceyLady in reply to Thanksnhs

I applied it to the replacement knee scar, brilliant, fine white line, but then the lady who sewed it was skilled too 👍🏻

Thanksnhs profile image
Thanksnhs in reply to LaceyLady

That would definitely make a difference, all mine and there are loads are a bit ragged char

LaceyLady profile image
LaceyLady in reply to Thanksnhs

Could even try on old ones. Also I use neat essential lavender oil with good results too and my hairdresser tried that in old scars with good results 👍🏻

Couple of years ago I scalded the inside of my thighs 😫 hot ovaltine!

They took months to heal and had to keep out of the sun for 2 years, Covid happened 🤷🏼‍♀️ So I used my tips to heal.

Also aloe Vera gel is brilliant healing.

Thanksnhs profile image
Thanksnhs in reply to LaceyLady

Oh that sounds really painful, I spilt coffee over my leg last year I was lucky I only had a few blisters, burns are so painful, it's good to hear what other people use on there scars, I just usually put moisturising cream on mine char

Vitamin E is a great idea. My mom used to put it on my face to reduce scarring when I had a bad fall as a kid and it worked! I don't even remember which side the cut was.

Hi I am going to get some today definitely worth a try thanks char

You should ask your GP, I think you may have to keep it out of the sun for a certain period.

Thanksnhs profile image
Thanksnhs in reply to LaceyLady

I am seeing my consultant tomorrow, I will say to him about it, my icd one was fine in the sun I just assumed this one would be to, char

Whilst agreeing the scar is a 'badge of honour', I empathise about preferring to avoid the stares (I've had eczema force me into long trousers on a tropical island after someone asked if I had leprosy:( )

My husband has had some tats lasered off (before we were married) and sun exposure is actually painful for him - sun blocking sleeves home sewn by me have made him a lot more fun on holidays! There are sun/UV blocking fabrics available online here (Scotland, the Glasgow fabric retailers stock it and there are dozens of other UK sources as well) - even if you're not terribly handy with a needle and thread, it's a quick and simple sewing job to cut and fit a neat panel for your swim costume and sun-dresses to cover the scar without having to resort to a polo neck - you may even start a fashion trend:)

If you can't find a 'by-the-metre' retailer of sun blocking fabric, you could try buying a blocking tee-shirt then cutting it to create a panel.

If you do try this - when you're sewing the panel to your swimming costume remember to 'stretch while you stitch' so your stitches don't snap under wearing stress.

Thanksnhs profile image
Thanksnhs in reply to Sunnie2day

Hi and thank, I never thought about sun blocking fabric I certainly know what you mean about the island, I was in Jamaica and one of natives suddenly started rubbing my leg with leaves completely uninvited! and mumbling some sort of chant, I just froze and my husband just stood there staring at a 6ft 6 rastafarian rubbing his wife's leg, no action was taken we are now divorced 🤣🤣it's something I won't forget, char

You can buy halter neck tops and swimsuits which would hide your chest scars and wear a total sunblock underneath over your scar👍... you could always wear a sarong tied up around your waist.

Beach kaftans look great, lightweight and shear but cover more of the body if need be


Thanksnhs profile image
Thanksnhs in reply to Darkshades

Hi thank you for your reply, I used to have loads of halter necks, I forgot all about them, that's a great idea thanks, I don't have any sarongs but I did buy kaftans, just in case I did get away, I was thinking of beach trousers as well, for extra cover up some of them look lovely, probably because they are on 6ft models and not a wee Scottish granny 😂I have been wearing factor 50, when we do get any sun char

From a mum of a baby who had open heart surgery, and who knows the psoriasis stare lol, I think your should wear your scar proudly, I'd be mortified if I felt my little one was trying trying hide hers maybe because as a mum I'm so proud of her scar I know that kept her with us, I personally think its beautiful and anyone that feels the need to stare is just completely gutted not to have such an amazing mark plus I'm hoping my daughter makes a joke out of it one day and gets a tattoo of a zip hahaha xxxx

Hi and thanks, I just wish people would just think before they stare at others, it's just not nice, your wee one sounds like a little fighter you must be so proud of her, loving the zip idea take care char

My kid, now 6, had OHS as a baby as well. His scar is a pale white line and nobody seems to notice it or says a word. He has no weird feelings around it - I tell him when he was small his heart needed help so the dr opened him up, fixed it then closed him back up again, and isn't that amazing! I hope he'll always relate to it so positively! My own scar (I had surgery quite unexpectedly last year) is LUMPY as well as pink O_O so I'm glad of this post cos I've been thinking about it myself now that it's getting hot. When I notice someone looking at it (has only happened once so far) I just say Yup, there it is! :D

I get your angst char, I had it too. But perhaps necessity made me adapt - the scar was so sore for the first 3-4 months that I couldn’t bear fabric touching it. So I kinda got used to it being visible even in the Uk ! Whilst I’ve had a few children stare, I don’t mind that as much, after all they are understandably curious about anything new. Their parents’ reactions can be less enjoyable, but I try to think of the learning for the kid, and at least smile kindly for them, so they’re not afraid.

Anyway, in sunshine - after a year I used same spf as rest of body, without any issues. Not sure if will work for all, I don’t burn too easily. But I do get terrible heat rash, including on my sternum. That was a bit tougher than previously but we humans adapt.

I don’t wear anything different. And you know, it’s actually been a lovely conversation starter a few times. There are more in the zipper club than we might suspect, several people including locals in Greece have asked politely about my scar and then told me their own / their loved one’s story. I love this - zippers unite. So I now offer to explain if anyone looks at it - shall I tell you about my miracle/story/death defying stunt/ whatever slant you want to put in it. And I usually tag on a comment about supporting the British heart foundation. Some even donate to my trek fund raising then :)

Finally, a few close friends have suggested it just looks like I’ve got a deeper cleavage most of the time !!!!! So whilst I’d actually prefer that was NOT the case, I suppose it isn’t that bad.

I’m 2 years on and feel I’ve turned the corner in seeing the value of the surgery rather than the price - and the price in pain, recovery & mental challenge was much higher than the scar anyway.

Good luck and keep your lovely new heart happy and healthy.

Thanksnhs profile image
Thanksnhs in reply to TealGreen

Hi a lovely pick me up story, people I suppose will always stare, I probably won't even get away although it would be lovely to just chill out and relax by the beach after last year, I suppose I will get used to it though time and learn to ignore rude people, char

So interesting. I'll have to see if any other zip club members introduce themselves this summer... I did indeed have the thought that I finally have the cleavage of my dreams!! :D

It would be interesting to meet fellow zippers 😅I might show it off after all char

Hi Char

I had OHS 14 weeks ago. I haven’t experienced hot weather here in West Yorkshire either. It was rain hail and wind here too. So, I cannot answer the heat question. Only wish I could!

The scar - as Pauline said - is your badge of honour. Wear it with pride. I intend to when it’s appropriate. My son is getting married next year in the Spring. I will certainly not be exposing my scar then. Time and place for me. Beach? Hell Yeah!!

I noticed Vit E oil is being mentioned. I did try that for a week at 12 weeks post op and had a reaction to it. Burning and itching with the scar going a darker colour. It’s left me with tiny spots all over the area. They are slowly going away. I do live with eczema on my hands and in various places on my body but it’s under control now. Maybe my skin is too sensitive for it. Just use with caution. I used to have very severe eczema so I know where you’re coming from. I’ve had people in shops refuse to handle coins I’ve given them because of my skin. Very cruel and ignorant people exist unfortunately.

You did mention that you used sun cream. Do you think it was the sun cream that caused the reaction.? I can’t use it for obvious reasons. I just cover up with cotton or linen tops. In the shade you can still wear what you like!

Have a great time with your friends. It has been so long for us all. I love seeing people meeting up. I’m cautious though. I’ll be wearing my mask 😷 indoor for some time yet.


Hi and thank you, it's not like I am vain or anything about the scar I have another six to keep it company 🙄but it is the most awkward one to cover, halter tops were suggested as well I am going to check them out,people can be just unbelievable in the way they can make you feel due to a skin condition its awful, I still find it strange that the meds have completely cleared it up, I just expect flare ups that are not going to happen, well covered up at the moment it is so cold, I don't ever remember it being so bad in May, char

080311 profile image
080311 in reply to Thanksnhs

Morning char,

How was your appointment yesterday? Hope you got some positive news. The pain from your ribs? and that your echo was fine. Wet and windy here this morning, but no hail or snow!


Thanksnhs profile image
Thanksnhs in reply to 080311

Hi its another horrible day, I am heading for lunch with my pal, just local, I don't think we will be heading for the beer garden today 🙄, all good at the clinic after checking the echo my consultant said it was the best heart he has ever seen 👍 how good is that, he thinks the pains are from the covid vaccine! As is can cause muscle ache, it did start right after my second jag but I never put 2 & 2 together, who would have thought, he said it should go away eventually, so glad to hear it, back in six weeks char x

Try an all natural coconut oil, and unprocessed honey...both are scar healing and good for the body... There is a handful of natural remedies..these I believe work the best... rub them in like lotion, let the body absorb how ever many times you wish per day. Sticky of course, but worth it in the long haul🙏🏼Vitamin E good too🤗

Thanks it's lovely all the tips I am getting, I am definitely going to try them out and see if I can improve the appearance of it, char

You are welcome 🙏🏽... it is quite the spectacle to behold. I am still adjusting to the sight of it also.. my Heart surgery was in March... have much to learn down this new path...Stay Blessed Char


I bought some vitamin E and one of our other hearties has sent a link to buy cover up for scars which I am going to check out later char

hi, I’m afraid I’m the same as you regarding showing of my scar, I had by pass surgery some time ago , but still prefer to keep it covered, I buy round neck t shirts , sleeveless vest, and swimming costumes with a higher neck or cross over front stripes , also takines as they tend to have higher necks ,all very fashionable and not at all frumpy,I know we shouldn’t be worried but we are who we are, good luck

Have to agree with you there. It's hard work sometimes trying to find Clothes, especially now Summer is coming! In fact I went Shopping the other day still can't try anything on mind because of Lock-down but I was told in Boots about a 'Veil Camouflage Cream' you can now get through your Doctor. It is completely Waterproof as well. Apparently 'Plastic Surgeons' use it so it must be good. I am in Wales but definitely going to ask my Doctor about it. PS: Or look Online maybe!!

Hi I have never heard of it but I will definitely ask my gp about it, thanks char

Hi. You're welcome. I hadn't heard of it either lol. Anyway, I managed to have a quick look Online last night. It is available on Amazon but managed to find the Official Website - (UK Site). The range there looks brilliant. You can order Sample Kits to exactly match your Skin Tone etc. PS: No rush though, it's absolutely pouring down here today ha ha....!! 😊😊

Hi thanks again I will have a look today, as you say no rush, rain forecast for the whole week char

Hi I have never really worn low tops, but never bothered when on holiday, it's now when I look at my sun dresses and vest tops they would show more than I would like, our shops have not long opened and there are queues everywhere at the moment, it will be nice when it calms down and I can update my wardrobe, although it's looking very doubtful we will be going anywhere char

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