So here’s an interesting question: how do you deal with wounds on your face that require a band-aid — is it better to be a dork for a week with a band-aid on your face (thus helping it heal) or is it better to “tough it out” and then be left with a permanent scar? I’m enough of a klutz to have injured myself twice in recent years, and I dealt with it differently when I was in a high-intensity work situation, so I thought we’d discuss.
Story #1: A few years ago, I was traveling for business and somehow managed to bonk my head on a metal sign. (Fine, fine — a TSA agent forced me to consolidate some of my stuff, and after repacking I stood up too quickly, somehow clipping the corner of my eyebrow on one of those “Will it fit in the overhead compartment?” stands). My vision was quickly blurred by blood — “am I bleeding from the head?” I asked the TSA agent — but I was, by this point, running so late that I was relieved to make it through security and on the plane at all. When I finally collected myself, I took a look — it was about a fairly small but deep gash just under my right eyebrow. I was a few weeks away from my wedding, and what then like seemed the most important pictures of my life. I tried not to cry. When I landed, I went to the closest drugstore, looking for supplies — the pharmacist recommended Mederma scar cream and band-aids. Because I had a conference to attend (meeting a TON of new work associates who I would only see in person once or twice a year) I decided to only wear a band-aid at night, and leave my face band-aid free during the day, my wound mostly hidden by my eyeglasses (which I opted for instead of my contacts precisely because they hid the gash). I survived the conference without further injury, and after three weeks of diligent use with Mederma, the scar was hardly noticeable (either in person or in pictures). Hooray for small victories, I thought, and hoped I never had to use Mederma again. If you look close today, though, I still do have a line where the scar used to be — it isn’t raised or anything, but I can find it if I’m looking. So: no band-aid use, lots of Mederma, still have a scar.
Story #2: Cut to this past January — I was walking down a fairly sloped street near our apartment, when I somehow fell, tumbling down the slope. (It was totally graceful. Not.) I was wearing my eyeglasses at the time, and they pressed into the side of my face, causing about a 1.5″ gash running vertically down my face near my eye. “There goes the TV career,” I joked. This one bled less than the eyebrow gash, but was far more noticeable. Given my first experience with a facial scar, I decided to take a slightly different approach, wearing band-aids around the clock (the wound was big enough that I actually needed two band-aids to cover it completely), with a pretty liberal use of Neosporin on the wound itself. When the wound healed, I started with Mederma. That made the scar far, far less noticeable, but after eight weeks (the maximum time you’re supposed to use Mederma), I still definitely had a scar. Then I read about Bio-Oil — I thought I had read about it as a more “green” alternative, but that doesn’t seem to be among their claims. I bought a container of that and started applying it, as instructed, day and night, rubbing it into the skin. (I am pleased to say that I didn’t break out or have any bad reaction to rubbing oil on just one spot on my face, but that may just be me.) I still do it now about, but with far less regularity — maybe 2-3 times a week — but the scar is almost entirely gone. My guess is that the early band-aids and Neosporin made a big difference more than anything else.
Maybe other people are far less klutzy than I am (I hope you are!), but I just thought it might be an interesting topic for discussion — what do you do when you’re faced with the option of wear a band-aid on your face or some other noticeable place for a week, or bear a bigger scar afterwards?