My local Mc Millan centre at Mount Vernon hospital offer some complementary therapies and I chose aromatherapy massage the therapist used lavender oil ( and others) she knew my dx and hormone status 8/8 er +ve and same for Pr.Don't think this would have been done if a prob.So much to be careful about isn't there? Jxx
I've recently had a mx and LD reconstruction which has left me with a really big scar on my back. I have been using dr.organic Scar and Stretch Mark Serum, which is a vitamin E cream and is from Holland and Barrett. It seems to have really helped with the healing and tightness of the scar, at my post op six week appointment the Consultant and BCN were quite impressd at how well the scar had healed. I started using this at about four weeks post op once everything was fully closed up!
Hope this helps.
The herbals lady at the Haven recommended Comfrey Oil. She knew that I was ER+ and was aware of all the "don't eat fennel" gumph.
I am constantly amazed at all the stuff we need to be aware of whether it's food or skin treatments. I wish there was more advice on it all because it's so hard to work out what you should genuinely avoid and what is over-hyped as dangerous!
Hi all, I have been using bio oil on mx scar since June without checking ingredients, will stop using it now as ER positive BC. I'm now a bit worried about effects, so no more Bio oil for me! I've just finished chemo and waiting to see BC surgeon for ANC surgery. Then its advise on what to use for radiotherapy! It just gets more complicated by the minute!
I have heard that it is the Lavender which mimics oestrogen.
I do aromatherapy and after finding this out am not sure I would use this on clients!!
My BCN told me that one of the ingredients mimics oestrogen (like the phyto-oestrogens in soya) and if you have ER+ cancer it is best to avoid it. I rang a few days ago to ask again only to find that my BCN has retired and the new nurse was still learning the ropes and didn't want to comment one way or the other.
I wish there was some way to clarify this!
Meanwhile I can report that Boots own brand of scar reduction patches have done a great job on improving the hideously big scar I have from emergency surgery to remove and infected hickman line. The scar is now almost flat and is much less red too.
Can anyone clarify whether Bio Oil contains oestrogen? Some surgeons and oncologists seem to be against it and others for it. I've been bought 3 bottles of the stuff as presents, but don't want to rub it on my breast scars if there could be some cancer cells lurking that could be fed by the oestrogen. But also don't want it to go to waste if this is just scaremongering!
Like Lily200 I have used Vitamin E, the oil rather than cream though, as this has no other additives (as far as I recall). You can get this in Boots as capsules (to take) - just pierce them and rub on, or I think Body Shop may still do the pure oil in a small bottle. I used this for my C Section scar years ago and it seemed to do the trick as when I was expecting my second child 2 years later I was asked if I really had had a C section as they could hardly see the scar! I understand that Vitamin E is needed for the body to repair skin tissue so it seems to make sense that this would help.
Oh no, I didn't think that at all sallieannie! 🙂
In answer to your question, yes it would be very useful to know exactly what to look for when buying things.
Sorry nymeria I didn't mean that to sound like I was doubting you. I just meant if I knew what to look out for I could check the ingredients of other things too.
best wishes xxx
Has anyone tried using aloe vera straight from the plant? I remember someone being told to put it on their child after severe sunburn and you just break a bit of the plant and put the gel that oozes out, onto the area. I then did the same thing and it was fab. Anyone know if it's OK to use that if it's the alcohol in the cream that's the problem?
Can I ask how long after the op you all started massaging/oiling your scars? I'm having an MX on the 19th and I'd like to get something beforehand to use afterwards.
Did you ask the doctor for the Dermitrix is it called - before the op?
Okay, I'm confused now because I've just looked at this:
and I can't see anything that looks like a phyto-oestrogen so I am going to give my BCN a call and ask her to clarify things.
I'm not the only person to be told this by a BCN either:
I too am a bit alarmed at the bio-oil/oestrogen thing. Can anyone confirm what you would look for in the ingredients that would indicate this?
Very hard to say what the effect of the sheets are opposed to just passage of time healing. I 'think' mine are better but I've been using the strips of 3 weeks so maybe its just time. The hardness is going down but I thought the strips would just work on the external.
I also have been using Bio-Oil on my WLE scar. I bought the dermatix gel but haven't used it yet. Can anyone tell me do the silicone sheets work on the internal scar tissue, my scar is pulling in and causing a dent, the scar itself is very good really.
I'm shocked to read about the Bio-Oil another example of not enough info from some the professionals.
I just used vitamin E cream from the chemist, which cost about £1 and was brilliant. I had the same surgery as you with my port, although a lot depends on the surgeon.
I wasn't happy with my post WLE scars, tried bio-oil for a week or so then read on here about Dermatix. Chemist said it was expensive to got script from GP for 3 large sheets (about £300 worth). I've been using it for about a fortnight, cleaning and reusing, its a bit of a pain as it is not that sticky but I just put bra on quickly and it stays on.
My scars, fron SNB and WLE (bilateral - so 4 in total) are dents rather than raised, but after the weeks on Dermatix they are looking a bit better, and a bit paler. I'll stick with it.
But would suggest trying GP for prescription rather than paying. Though I think my GP didn't realise it was reuseable otherwise I would have got one.
Just wanted to share my experience with you.
Following my bilateral reconstruction, the scar on my right "breast" was quite hypertrophic (red and raised.)
My PS recommended Mepiform, which is a silicone tape, to flatten and lighten the scar.
He said that it was very expensive (£100 +) to buy but he said to look on ebay, where it could be bought for as little as £30 - £40.
I was very fortunate however, that my GP was willing to prescribe it for me and I used it sucessfully for a year, with great results.
I applied the tape over my (healed) scars constantly - only removing it for bathing / showering.
You cut the tape to size and renew it as necessary, when it's lost its "stickiness" - after a few days.
It's easy and caused me no problems at all - I wasn't aware that I was wearing it.
It's not an overnight sucess - you have to be prepared to use it for a long time but I am very pleased with the results.
My scar is now flat and pale but of course, I have to accept that I will always of course have a scar - now however, it is much improved.
Good luck everyone - and please don't hesitate to contact me on here or by pm if you want any more information x
I am sill using aqueus cream twice daily. Surgeon said no to Bio-oil and radiothreapists said no to aloe vero gel H&B as they thought this had alcohol in it and was drying but scars from ANC and WLE x2 looking better with aqueos cream but only now many months on Jxx
I've been using bi-oil twice a day and my scars look great 6 months after my lumpectomy, I'm a bit worried now though reading about that. Suppose that will teach me to check before using anything.
It is quite surprising just how many things have phyto-oestrogens in them these days and as someone with a high ER+ number it's made me start reading labels very carefully!
Oh the things we have to learn!
Dermatix is another make of silicone gel.
Silicone gel is inert and only works by keeping scars moist, so shouldn't get any unwanted interactions. As Nymeria says, you've got to be careful that you don't use anything which might mimic oestrogen.
I've got a really big scar from emergency surgery to remove an infected hickman line, plus lots of scars on my neck from my time in ICU. So I've also been looking at scar reduction treatments too.
I was recently told by a BCN that Bio Oil is not a good idea if you are ER+ as it contains a synthesized type of oestrogen (I'm sure I saw this mentioned on a thread here on BCC too). This is news to me but being ER+ it's put me off it.
I've gone back to using Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Deep Moisture Dry & Sensitive Body Lotion on my mx scar because it's fragrance free because the aloe vera I was using to help with radiation burn was drying my skin out.
A friend who has had several ops recommended wheat germ oil as she said it really helped.
My physio recommneded silicone gel scar reduction ointment (made by SilGel) and it worked really well. Sounds like the stuff OAL was thinking of - it's not cheap, about £23 per small tube, but my GP prescribed it for me when I asked.
Since that I've also tried silicone gel scar reduction sheets and those have worked even better, since they also help to flatten the scars as well as improving the colour. You can either get the disposable ones (about £20 for a pack of 20 from Boots) or the ones that last a month or two (about £20 upwards, depending on what shape you buy).
my son had a facial scar following an accident with a glass. On the shelves at boots was a formula that said it got rid of scars. It was not cheap and you had to use it regularly. Being a teenage boy he said it was unlikely that he would remember to use it so he never tried.
No idea what it contains but you could scoure the shelves of a larger branch of boots.
Bad luck about your portacath, I've got one and would hate to think about mine going walkabout. It's done its job now and is coming out in 2 weeks, I can't wait.
I didn't know that lavender oil was a no-no on chemo, I've been using it about once a week!
For scar massage, I've been using sweet almond oil. I bought a bottle for about 8€ (about £7) from the chemist when I had my mastectomy, have been massaging my MX and portacath scars with it morning and night, and still have a little left.
I don't think it's so much a magic potion, it's the act of regular gentle massage, along with the moisturising properties of the oil that do the trick.
I've just been using Lush's Dream Cream... seems to do the job for me. Didn't know about lavender oil in the bio oil (or that you shouldn't useu it) so I've put that on my bald head from time to time, which it seems to like. No se's from it... Many, many years ago, for bad scarring on the face, an OT suggested good old fashioned blue-tin nivea, which did help. Not tried that on the breast area as it's bigger and the cream's a bit claggy for that I think... I think whatever suits your skin and you happen to have would eb a good starting point! I was told that massaging the area helps with tissue sticking under the skin - can't say it's made a huge difference yet, but I keep going. Hope it goes well, Jane
I haven't had my op yet (double m after chemo in October) but have had 3 ops so far to fit my portacath - port in, port out (it got lost in my body and I now have a nasty scar across my neck) and back in again!
People rave about bio-oil, but it contains lavender oil which I have been told is a no-no with chemo.
Does anyone know of any magic potions or lotions to help with scarring?