I’ve gotten a lot of questions …and comments …and unsolicited advice about the scar on my nose so I thought I’d address all of those things once and for all right here. (My apologies if some of the photos aren’t super clear, they were not taken with this post in mind.)
Here’s how it happened (I’ll add a divider if you just want to skip ahead to the actual taking care of my scar part).
This past fall (2016), The Boyfriend and I temporarily took care of my family’s dog. This is Caesar. He’s 11, and we call him CheeseDoodle. It’s a long story.
Due to probable puppy mill inbreeding and unfortunate circumstance, Caesar is a purebred dog and has had a bit of a rough life in terms of medical catastrophes. This is pretty common with purebreds, and is another great reason to adopt instead of shop, but I didn’t have that lecture prepared when my parents surprised us with a four pound puppy in 2006.
Among Caesar’s many medical adventures, and common with many floppy-eared dog breeds, my buddy is prone to ear infections. Unfortunately, dogs can’t really say “hey I’m pretty sure I have an ear infection,” but they will absolutely let you know by biting you on the face if you hurt his ear while snuggling.
So, yeah, all that to say – Caesar wasn’t feeling so hot and he bit my face. It was my fault, but it sucked nevertheless. I got a tetanus shot and ten days of antibiotics, but no stitches.
This brings us to the next stage. No infection, no stitches, how the hell do I deal with this sizable and really, quite deep scar right in the middle of my face?
I used Neosporin+scar at least twice/day during the initial healing process, but it was pretty hard to miss even after that. Not only was my nose cut up and my scar bright red, it was also super deep. Accidentally pulling down on the tip of my nose (eg. while washing my face) hurt for several months.
One month later, with makeup on:
My esthetician (aka the person who takes care of my brows and nails) recommended carrot seed oil so I picked that up right away and it became the first official step in the scar healing process. It’s pretty strong, and very orange, so I only use it at night but the scar definitely made excellent healing progress in the first months of using the oil.
Seeing this bit of progress got me interested in other solutions, like glycolic acid – an Alpha Hydroxy Acid or AHA that I was already researching for its skin-clearing and renewing properties.
I’ve gone through several different AHA products with varying degrees of success, but the two I like the most are the Paula’s Choice 8% AHA gel which I use about 3x/week all over my face, taking care to rub a little bit into my scar. I also absolutely love the Drunk Elephant TLC Sukari Babyfacial which is a 25% AHA mask that I use once every 7-10 days and leave on for about 20 minutes before rinsing off with warm water. These have helped so much! Note: if all of these words sound like absolute gibberish to you, I am working on an updated skincare routine post, coming soon!
Finally, the obvious and the unavoidable: sunscreen. The bite happened in October and I live in the Pacific Northwest which is…. quite literally a rain forest in the winter months. I wasn’t really thinking about daily sunscreen at that time, but you absolutely should be. Being diligent with your sunscreen is one of the best things you can do for scars or any other discoloration. It helps protect your skin which not only protects the healing process around your scar, it also ensures that it doesn’t become more obvious!
At some point in the last few months, all the redness and discoloration seems to have faded away. It was honestly such a gradual process that I didn’t even realize it had finally happened. The indentation is still quite deep, and it feels really obvious when I touch it, but now that it is the same color as the rest of my skin, it doesn’t stand out nearly as much as it used to – and it’s practically undetectable with a full face of makeup on. I saw a dermatologist recently who said that it will likely never be completely smooth, even if I chose to do a laser treatment. I’m okay with this though, it hasn’t even been a year yet and I typically heal quite slowly, so I am pretty pleased with the progress I’ve made so far. Scars will fade over time, but there are definitely steps you can take to help diminish them, and yes, sunscreen is easily the most important.
Disclaimer: There is nothing wrong, ugly, or gross about having scars. They are memories and adventures, and sometimes… lessons learned on doggo wrangling. Having scars, anywhere on your body, does not make you ugly or lesser. You are beautiful just the way you are, and if you don’t want your scars to go away, that’s totally fine too! You should definitely still use sunscreen though.
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