Covering scars

Keloid, hypertrophic, acne...there are so many types of scars, and each of them affect us in different ways. I personally think a scar is beautiful ; it's a message that reads I've been through this and I'm still here.

That's not to say they make us feel 100% confident. My mum has a 7 inch scar across her stomach from a malignant melanoma. Again, it reads 'i kicked cancer's ass and I'm still going strong', but I've been with her through the bikini shopping and strolls on the beach (not in Britain unfortunately!) and know how self conscious she has felt.

The answer? First and foremost, MASSAGE, MASSAGE, MASSAGE. There are thousands of fancy creams and oils out there, but in my opinion a wee dab (yes, I am Scottish. Can you tell? ) of good old vaseline is the boss. MASSAGE the healing scar 4-5 times a day, or as much as you can with your chosen cream/oil and reap the rewards. This gives your skin a bit of a wake up call - it'll begin to break down old fibrous tissue and stimulate new collagen production.

If your scar is still sensitive to the touch, just be gentle and persevere with the massage, it will prevent the skin scarring too tightly and create a smoother, neater mark.

For makeup obviously concealer is a must. Use an oil free formula and stick to matte products - shine is only going to draw attention to the area. Match the colour to the area around the scar and not the line of the old wound itself. This rule can vary but is a good default.

For acne/pitted scarring your best friend is a cheap makeup sponge - the ones that look like wedges of cheese, cheap and cheerful! Don't fork out for these as they are honestly not worth it. Take one in hand and tear it (with your hands not scissors!) down the middle. You want to have two ragged wedges, the Middle section should be covered in tiny peaks and troughs. Use a cream foundation in your skin tone and use the ragged side to stipple this all over the face. The little points and grooves help to drive the products into the skin thus creating the right amount of in the indents of the skin. Finish with a matte powder and you're good to go!

I hope this helps! There is A LOT more on scarring that I could divulge but I don't want to overwhelm anyone, or worse - bore you!

Remember, any scar tells a story - be proud

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  • My skin graft on nose is horrid, hate it... Lumpy, waxy - nose also now misshapen. Surgery was 6 weeks ago and am hoping the appearance will improve, haven't been told that I can massage yet but have appointment with plastic surgeon on Wednesday

  • Hi Clarissa! I hope your surgery went well......I too have been going through reconstructive work and I don't like how things look! I had squamous cell carcinoma in my sinus, back in 2010 I was diagnosed with caner. I had my last surgery and I don't look the same...I try to stay positive and be grateful to still be alive and be here for my 4 kids.....My faith keeps me going.... how did it go for you?

  • Hi, happybee, I know what you mean about not liking how you look after surgery. I had bcc removed from my left side of nostril. Nose is now flatter one side, gouge dip and lumpy graft. I wear a plaster over it as its the only way I feel ok facing the 'world'. Surgeon may take more skin as margins were narrow in one place and at the same time try to improve the shape of my nose, she does keep saying though that it will not ever be the same as the other side of my nose and is concerned that I will still feel the need to wear a plaster afterwards. It's difficult to stay positive, probably harder in the fact I am single.

  • Thanks, Motherfunk. I'm finding that massage is flattening my facial scar following Mohs surgery for BCC. Clarissa 68, part of my nose is affected, too, and my mouth is crooked. (For a while, I wasn't able to smile -- and that made me sad, but the muscles and nerves are recovering.) But I'm feeling OK. I don't mind when people ask what happened. What's the hardest is seeing the reaction of people who know me and know how I looked before. They seem so shocked. With strangers, it's not such a big deal. I find I'm the one reassuring friends and acquaintances that I really am OK.