How I Got My Scars
After being attacked and stabbed a few years ago I ended up on the intensive care in a local hospital. A coronary artery had to be closed surgically to save my life. In order to stop the accumulation of blood within my chest (hemothorax) the surgeons had to open up my chest just like they do with open heart surgery.
Apart from the large vertical (thoractomy) scar on my chest due to the surgery I also had cut scars on my face, neck and lower back as a result of the attack. Once back at home and recovering I was determined to do anything in my power to fade the scars as much as possible. Since my scars were new I didn’t want to get surgery or other invasive treatments. So I asked myself, ‘how to get rid of these scars at home?’ And thus I started my search for an over-the-counter scar product that actually works.
Finding Out Which Over-The-Counter Scar Product Actually Works
Following the advice of my general practitioner as well as a surgeon I started using all kinds of products. After a while I had learned by trial and error that most scar creams like Mederma, Bio Oil or Calendulan are not effective. At least they were not for me. Apart from that I now knew that there are as much different opinions on scar treatment as there are different products. I was disappointed that the level of education concerning scar treatment among medical personnel was this low. I thought that there must be something that works. If only a little bit.
That’s why I started reading articles on scar treatment and contacted several cosmetic clinics to ask for advice. The cosmetic surgeon of one of the clinics told me that the best scar cream available was Zeraderm. (If I’m correct it’s not available in the US.) This is a silicone cream that lays a thin film over the scar. This led me also on the discovery of so called silicone sheets. These are made of the same material as the silicone gel but seemed to work even better.
“silicone sheeting has certainly come out as one of the best ways to deal with fresh and chronic scars” (Aesthetic Plast Surg, 1994; 18: 307-13).
Using Silicone Sheets
After ordering the silicone sheets and the gel I started using them immediately.This took some dedication because the sheets have to be worn at least 16 hours a day, every day. When a particular sheet (or patch as they are called also) has been worn for a few days it gets less adhesive.
I used silk tape to make sure the sheets sticked to my skin. Sometimes, e.g. when sweating or during physical exercise the sheets and silk tape let loose despite the tape. So I had to reattach them. I mainly used the sheets and the gel only when I was not able to use the sheets. I found the gel especially suitable for areas not covered by clothes when I was out in public. This because the gel seems to be less effective.
But the good thing was that I noticed a very slight improvement already after a few days. The scars became softer. This motivated me to go on with this treatment. Already after several weeks I could see my scars fade to a less red, less thick and softer state.
So concluding, the ultimate scar treatment requires a fair amount of time and dedication. This is the reality, the stories about creams that will fade scars almost completely only by applying them twice a day are just not true.
But the good thing is that when you are dedicated and disciplined to use the products day in day out and have the patience to maintain during a few months you will eventually get an optimal result. My scars faded to a huge extent. Not only did they become almost skin color instead of the red color they were. They also are flat and soft and do not itch anymore.
Silicone Sheeting Brands
There are differences between silicone scar product brands. The so called medical grade products contain higher quality concentrations of silicones and have better adhesive qualities. An example of such a medical grade brand is ScarAway.
ScarAway silicone sheets are the only scar sheets with the patented Silon technology. This is the same technology recommended by plastic surgeons and used in hospitals and burn centers. This Silon technology was made available for the consumer market in 2002 by Pfizer Inc. under the name Neosporin Scar Solutionnone