Please help me get rid of this stupid scar!
May 30, 2007 5:41 AM   Subscribe

I have a scar on my forehead. It's not raised but is just a darker color than my skin. I got it from using a massager on my head when I had a very painful sinus headache - somehow I managed to take off a layer of skin, though it didn't hurt at all. Now it's six weeks later, and I still have the scar. Is there anything I can do to minimize the appearance?

I have pale skin. I think if I got a tan it might even out the color but I don't want to tan.

I am hoping there's a way to get rid of it all together, but I would also like to know if there's a good cover make up I can use. I have tried using a cover up stick I got at the drug store and it wears off very fast and doesn't look that great in the first place.

Again, it's not a raised scar at all, just a reddened area of the skin. It's not disfiguring or anything but it's in a very noticeable spot on my forehead and I'd really like it to be gone.
posted by Melsky to Health & Fitness (15 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Use some vitamin E lotion on it. There are several brands specifically targeted at scar minimization.
posted by briank at 5:57 AM on May 30, 2007

Second the Vitamin E. You can buy ingestible gelcaps and break 'em open as well. It's the same thing as cremes but a lot cheaper -- the industry knows it can charge for vanity.

It'll also lighten with time.
posted by cotterpin at 6:04 AM on May 30, 2007

I use a Vitamin K scar reducing lotion on my scars. (The ones that are reddened skin and not raised)The key is to keep applying it daily for about 20 days or so. It seems to work some. More so if I remember to keep using it. It was available at a drugstore in an aisle with the bandages.
posted by beautifulcheese at 6:09 AM on May 30, 2007

And don't tan -- it could make the discoloration even worse. In fact, make sure to use sunblock (all the time of course, but especially) until the scar heals.
posted by macadamiaranch at 6:40 AM on May 30, 2007

I asked a similar question a while back. Lots of good advice there. I also spoke with a plastic surgeon (happened to bump into one at a conference). He was of the opinion that the creams and lotions seem to help, but it was probably the massaging that went with them that helped the most. Rubbing the affected area gently with something that stops it drying out too much has the effect of both keeping it moist and increasing blood flow.
posted by handee at 6:45 AM on May 30, 2007

Nthing the vitamin E treatment. It works over time. I burned my cheek with a curling iron once - took about, oh, six months to completely fade, but, again, that was a burn.

Now, if you really need to cover it up, Dermablend is a line of blemish coverage products I've had experience with. Actors/models sometimes use to cover scars, freckles, moles, blemishes, uneven skintone, bruises and tattoos. It's a little on the pricey side, as you can see, but if you want to cover the mark until it fades on its own, you can't beat it.
posted by TryTheTilapia at 7:17 AM on May 30, 2007


Let's try that again.....
posted by TryTheTilapia at 7:19 AM on May 30, 2007

Actually, I'd stay away from the Vitamin E. I had also heard that it was good for scars, but when I was recently doing some searches on PubMed about effective scar minimization treatments, it looks like more recent studies have actually shown an adverse effect (more likely to cause hypertrophic scars).

The doctor I went to recommended using a lotion 3-4 per day, and rubbing it deeply in the scar to soften it. The biggest thing, though, particularly if you're starting to see discoloration, is to become fanatic about using SPF and hats to shield it from the sun for the next few months. (For god's sake, don't tan it! That'll just make it permanent.) The pigment in some foundations and concealers can also shield it from the sun, but keep using the sunscreen underneath. I also have pale skin, and it's not uncommon for stuff like that to take 2 months to fade for me. Or 12 months, when it gets exposed to sunlight and tans.
posted by iminurmefi at 7:39 AM on May 30, 2007

Bio-Oil is amazing stuff. It's not sold in the US--at least it wasn't when I last checked--but you can get it online from European retailers. It's cheap and totally works. I had hernia surgery and used it to lighten my scar. Now my scar is almost invisible.
posted by HotPatatta at 8:07 AM on May 30, 2007

Nthing to use sunscreen. Use it even if you are not going outside, sun coming in through the windows can darken it too.

A dab of zinc oxide diaper rash ointment will sometimes get rid of redness. Put a dab on about 5 minutes before you put on the sunscreen.
posted by yohko at 8:08 AM on May 30, 2007

I would also like to know if there's a good cover make up I can use

Put the sunscreen on before you start this.

Get a matte green concealer (Physician's Formula is one brand availible), dab it on over the red spot, and blend it carefully outward. Then put foundation (Almay line smoothing makeup is a good brand that stays on) over that. Use a makeup sponge to pat the foundation on, making a thinner coat away from the center of the spot to make it blend in with the rest of your forehead. If you have ever sponge painted a wall, you are patting/dabbing on the foundation in a similar way, just a much smalller area.

Make sure the foundation matches the color of the skin on your forehead. This can be a bit tricky. It helps to have someone good at this pick out the color. Don't try to match it to your wrist.
posted by yohko at 8:19 AM on May 30, 2007

Since I can't see your scar, I don't know if this applies, but...

Two weeks ago I was exiting our office bathroom when someone opened the door as I was pulling it -- the door struck my forehead, bruising it and taking off a layer of skin. I was bummed, knowing I had to visit my Dad and stepmom for Memorial Day with a scabby scar on my head.

But my stepmom's a Navy physician who's been in Iraq, Indonesia (Tsunami) and elsewhere and treated a lot of random abrasions with whatever's on hand. Which is why I was only partly-surprised when she recommended Preparation H. The stuff has worked miracles and the scar is pretty much gone. I also tried it on a scar I got recently in a soccer game -- same result. It was a massive one and it's already pretty faded.
posted by deern the headlice at 8:35 AM on May 30, 2007

good advice here. I'd just add that it really does take about a year for a scar to lighten to its permanent appearance. This can help you to be patient and not worry too much if a product doesn't seem to be helping too much. Protecting it from the sun, especially because it's on a very sun-exposed area, will probably be the most important thing you can do to help minimize the scar's appearance.
posted by tuff at 9:37 AM on May 30, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks for all the advice. I'll probably start out with some of the vitamin e oil.
posted by Melsky at 4:40 PM on May 30, 2007

Following up on the vitamin E:
A friend of mine recently took a nasty fall on his bike, leaving him with a deep strawberry-scrape on his eyebrow that has turned into a scar similar to the one you describe. A dermatologist-friend of his family (of which I am not) recommended the vitamin E, and said that the best/cheapest/most-effective source of this are vitamin E gel-tablets. Crack them open with your teeth, rub the sticky concentrated gel on the scar, and swallow the rest. His initial results seem promising, but (after a month) there's still a way to go.
posted by zachxman at 5:50 PM on May 30, 2007

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