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After surgery, know everything about your scars

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December 4, 2018

Here are some tips to help heal your scars.

Have you just had a partial or complete mastectomy, or a partial or complete axillary recess, or simply an installation of a central venous catheter for chemotherapy treatments? Here are some tips to help heal your scars.

Once your wound has healed and you feel comfortable looking and touching it, it is recommended that you take good care of this area by giving it regular small massages and applying a moisturizing lotion or cream without perfume or alcohol. These treatments can be performed from the third week after surgery. Wounds should be closed and stitches removed. There must be no crust or liquid.

Why massage a scar?

Massage reduces adhesions. This means that during the formation of a scar, the skin sometimes sticks to muscles and subcutaneous tissues. To avoid retaining these adhesions, or this feeling of harder skin accumulation, massage the scars once or twice a day for 5 to 10 minutes.  The massage should be gentle and slow. There is no need to put pressure on it, because sometimes, even if the scar is a healed wound, it can still be sensitive.

Make movements with your fingers, from top to bottom, left to right, and circular movements of a circle. As a last exercise, pinch the scar between your fingers and pull the skin slightly to loosen it. Go easy on yourself!

It is recognized that massage will make your skin more supple quickly and allow you to move more easily. Massage is also a good way to reclaim this part of your body.

Hydration, a good ally

It is possible that a crust may form on your scar, gently moisturize it with an alcohol-free, fragrance-free lotion, healing cream or oil-based ointment. Ask your surgeon, nurse or pharmacist if you are unsure.

Gentle and safe exercises

Physical exercise allows a form of self-massage. Stretch your arms upwards without forcing. You will see an improvement every day. Do the exercise of bringing your shoulder blades backwards. This allows the muscles to be gently stretched. You will feel less rigid, and quietly, you will resume your regular activities with caution.

Good to know

At the beginning of its formation, a scar can remain red, blistered and give the impression of being hot. There is no need to worry in these cases. At any time, if you feel that your discomfort is turning into pain, and that it is increasing, contact your healthcare team.

It is important to know that a scar can take between 12 to 18 months to heal completely, to fade, or even to be practically invisible. The color will match the natural color of your skin in most cases.

If your scar is in a rubbing area, under the armpit, near a shoulder strap or under the breast, you can protect it during the day by putting a dressing (sometimes with silicone) on it. It moisturizes, protects and holds the skin by creating a bridging effect. Depending on the type and size of the scar, ask your nurse or pharmacist for advice.

Whenever you can, leave your scar out in the open. It is also recommended to protect your scar from the sun's rays.

Go ahead now, do yourself some good and massage your scar!

How to massage your scar?

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