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lookingforward 04-03-2010 08:23 PM

Removal of self-injury scars (anyone have it done or know anyone who has had it?)
I have 8 year-old self-injury scars on my left inner forearm. They are from my inner elbow to my wrist, and I'd like to get them removed. There are many (20?) horizontal, 1"-3" white, occasionally raised, scars. I've been told (and read) that it is very difficult to do this, but it can be done best with a Z-Plasty, cutting out the scars and stitching it up in a large Z to reduce the scarring. Originally, I wanted to get it cut out and just stitched up in a straight line. I was told that there may be some of the cuts showing on the edge of the line (because they can't cut out a full 3x9 inch area), but they might just look like scars from stitches, and I could get the surgery done again once my skin stretched out again if it bothered me. There is no way to remove it with laser surgery or dermabrasion. I've seen pictures of skin transplants and do not want to get that done. However...

If you or anyone you know have gotten any sort of self-injury scar removed, please let me know by e-mailing me at:

Please, please, please. I have not been able to find anyone who has had this done. I am now going into professional work and I don't care for people getting freaked out when they look at my arm. I haven't self-harmed in many, many years, but the scars will not go away without surgery. If you have any information or advice whatsoever, please tell me!

E-mailing me is best, but I will also attempt to check on this post occasionally.
Thank you so, so very much.


lookingforward 04-04-2010 03:38 AM

More info from me...
I saw a Board Certified plastic surgeon about a year ago. He is the one that first recommended that I get a Z-Plasty done, rather than get a straight line surgery. He told me that it would be a thicker scar than some of the ones now. I'm training to be a therapist, so I'll have to start covering up my scars. I currently do not cover up my scars, and I do not wear long sleeve shirts (I'm not going to be uncomfortable in the heat just because I don't like my past, and if others don't like to see them they can look away). But I can't have my clients see them, so I'll have to wear long sleeved shirts to work everyday, and possibly even outside of work in case I run into a client.
I tried scar patches in the past, as well as cocoa butter. I think I tried Mederma in the very beginning, but I've been told by doctors that no over the counter product (or really prescription product for that matter) will make scars fade after they've been around for so many years. Basically, you should get stitches asap when you first cut.
A year ago, when I wanted to get the surgery done, I got my insurance to agree to cover it. I had my psychiatrist write me a letter saying that the scars were caused by "trauma" from a medical illness. I also can't take narcotic pain medication or muscle relaxants, because I'm a recovering addict and those are addictive for me. I had it planned out so I would get a anesthetic-medication delivering pack on my arm, which could pump medication onto the surgery area for a few days. However, I didn't really trust the doctor, I felt he didn't believe in the surgery, and he had never performed it before.
I have now found a Board Certified plastic surgeon who is an MD and trained in plastic surgery. He specializes in surgery of the hand. I thought he might be better at arm surgery if he often does hand surgery. Maybe I'm wrong. He also often does reconstructive surgery. I haven't met him yet! So I don't know if I like him, and I'll meet with another surgeon to get a second opinion. But I'd like to speak to someone to has had this surgery before, to see what their results were like and if they are glad that they had it.

Mr. Z 04-06-2010 01:33 AM

I don't have experience with this type but do have way too much experience with scars from an accident I was in.

It's nice to hear you've turned your life around. I would be happy to help anyway I can. With scar revision success largely depends on the skin type. If you can post some pics of arms/body that would give me a good guess as to how your skin will heal.

sltn 04-22-2010 11:14 PM

Would Kitoscell help to promote healing and reduce scar formation after such procedure? I have heard claims that plastic surgeons and dermatologists in Mexico prescribe it to their patients, but it would be interesting to hear an opinion of plastic surgeon from US or Europe.

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