A stomach with hands forming a heart are resting on top, outlining where the endo scars are located.

Taking Care of Your Scars

Last updated: September 2019

Let me start off by saying I’ve had six laparoscopic surgeries. One of them was also an open surgery, which means I was cut open about 6 inches below my bikini line. I’ve collected many scars throughout this time, many different shapes and sizes. Some are large, flat, and tight, and some small and bumpy. I’m not the biggest fan of their appearance and do hope they fade in time, but I have learned to accept them. It can be a reminder of the trauma we’ve survived, whether it’s one scar or five. Since these surgeries, I’ve learned a lot about scars and the scar tissue that sits below it. Learning more about this made me want to tend to my scars, to treat them with love even if it meant I couldn’t erase them completely.

Choosing a topical cream

When it comes to taking care of ourselves, there’s always different things that work for different bodies. When it comes to a topical cream, lotion, or oil to use on them, everyone’s choice might be different. Fortunately, there’s a lot out there! I’m more of a fan of a natural lotion, some unscented oils, and sometimes oils with fragrance.

Let's start with lotion. I use a coconut oil lotion from the brand Palmers. I love it because of its mild coconut scent and because of the benefits of coconut oil helping scars. As far as unscented oils, I’ll use coconut oil by itself and sometimes vitamin E. My favorite fragrance is lavender, so I’ve put that into my unscented oils to add a relaxing scent. I personally don’t find working with my scars that pleasing of an activity, so that helps a lot.

Caring for scar tissue

Now that you know what I apply onto the scars, I can go more into what I actually do with the scars to break down scar tissue. There’s a few things I’ve learned in physical therapy about working out scar tissue to help your skin move again. So many of our nerve endings are cut when they open us up, especially with open surgeries. This can cause sensation changes and thick scar tissue to raise, sometimes even causing pain or issues. The easiest therapy is moving your scar in soft circular motions. Gently putting your fingertips on top of it and doing little circles in one direction and then the other. Sometimes I do it while I watch TV and always with one of those lotions or oils on it.

Another one that you can do while laying down is setting one finger on top and one below of the scar. Then, moving your fingers perpendicular but in different directions of each other . While the first one is mostly for scar tissue, this one also helps your skin regain some movement. In time, you will notice that the scars aren’t so bumpy or tough on the surface. And hey, maybe they will fade a bit quicker than you thought too!

My conclusions

Our scars are a big part of who we are, and that’s nothing to be ashamed of. Whether we want to flaunt them or keep them to ourselves is completely up to us. It took me a while to take the time to work on them, but I’m really glad I did. It gives me a sense of self love that I feel is really important in our bodies trying to heal.

Lastly, finding a physical therapist that can work with your scars is so helpful. They can do other things to help during the session while also teaching you even more to do at home. And, if you do want to also focus on eliminating scars appearance, there are definitely a lot of creams for that too. I have yet to try any but if you have, feel free to share with the community! There’s a lot out there I didn’t mention as far as lotions and oils, so please share below if you’ve used any specific products for your scars too!

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