Fibromyalgia Action UK
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Dam that nurse!!

Four week ago last Friday I had surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome. Two week ago the nurse took my stitches out. Last Monday I saw the same nurse for the diabetic clinic, she looked at my hand and said get some Arneca cream to reduce scarring. I went to the chemist and actually get the gel version, but a little confused as it said it's for bruising, but thought nurse knows best. There was a lot of dead skin, so it needed moisturizing, says not to use on broken skin, well there wasn't any broken, just new skin. Used it for 2 days ----- argh ----- it's as though it burnt the new skin, I have like two blisters on it now, and it's as sore as hell! Worse now than it was 2 weeks ago! I know I should have thought with having fibro I may react, but now paying the price. So now I have what I would have got in the first place had the nurse not interfered, just plain old baby oil, but it's set me back days.

9 Replies

Try Honey it's amazing stuff and has great healing properties! Good luck xxx


Hi della,

I've used Manuka honey, and seen it used in dressings for leg ulcers, pretty amazing stuff. Might not suit everybody as with most things, sometimes takes a bit of jigglimg about to actually find the right thing.

take care

Jan xx


Hi Stormylady :)

There is no scientific proof that Arnica actually works although some people swear by it. It can be used for post-operative pain, to promote healing, to reduce pain and bruising. It's a homeopathic treatment that is also supposed to boost circulation. It is quite commonly used in the healing post operatively with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

Homeopathic Arnica, which does not cause harmful side effects, is available on the NHS. It is one of the few alternative remedies allowed on hospital wards, to be taken in conjunction with more conventional drugs.

I know you aren't happy with the reaction you had to the Arnica, but the nurse would have been acting on instruction and procedure when she suggested Arnica. Were you told what strength to use and whether gel, cream, tablets etc?

Did you mention that you had Fibromyalgia before surgery so it was noted on your medical notes regarding your post-operative treatment. Also if you were worried about the reaction you had to the Arnica, did you contact the hospital for advice as to whether or not you should continue to apply the gel etc? Were you given anything else to apply or to take?

I apologise for all the questions, just trying to assess the hospital's position regarding what they told you etc.

I hope you feel more comfortable very soon and that you recover well from your surgery, take care. :)


Hi Libby,

just an interesting little snippet. My daughter had quite drastic surgery whilst in Canada 2 years ago and was advised by the consultant surgeon to take arnica tablets for at least a month before surgery. !!

A very old fashioned remedy, i can remember my granny slapping it on us kids for briusing and swelling.

If it works don't knock it is my opinion.

Cheers and take care

Jan xx


Err, I think the answers are no, no, no, no, and probably no, lol. It was the nurse at my GP's surgery, she just in passing last Monday said about putting some moisturizer on the scar, then said 'You want some Arnica to rub in'. I never thought about reacting to it, but not just fibro here, I do react to things, so silly me should have thought about it. Not cross with the nurse, was my own silly fault, just cross now because it's so sore. The baby oil is keeping it nice and clean now, it's probably as pure as honey I should imagine. It's certainly nice and cooling for it. Things are further complicated because I have a flare of rheumatoid arthritis in that hand, it began in my ring finger back in March, and it's that which triggered the carpal tunnel, just seen the Dr this last week, and he's now referred me to rheumatologist as I'm on anti inflammatory tablets, but they obviously aren't working much anymore. So 5th September I go there, but of course the arthritis is making my whole hand hurt, so put the two together, and I'm not a happy person.


Hi Stormylady, sorry to hear about the Arnica. It should never be used on open wounds - silly nurse!!!!!

Vitamin E pure oil is absolutely brilliant for healing scars.

My daughter had a thyroidectomy which has left her with a large scar across her throat. She waited until the stitches were removed and now rubs the E on to the scar and it's hardly noticeable.

Bio oil is similar but I swear by Vitamin E oil which you can get from Holland & Barratt or any health food shop.

Good luck and hope you feel better soon,



Ah I see Stormylady, I assumed she was a nurse at the hospital where you'd gone for a post-op appointment.

You're not silly at all, it's so difficult thinking of mentioning everything, so don't worry. Oh bless you, it sounds like you are suffering from more than just the Arnica at the moment with your hand and your Rheumatoid Arthritis etc. I can understand how fed up you are with it at the moment, but hopefully by 5th September it will be a different matter and you'll be healing well and much more comfy too. All the best to you, take care :)


I've mentioned arnica before. Was it in combination with anything? some arnica products are. I saw one that contained zinc - which I react badly to on good skin.Arnica works for me, but we're all different - millions wear gold, but I react to it. Glad the baby oil helps, regards, sandra.


No just plain Arnica, I think I'n just extra sensitive, in more ways than one. Lol.


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