What can I do to minimize this scar on my nose for the long-term?
February 13, 2005 9:09 AM   Subscribe

I'm going to have a reasonably large scar on my nose. What can I do now to minimise the long term visibility of the scar?

I'm taking multivitamins. I had the stitches out 5 days ago. I've been using the antibiotic cream the surgeon gave me but it's about to finish. What can I do? Moisturisers any use? Any other dietary supplements?
posted by handee to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (17 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
My father has had good luck reducing old scar tissue by applying aloe vera plant topically. Just cut the leaves open and apply the sticky centre section to the scar a couple times a day.
posted by Mitheral at 9:40 AM on February 13, 2005

You might try a product called Mederma, available at drugstores, no prescription. Smells a bit oniony, as I believe it's based on allium. A bit pricey, but one tube lasts forever. It isn't fast by any means, but over time it did a fairly decent job removing most all of the pinkish coloration from a scar I had dead between the eyes, from a mole biopsy.
posted by clever sheep at 9:51 AM on February 13, 2005

I've been using the antibiotic cream the surgeon gave me

When I was in a [possibly?] similar situation years ago, the nurse just told me to use Bacitracin. Today: no visible scar. I can still feel little bumps in the area, but you can't see them from a normal distance, and there's zero discoloration. This was with 13 stitches on the forehead.
posted by gimonca at 9:53 AM on February 13, 2005

I swear by Neosporin. It's a wonder drug.
posted by wsg at 9:59 AM on February 13, 2005

My doctor recommended perforating the skin with a tiny needle, and rubbing in vitamin E from inside vitamin E capsules. I didn't get a round twit and have a scar, so I can't tell you how effective such treatment is.
posted by Aknaton at 10:01 AM on February 13, 2005

*I've used Mederma on stretch marks and it worked pretty well - it's for scars too.
*Also you can use Vitamin E capsules from a bottle: just pierce open the gelcaps and smear the goop inside on your scar every night (it's really sticky so you wouldn't want to put it on during the day). That's always worked for me to speed up healing.
*And I have never used them, but I have heard you can use silicone sheets to lay over the scars to make them heal faster - I think they use something similar on burn victims. They're pricey though, and you have to reuse the sheet so you have to be careful with it.
posted by Melinika at 10:04 AM on February 13, 2005

Aknaton and Melininka are spot on.

A couple years ago I got slammed with an 11" softball to the eye. Busted open the skin below to eye in a two inch gash. Quite ugly. I used this method and continued to use it for the entire time it was healing.

Most people don't notice the scar unless I mention that I have one and even then, they need to look VERY closely.

Do it, do it now and until it's completely healed. But I do recommend doing it as often as possible, I took the capsules with me to work and would apply some throughout the day.
posted by FlamingBore at 10:46 AM on February 13, 2005

My wife got in bad spill once while racing on rollerblades, with some pretty serious scrapes and abrasions. She had me slather on Vitamin E gel from opened capsules, like the others suggested, and you really can't see any scars or anything now. (And you would've expected some, from those injuries.)
posted by LairBob at 11:28 AM on February 13, 2005

Neosporin. Actually, the store brand "triple antibiotic ointment" is the same thing, and cheaper. There's also a variety with a pain reliever in it, if the wound still stings. I'd do that in the morning, and the vitamin E at night.
posted by kindall at 11:33 AM on February 13, 2005

Don't try this until the wound has closed, but I've had good results with the copper peptide products from Skin Biology. Try to overlook their crappy website, if possible.

Also, sheld the scar from the sun with hats, bandages, and or sunscreen. Nailing the edges of the wound with UVa rays is sure to make things worse.
posted by 4easypayments at 1:06 PM on February 13, 2005

Best answer: Most of the above strategies have one function: keeping the wound moist AND clean. There is much less scarring if no dry scabs are allowed to form. I speak as someone certified in wound care.
posted by reflecked at 1:09 PM on February 13, 2005

Best answer: Reflecked beat me to it. Anything that re-gelatinizes stuff that's about to crust up will greatly reduce the unsightliness of the scar, and this includes petrolatum and whatever the Vitamin E is dissolved in.

I've always been a fan of the old chestnut "Don't put anything in a wound that you wouldn't put in your eye," so I've favored using gauze dampened with 0.9% saline as a dressing, and peeling it off (taking the crusts with it) as it begins to dry. This is called a wet-to-dry dressing and it's surprisingly effective in speeding granulation (skin repair) while preventing unsightly crusting/scarring.
posted by ikkyu2 at 2:34 PM on February 13, 2005 [2 favorites]

Vitamin E and zinc oxide against the sun.
posted by bubukaba at 2:55 PM on February 13, 2005

I whole-heartedly recommend Vitamin E. My brother had back surgery, and he used Vitamin E on the scar religiously (twice a day and after bathing) and the scar shrunk to less than a third of the original size once the stitches were taken out. But I would buy the liquid you can find at GNC and other vitamin/health food specialty stores, instead of breaking open the capsules.
posted by LouMac at 5:54 PM on February 13, 2005

I bashed my shin on a rock and religiously applied honest-to-God Neosporin under a bandage for weeks on end. Got nice-sized scar/discoloration to prove it, too.
posted by NortonDC at 7:13 PM on February 13, 2005

Granted, the lips are not regular skin, but I extruded my lip through my teeth in a nasty bike accident, and after cleaning out the moss with a toothbrush, I kept neosporin on the wound for two weeks straight. Now I can't even tell which side of my mouth it was on.
posted by notsnot at 9:00 PM on February 13, 2005

Response by poster: Thanks all. Looks like vitamin E and neosporin are the ones to go for so i'll get myself to a chemist later. Cheers.
posted by handee at 1:51 AM on February 14, 2005

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