War wounds, badges of honour… whatever you call them, or call yours, big or small, invisible or on show, scars are reminders of your own very special journey.
Scars are part and parcel of life here at St Hugh’s – just ask Sarah Grantham, our Cosmetics Sister. She deals with them every day and today, on National Scar Appreciation Day, she is encouraging us to embrace them as proof of the healing process.
“There’s a whole range of scars – it’s actually quite fascinating,” said Sarah.
“Scars occur every time the skin is cut through its entire thickness; it’s a very natural process.
“Some people ‘make’ better scars than others, and some areas of the body are better at it than others… we can rarely predict the outcome for certain, but we do everything we can to aid healing and their appearance.
“Our surgeons are skilled in this area – for example, they will always try to choose a good ‘site’ and direction to make incisions, in order to conceal scars as much as possible. We also recommend pressure immediately after surgery and silicone scar gels and creams once the wound has healed.
“I speak with years of experience when I say that I believe scars are a reminder of having gone through something vital and – most importantly – having healed from it.”
Don’t take just Sarah’s word for it. We recently chatted with St Hugh’s patient Laura Sands-Dadd, who underwent an extreme tummy tuck. The scars from her surgery – which saw consultant plastic and reconstructive surgeon Mr Muhammad Riaz remove 4.237kg of skin, tissue and fat – are nothing compared to the excess skin she previously lived with. In fact, she used to call the skin her ‘scar’, having lost a significant amount of weight. She doesn’t see it as swapping one scar for another – the marks on her body from the life-changing procedure she underwent are beautiful.
“Some people have spots where they scraped their knee as a kid, or on their elbow from when they fell off a swing,” Sarah said. “Others have old burns on their fingers from cooking.
“Some of the people we have helped here at St Hugh’s are like Laura, while others undergo procedures that even their closest friends and family don’t notice.
“Whatever the outcome, we are here to help and support you, way before we even need to start thinking about scarring – we are here from the moment you take that first step and contact us.
“It is all part of the healing process of the body – and what an amazing thing it is!”
For more information about cosmetics procedures available at St Hugh’s, click on this link.
If you missed our chat with Laura Sands-Dadd, find it here.