You may be new around here or maybe you can easily recall when I had a thyroidectomy about a year ago. I realized I never addressed much about it afterwards, but I've had some readers inquire about the progression of my scar. When I made the decision to move forward with surgery, my immediate concern was about the scar it would leave behind. Right in the smack dab center of my neck—basically one of the first things people would see when looking at me. Of course health is way more important than vanity, but I remember how comforted I felt after looking at other blogs where a scar progression had been posted. Just to show how long the healing generally takes and what I could expect with the scar. Now that it's been a year for me since surgery, I figured I would post the same.
Let me start off by saying that my skin loves scars. I scar easily and when I do, they stick around for a while on my skin. Ugh. They don't fade quickly. When I look in the mirror now, I'll be honest when I tell you that my scar is still one of the first things I notice. But when I look back at where I was a year ago, I am amazed at how much it has healed.
Oh, I'm making it to where you have to click in to see the photos. I realize the earlier photos are not the most attractive photos to look at (ok, they are kind of gross), so if you don't want to see photos of a healing scar, please don't proceed! I really wavered back and forth as to whether or not to post this, but this is real and I know so many people could benefit from knowing how long it has taken my scar to heal. So I'm putting it all out there. If you'd like to see more, just click the link to the bottom left below.
This was the day after I had my surgery. Note that the brown spot on the side of the scar is a mole (ahem, beauty mark) I've had since birth!
A few days after surgery it started to get, um scabby. These were iPhone selfies (Sorry about the abundance of selfies in advance, y'all! But it's really the only way I have to show the progression photos.).
Then the actual healing began about three weeks later and you can see how it started to get ugly ridges and look all curvy before getting better.
About a month after surgery, the scar started to shrink in length, but it was still super raw looking and looked thicker.
This was about two months after surgery.
Selfies. Lots of selfies. AHH! I'm sorry! To me, I could get a better indication of how the scar was progressing if I took a picture of my actual face rather than an extreme close up of the scar.
About five months after surgery. This is when I started noticing bigger signs of improvement. It started getting thinner, but still had a red tone.
Up until this point, I had just been using Mederma on my scar. Just the original kind with spf in it. But can you see in the photo below that I've got a little clear circular patch on my scar? That's something called ScarAway. It was supposed to help shrink and flatten the scar. It kind of irritated my skin, but I do believe they helped. I only went through one pack of 30 and then didn't buy them again.
The photos above and below were taken mid-April, also about five months after surgery.
One thing that is so important is keeping a healing scar shielded from the sun. I was pretty diligent about applying sunblock to it religiously all summer long—I had to be since we were out on the boat almost every weekend. I wasn't seeing the improvement I had hoped for, so I buckled down and started using Mederma Intensive Overnight Cream. This definitely helped. I also started using Kate Somerville Scar Diminishing Serum, which has a rollerball applicator that I used to massage my scar. The two of these products together brought on huge results.
About five months later...
You can see the improvements in this post, but here is a picture from it below. This was taken in September, about 9 months after surgery. Look how much it faded!!
The photo above and the photo below were taken in different lightings, but neither have been retouched. The natural lighting in the one above is much better than the one below, making the scar look a little smoother than in the photo below. But the scar was actually better in November, which is when the photo below was taken. The lighting gives a true depiction of the texture of the scar.
This photo was taken last month—one full year after surgery. It just kind of looks like shadow sometimes.
When I was going through my decision to have the thyroidectomy and the recovery that followed, I had so many readers email me words of encouragement, whether it was a similar story a family member went through or personal experience and photos of their scar progression. Y'all have no idea how much that meant to me!! I just hope this helps anyone who is worried about surgery and the scar it leaves to realize that all scars fade. It may not be overnight, but it will happen soon enough. Again, my skin scars easily and doesn't allow them to fade quickly, so I know a lot of other people had visible results much sooner than I did. But I'm happy that after one year, I don't feel insecure about my scar. It's something I've learned to embrace. Now that it has just left behind a faint line, I'm proud of that little line and the story it tells.
Do you have a scar you're proud of because of the story it tells?