Beauty Wednesday: Can You Network With a Band-Aid On Your Face?

how to treat facial scarsSo 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? 


  1. NutellaNutterson :

    I had a significant wound on my face, directly under my eye and next to my nose, as a result of a surgical procedure to remove skin cancer. The cosmetic surgeon/cancer specialist said that there is no proven topical treatment to diminish a scar, barring keeping it from getting infected. Instead, after the skin was healed, he recommended “massaging” the area to prevent scar tissue build-up.

    I’d guess that the application of the oil creates the same massage, and thus the same effect. For cuts of any sort on the face, I think the other component is having someone skilled in facial suturing consult is a sensible move.

    Two years in, and the scar is truly barely visible even when looking for it under excellent lighting. And I scar easily.

  2. No personal experience with scarring, but these stories made me laugh inappropriately loud as I read this at work. I hope for more awkward falling stories in the comments (as long as no one was permanently hurt :))!

    • I once fell down a dark staircase while running to meet a cute boy. I banged up my knee and scraped my elbow but was otherwise unhurt despite literally tumbling down the stairs like you see in those awful Lifetime movies. It was in my friend’s building and I remember sitting up and thinking this would be such a good lawsuit because that light had been out for at least 2-3 days but then I decided to just get up and get on to my date, which was really fun and we made out a bunch and I made him be all extra sweet to me because of my “wounds.”

      As to the post, I say no one should ever fault you for tending to your wounds.

    • Too many to count…
      There was the time i was rushing home from the office for a furniture delivery and tripped over my own two feet. I scraped my hand and rocked a pink bandaid on a date that night. PS to this story – 3.5 years later and still scarred. Didn’t even seem like a bad scrape!
      There was the time I slipped on ice and legs went flying over my head like a scene in a cartoon. I landed and thumped my head and just started CRYING. No one saw and I was okay.
      There was the time I went for my first night out after a bad breakup and got so drunk I fell down stairs to get to a bar and got up and continued to drink. The fall down the stairs didn’t seem to cue the “I should go home” voice in me. Hungover, bruised, but okay.

      There are more. Klutz extraordinaire over here.

    • I got a black eye and road rash on one arm from a bad cycling accident a few years ago (I was actually lucky I didn’t break bones). The road rash was covered by a large bandage, but there was no covering the black eye. It was bad enough that the accident was on the way to work. It was worse that I started a high-profile temporary assignment in another organization two days later. The black eye made people in the new office uncomfortable and afraid to ask what happened. A lot of them would just stare and then awkwardly look at their feet. I quickly just started kind of making a joke about it to make them more comfortable, saying something like, “bike accident, not barfight.” That broke the tension, at least. Now, the ones who then made domestic violence jokes…yeah, I can’t even…

    • I’m so clumsy, it’s borderline ridiculous how many injury stories I have. My bar call was 30% “ED is a total klutz” stories.

      Examples: falling out of a golf cart while driving it around a corner (scrapes alll the way up my ankle and calf), giving myself a nosebleed tripping on bankers boxes in a partners offfice and hitting my face on his desk (workplace health and safety!), breaking my ankle in Sarajevo while walking down some stairs from a cafe (and the following comedy of errors treatment in 3 different European countries and one North American one), and lastly, in Montreal I slipped on some ice walking down University from residence, and slid right through the Parc intersection on my way to a final exam (thankfully the lights were in my favour, though I was quite bruised).

      Suffice to say, coordination and grace are not things I possess. Or even general awareness of where my limbs are at all points in time.

    • I got clocked in the face with a flag-corps flag when I was in college because I wasn’t watching where I was going during a practice. That’s right . . . . a marching band injury. I had to go to class, eat in the dorm cafeteria, etc. with a black eye for a couple weeks.

    • I am so klutzy that I can barely figure out where my bruises come from because there are so many possibilities. Did I get that bruise walking into the coffee table? Accidentally kicking a box in my office? Tripping over the bleachers at a game? The possibilities are endless.

      In fact, when we watched Mr. Popper’s Penguins with my 12 year old stepdaughter and Jim Carrey is naming them and one walks into a cabinet, he went “and that one is…” and my stepdaughter yelled my name. :)

      My major winning fall story though is the time I was walking up the concrete stairs at work with a full just purchased latte in my hand when I somehow tripped and fell right on my chest. I knocked the wind out of myself BUT DID NOT SPILL MY COFFEE!

    • I have steep stairs in my house with hard wood floors and no runners. One cold Sunday morning, I woke up early and decided to go downstairs in my fuzzy socks to get the paper. I slipped and went flying down on my a$$ the whole way down to the curve in the stairs. When my now ex-H came running, I was laying there throwing up as the adrenaline hit my system. My cats were at the top of the stairs wailing. And I was thinking “I have a solo this morning. What will they do if I can’t stand up?” As it turned out, I only had a really deep bruise on my hip. No broken bones. And now a healthy appreciation for my gripper socks.

    • My funniest falling story. On a beach in Jamaica, wearing my bikini walking with my girl friends past a group of hot guys walking the other direction. Had the feeling something was going to happen…

      Stepped into a large hole and landed on my face. Hot guys laughed hysterically and walked away.

      • Oh, and another! After a crazy-busy week, leaving work late on a Thursday, I hit myself in the head with the corner of my car door. GUSHING blood at the office. Lovely. Because I went back in to work to get it tended to (so much blood that I couldn’t see to drive) it ended up being worker’s comp. LOL.

    • I went out for drinks with k-padi a few weeks ago, and was totally “That Girl”: tripped on the sidewalk in my fancy high-heel boots and fell flat on my face. I’m sure All Of The People walking in Hayes Valley that night were like: Ugh, there is the Lame Girl Who Drinks Too Much And Can’t Walk In Heels. Luckily no bleeding, but had some bruises and twisted my shoulders. But hello embarrassing!!! Made me feel so old ;o)

    • My leg gave out while I was running and I faceplanted on the pavement, giving myself a black eye and scraping off a chunk of skin. I looked like a DV victim and received many shocked stares while the injury healed. FWIW, the dermatologist told me not to use a bandage but to keep the area moist with Neosporin then Vaseline. It looked really bad, especially when the skin started to peel, but I just went with it.

  3. NormaJean :

    This is why people make fun of this site. If you hurt yourself, wear a damn Band-Aid. People who judge you based on that are not worth knowing. Also no one wants to see gaping wounds. Gross.

    • Yes. Yes. Yes. It’s this level of navel-gazing that leads me to swear off this site every now and then. If the biggest problem in one’s professional life is whether a bandage will interfere with networking, things are going pretty well.
      Conversations like these are actually hurting our cause, I think. We’re worried about whether wearing a bandage will some how make us appear less competent instead of discussing how to actually be more competent. Appearances are important, and that’s an important theme of this community. But there’s a difference between suggesting that one not wear a too-short skirt or an obviously mismatched, makeshift suit and debating whether one should use bandage — or some other medical device — when it’s necessary or even advisable to do so. Get over it. Wear the damn bandage.

      • “We’re worried about whether wearing a bandage will some how make us appear less competent instead of discussing how to actually be more competent.”

        Exactly. Appearances only get you so far. Yes, looking professional and not sloppy is important, but smart and competent people will notice if all you bring to the table is a polished face.

        I think that being overly obsessed with looking competent through physical appearance can actually make you look LESS competent. You don’t want to come across as valuing style over function to such a degree that you look silly.

      • saacnmama :

        Yep, I think of band-aids (and casts, and wrapped ankles, and other accoutrement of physical injuries) and glasses, wheelchairs and hearing aids all in the same category as throwing up at work. Remember the summer intern who was so worried a couple weeks ago because she’d had to scoot out of the courtroom and toss her lunch in the nearest trash can? We all told her not to worry, she’s human just like everyone else, and that people feel sorry, not angry, when someone is sick. Same thing with other physical issues, in my book. You didn’t do it on purpose, it does not directly affect your ability to do your job, other people should quit staring and get their minds on work.

    • This.

    • Anonymous Poser :

      +1 @NormaJean
      Yes, I like this site, yet this post is certainly providing material for the [this site] thread over at GOMI, for sure.

    • Anonymous :

      OMG too funny Norma Jean~

    • Delta Sierra :

      Here in southern California half the people you see have a little band-aid from having sun damage removed. If we judged each other about it there’d be no one left standing.

      It’s band-aid. Deal with it, people.

  4. *scratches head*

    I would wear a band-aid (or bandage, or whatever). I would hate to think that being “professional” excludes tending to one’s minor scrapes and bruises. And if you have a good story, so much the better.

  5. NewSkin! It’s a liquid that seals the wound. It stings a little, but it works great and is much less obvious than a Band-Aid.

    • Love liquid bandages, esp on areas that rub like the feet. The Band-Aid brand stings less.

    • OMG, NewSkin burns with the power of 1,000 suns.
      (totally worth it)

  6. i think the bandaids help more because it prevents sun exposure. when the wound is healing, the tissue is really sensitive to UV exposure.

    i’ve found that sunscreen really helps in making scars less dark/noticeable when the wound is done the initial healing phase.

  7. I am klutzey so when I was about 8, I fell on the playground and cut under my chin. I now have a VERY LITTEL scar under my chin, but just noticable enough so that I could NOT be a model (tuchus aside). Rosa is slimmer then me and she has no scars so she has been a model in alot of famous magazine’s. If I were a model, I would NOT have EVER been a lawyer. FOOEY! But I am NOT so I am a lawyer. At least I have a job (for NOW) YAY!

    My dad has a freind in the neighborhood that has a cousin and want’s to meet me. The cousin is 36 (maybe OK, tho not sure), and has a job (great) as an illustreator (don’t know what that is). He works in NYC (great) but live’s in Harlem (FOOEY). I am wondereing if I should meet him? I can NOT waste to much time if he is not a match. FOOEY!

  8. This makes me think of a law professor of mine who came in one Monday with a HUGE bandaid covering his forehead. He wore it for a week or so and never explained it. Not that he owed us an explanation, but because he didn’t say anything we were all speculating as to what happened to the poor guy.

    • That happened to me – I had a mole removed with a couple of stitches that needed to stay covered. So I had an awesome bandaid on my forehead for a week.

      The surgeon lied to me, though. He said it would be healed in 4-5 days. On day 7, it was nowhere near healed and I HAD TO START A NEW JOB.

      • The healing rate of each person’s skin varies. I healed much faster than my surgeon said it would but I kept bandaids on anyway just in case.

    • I had a law professor do that too! Turned out (he later told a group of us in a smaller less formal class) he had been in a bicycling accident – was hit by a car the day before and not in a bar fight as we all had guessed.

    • saacnmama :

      I have a huge scar on one arm. Roller skated through the neighbors’ garage door window when I was 15. Students have told me that they discussed it. I got the bar fight story too

  9. pandora's box :

    Ok, am about to open a Pandora’s Box. Serious question: does anyone out there really believe that women being breadwinners is damaging to the fabric of society? If so, why?

    • Yawn. If you want excitement, post this question on reddit.

    • Anonymous :

      LOL. No I don’t believe that. But I can’t wait to read the response of anyone who does.

    • Definitely damaging.

      Everyone knows that carbs are terrible for you. If women win the bread, then they’ll eat the bread, and that would be a disaster of epic proportions for all of humanity. Just say no to carbs.

      Oh wait. Shoot. Is that not what you meant by “breadwinner”?

    • Anon in NYC :

      No, but I have a friend whose husband has stated (in all seriousness) that he would not be comfortable if my friend earned more than him, and is also uncomfortable with the fact that she has some family money (and thereby more wealth than he does).

    • Oh, so you read the Globe and Mail too? Wente is the worst. 80% of what she writes enrages me in some way. So obviously no, I don’t think it’s a problem.

      • I don’t know what “the fabric of society” is (it seems like it’s a phrase that can mean whatever you want it to mean) but as to the linked article, this describes my marriage:

        “Not only that, women who out-earn their husbands do more housework, not less. Standard economic theory would predict the opposite. But people aren’t rational economic units. The study’s authors guess that the ‘threatening’ wife takes on a greater share of the housework ‘so as to assuage the “threatened” husband’s unease with the situation.'”

        I would never have guessed I’d be someone in this type of marriage (nor would anyone who knows me) but here I am.

        • Killer Kitten Heels :

          Maybe my marriage is more rare than I think it is, but I don’t really get doing this. I’m not going to do more housework on top of my longer commute and longer workday just to make sure my husband feels like “the man” even though his paycheck is smaller, and he wouldn’t expect me to. Is the thought process actually “oh, I make way less money than my wife, and that makes me feel unmanly, but my wife does all the laundry, so on second thought, it’s fine, I’m still totally the man”?

          If your husband (a) feels threatened by the size of your paycheck relative to his; and (b) then feels better about the size of said paycheck because he gets to sit on his bum while you do all (or most) of the housework, the problem is your husband’s self-esteem, not the size of anyone’s paycheck. A man who is truly secure in his “manliness” or whatever you want to call it shouldn’t need his wife to mop floors just to prop up his ego.

          • This is also my marriage. It is a far more subtle dynamic than proping up my husband’s ego with a mop.

          • I’ll add that it isn’t always monetary ‘success’ that is the most threatening (though that is a component). It can be the overall level of success, when one spouse hasn’t achieved the goals that they set for themselves to the extent that the other spouse has. I think that this is especially true for those in creative fields.

          • Sydney Bristow :

            I’m not married, but I do live with my boyfriend and love the fact that whichever one of us is working less than the other is the one who picks up more of the household chores. We each have our regular tasks that we split up based on what we hate doing (I do the dishes, he takes out the trash/recycling) but when I was working more hours than him, he’d deal with my laundry, make dinner, tidy up, etc. Since I’m not currently working more hours, I do my own laundry and tidy up. He still makes dinner most of the time and if things get really busy for him at work then I’ll take over his laundry duties and try making dinner more often. I think we do a pretty good job of splitting things up in the way that works best for us.

            He also likes to joke that he hopes I’ll be the main breadwinner because even though his salary can support our needs, he wants me to pay off my loans so I can pay for the luxuries in life. He has no qualms with how much money I make. Last year I made significantly more than he did but this year he will probably make more than me. It hasn’t changed anything for us.

          • Killer Kitten Heels :

            So what is the dynamic then? I really, truly don’t comprehend how you doing more housework somehow assuages his guilt? bruised ego? lack of sense of accomplishment? or whatever it is that his discomfort over the relative size of your paychecks is actually a symptom of.

          • I’m the primary breadwinner. Dh gets home first & makes dinner most nights. His current contract is up this month, and then in September he’ll be a subcontractor working p/t from home so we can have a parent home more for our kids, ages 8-13. He’s been talking about how happy he will be when he has more time for housework. We both wish dh has had more success in his career (current work is far from what he wishes he was doing). However, our mantra is and has always been “Team Lastname” – and whatever someone needs to do to contribute to the success of the team, we do it.

            I watched the Fox News clip with Megan (?) and the 2 guys arguing about this whole issue. My 13yo ds was sitting on the couch next to me, and our other 2 boys were in the same room. They all though it was completely ridiculous that people thought women making more money was ruining society. We must be doing a good job with them so far!

          • saacnmama :

            Killer, you seem to be assuming that bigger paycheck=longer hours.

          • This is very belated – but I just forced my husband to assign me chores so I would freaking remember to DO any ( he still does The majority). If I was home all day I quake to think what I’d get up to. But you bet d&mn well it wouldn’t be cleaning. Maybe cooking, but only the kind that makes an enormous mess.

          • Killer Kitten Heels :

            Saac, I was assuming bigger paycheck = longer hours because that’s exactly the scenario I set out in the comment to which Julep responded. Since Julep was responding to my comment, I assumed she meant that she was working more hours and doing more housework because of whatever “subtle dynamic” is at play in her marriage, and I was asking for an explanation for what that dynamic would look like (since she seemed to be saying I had oversimplified with my “propping his ego up with a mop” comment).

            Obviously, if you are bringing home a bigger paycheck but working less hours, you do more at home, because you have more time. To me, that’s common sense, and I didn’t get the sense from Julep’s reply to my comment that that’s the set of circumstances her “subtle dynamic” was referring to.

        • One of the things I have learned from r e t t e is that as soon as I make a decent salary I am paying someone to do the second shift for me, because I refuse to do all the housework while my man doesn’t, and I don’t know any woman (even all the amazing feminists I know) who does less housework (or has less guilt about not doing housework) than her man.

          • Definitely agree. I read a line in one article that said basically this will be an 80-year shift towards more equal division of housework and we’re somewhere in the early middle of that. My husband does way more housework than his dad or my dad have ever done (my dad does a surprising amount considering his background, while his WASPier dad never lifted a finger), but I definitely feel more “in charge” of it and do more than he does (maybe 65/35?). And we still had friction and resentment around it, especially when he had a more flexible job or worked from home — I would expect him to do more given that he was at home more, which was probably unfair on my part. Hiring a cleaning service to come in twice a month, though, has been a huge improvement… no more exhaustion and stress over major cleaning. leaving both of us with more energy and motivation to do the small daily cleaning/dishes/cooking. 3 cheers for outsourcing! After all — you both work full days at demanding jobs. You can’t do the whole second shift in addition.

      • TO Lawyer :

        I sometimes wonder when the G&M went from being a reputable national newspaper to essentially being a tabloid.

        • I mostly just wish they would send Margaret Wente AWAY. Let her hang out in the National Post with Christie Blatchford.

    • Killer Kitten Heels :

      Pretty sure you’re not going to find anyone on this site who thinks women becoming breadwinners will damage the fabric of society. If you’re looking for a spirited debate, you might want to try stirring the pot somewhere other than a site where the vast, vast majority of commenters are successful professional women.

      If you’re looking for someone to say “OH EM GEE! People actually THINK that way?! I bet it’s only religious fundamentalists and Neanderthals and other backwards-thinking people! I can’t IMAGINE living like that or being around people who think that way. It’s TERRIBLE. I mean, come on! It’s 2013! ::insert pearl-clutch and swoon::” <– well, there it was for ya.

      Full disclosure: My husband is successful in his field, but it pays nowhere near what mine (law) does. He affectionately refers to me as his "Little Piggy Bank" occasionally. I don't think I've yet done any damage to "the fabric of society" by out-earning my husband.

    • I don’t think anyone on this site believes that, except maybe Ellen. ;)

    • Funny story: my mother has expressed confusion that I earn more money than my (butch) girlfriend because I’m “the girl.” So this isn’t even limited just to women earning more than men! People get comfortable with gender roles and upset when they change.

      • RosieAims :

        wowza! Does she think you do all the car-washing and lawn-mowing too?

        • The fact that I don’t is what confuses her! “You can’t make more money, you’re the lipsticky one! What do you mean SHE does the housework?” It’s a running joke between me and the girlfriend now, though. :)

      • just Karen :

        Wow, surprisingly, that comment DID lead to interesting food for thought…who’d have thought? Thanks Calla!

        • Anonymous :

          I know many butch/femme couples where this is the case–possibly more a commentary on women who do not fit neatly into traditional gender roles more often being discriminated against or encouraged more towards more blue- collar work.

      • Anonymous :

        This made me LOL!

    • I feel like I have been seeing this everywhere lately (FOX news, politicians, etc.). And it is driving me nuts. I got into it with a friend yesterday over a politican who blamed the decline in US education on working mothers. She agreed with him because when both parents work, there is less time for one of them to focus on school and because now that women can do anything, it’s not the best and the brightest who are teaching because women can make more money and get more appreciation working other jobs. My argument was that there are plenty of stay at home and working parents who just don’t care and let the tv raise their kids and there are plenty of stay at home and working parents who are in constant contact with their children’s teachers and do homework with their child every night. Whether the parents are working is not the relevant factor. It’s how they interact with their kids. I also disputed that there is any shortage of qualified teachers. I’m sure in some geographic regions this may be the case but it sure seems like there are more teachers than jobs in my state, at least at the elementary level.

      I will say that I did used to date someone who definitely had a problem with the fact that I made more than he did. That’s part of the reason we’re no longer together. I do also live in a small town where the mostly high school educated women generally do not work and they all want to know what I will do when I have kids of my own and seem baffled when I say I will put them in daycare and continue to work my (family friendly) job.

    • Governor Phil Bryant, Mississippi.

  10. I got a keloid from an acne cyst removed from my jawline last summer (I think I mentioned it on here). The cosmetic surgeon put white tape to hold the skin together and to ease the tension on the stitches, so it didn’t look like a regular bandaid. Nobody said anything until a coworker pointed to my jaw and said I had something on my face. He’s known for being a silly grandfatherly type so I said that “thing” is supposed to be there because I got a cut (which is technically true since the surgeon cut me). A bunch of us laughed and moved on.

    So maybe use a different kind of bandage?

  11. I had a growth removed from the side of my nose. My dermatologist insisted that if I did not keep it covered with a bandage that the sun exposure to the tender skin would damage it significantly.
    I wandered around for a week with one of those round band-aid dot things on my face. I’m extremely fair-skinned; I decided to care less about what others thought and protect my skin. Wear the bandage! Plus you can make up stories about how you were involved in a grog-house brawl.

  12. I am a banana. :

    Kind of related – I have a huge scar on my forehead (dove into a rock in high school). I recently noticed that the skin immediately above the scar (which has nerve damage, I don’t know if that is related) is turning kind of orange/brown. I wear sunscreen religiously and usually have a hat on when I’m outside for long periods of time. What gives? :(

  13. Lady Harriet :

    I got a wart on my jawline last year. (Not quite as horrifying as it sounds, but still gross!) My doctor burned it off with liquid nitrogen and I wore a small dot bandaid over it while it was healing to keep myself from accidentally touching it. Since it took two treatments, it was probably a couple of weeks. I don’t have a scar now. My hair covered it somewhat, and since I was working retail and had to wear the same thing every day I didn’t care that much about my appearance anyway. I had coworkers ask about it a couple of times, but I just told them what happened and moved on.

  14. Not the same, but similar — has anyone had any success in treating keratosis pilaris (KP, “chicken skin,” or those raised sometimes-red bumps a lot of people get on their arms)? I have periodically tried to attack this myself, but a derm prescribed me some cream and said, “Yeah, most people just have to deal with us, there isn’t really a treatment that works.” The scars are getting kind of bad.

    • anon for this :

      I have KP on my arms, and the scars can get pretty bad, usually correlating to when I can’t keep my hands off of it. My derm suggested prescribing paxil to treat the OCD tendencies leading to my picking, but I have been on it before for depression, with generally negative results. I especially have trouble when I am tired, so wearing thin long-sleeved T’s in the evenings when I am just hanging out at home (instead of a tank top_ has really helped that part. For the actual underlying KP, using a clarisonic body brush on my arms regularly has been the best solution for me, along with a body lotion that contains glycolic acid.

    • I’m currently trying KP Duty by Dermadoctor — only been using it a couple days though so no major improvements. I’ve heard Amlactin works great, too. I find my arms look best when I’m exfoliating a little, using a super-hydrating body wash, and moisturizing after showering.

    • AttiredAttorney :

      YES! CeraVe Renewing SA Cream, for Extremely Dry, Rough & Bumpy Skin. Get that exact one (there are a bunch of varieties) -it’s the only thing that’s worked.

    • I can’t speak to it personally, but a friend of mine had KP and swears by Buffy from Lush. Apparently the exfoliation mixed with instant hydration really worked for her.

    • So here’s the deal- KP develops because the skin doesn’t properly shed keratin, so the keratin builds up in your hair follicles and makes little raised bumps. The main ways to treat KP are to soften the bumps with products that draw moisture into the skin and/ or to exfoliate the skin (chemically and/or physically). In many cases the same products do both. I encourage you to get familiar with the chemicals and products that can perform these functions and “treat” KP. Finding the best mixture for you will take some trial and error. For me, a little of both is the way to go.

      After years of using prescription products, I now use only OTC products. I don’t like the heavy, greasy feeling left by most RX creams and lotions, and despite the high concentrations of ingredients in those products (such as 6% salicylic acid), they weren’t perfectly effective on my skin.

      For me, salicylic acid is essential for loosening the keratin in the bumps, so I swipe a Stridex wipe over all of my KP areas morning and night. I also apply glycolic acid either as a cream or liquid (on a round wipe) most mornings and nights (but not when before retinol/retin A or before significant sun exposure). The glycolic acid does exfoliate though it isn’t quite as good for loosening keratin as salicylic acid. The glycolic acid also hydrates really well. I use either Glycolix 20% cream, Glycolix wipes, or Dr. Bailey’s acne wipes with glycolic acid (just Google them). Another blog I follow- FutureDerm- did a great series on alpha- and beta-hydroxy acids a while ago. It’s good stuff to know for both KP and anti-aging. Speaking of that, I actually use all the same stuff on my face and neck for exfoliating and anti-aging. One of the main ways to fight wrinkles is to exfoliate like crazy.

      Be very careful about physical exfoliation because that’s how you get scars. Never, ever use that apricot scrub. It’s ok for feet and knees but way too destructive for softer skin no matter how bumpy- trust me on this because I have the scars to prove it. Now I just I do some light exfoliation with a Salux cloth (like a loofa but better).

      Hydration is also important. The glycolic acid will help hydrate, but other lotions are also great. Eucerin’s Dry Skin therapy stuff has a high concentration of urea, but it smells and feels a lot like Elmer’s glue which is why I only use it at night during the winter. Lots of other lotions and creams are fantastic as well, so find the moisture level and texture that works for you.

      KP itself shouldn’t itch, so LEAVE IT ALONE if you want to avoid more redness and scars. KP is often present with dry skin which may be what is making you uncomfortable enough to scratch and set off an itch-scratch cycle. The good news is that treating the KP should hydrate your skin enough to make it comfortable. And again- leave it alone and don’t scratch! You’ll be amazed at how much you can build up your mental tolerance of itching.

      KP is also often present with asthma, allergies, and other atopic skin issues. Make sure to address those too. I know that the less itchy and irritated I feel all over (like my eyes and nose), the more itchiness I can ignore on the backs of my arms.

      (FYI- I’m not a doctor. I’ve done tons of research on this stuff because I have almost everything that comes with being atopic- including the quirky stuff like hyperlinear palms and geographic tongue- combined with a serious case of being Type A.)

      • Senior Attorney :

        Wow. I’ve had this all my life and never knew it had a name until today!

        I’ve had great luck with homemade salt scrub: mix sweet almond oil with Epsom salt until it’s the consistency of wet snow. Rub it on in the shower every day and rinse off, then dry off. It both exfoliates and moisturizes and it’s been awesome for me. I like to add a little essential oil for fragrance and some soap colorant for color, but that’s optional.

  15. Miz Swizz :

    As someone who plays sports in my free time, I find it interesting to see how people respond to bandages, etc. I hurt my foot last year and people were more likely to comment on my boot than when I was in the boot and on crutches. I also tend to have random bruises, cuts and scrapes that putting a bandaid over would just draw attention to. If I need a bandaid, I’ll wear it but it doesn’t hurt to have a story about your injury if you’re wearing a bandage or some other “I’ve clearly hurt myself” indicator.

  16. I don’t think of a bandaid as profession or not – if you need it you need it. Depends on the type of injury you have not your work or social calendar. I’m clumsy/quite active/prone to injuring myself and frequently have cuts and bruises. I once fell flat on my face during a race – split lip, roadrash on my nose and face, scratched eyeglass lenses, scraped palms and knees. (For some reason I never did find my finishers photo posted online…?) It actually wasn’t too painful but it looked awful and there was no way to hide it. This happened the day of my husband’s company Christmas party, which was the first time I met any of his colleagues. People pretty much pretended to ignore it – I was telling one gal what happened and her response was “oh I hadn’t noticed.”

  17. Wait, I thought April Fool’s Day had already happened.

    Really, this has got to be a joke. If you have a nasty wound, put on a band-aid already. Good grief.

  18. I have had two fairly serious facial injuries in my career.

    1. I had to have a mole removed that tested positive for melanoma. I had two surgeries, one to remove the mole and a second (three days later) for scar revision. I had no choice about whether to wear a bandage, I had to have a pressure bandage until I had the second surgery. Honestly, I hid out in my cube and tried to avoid contact with anyone during this time period. Luckily, this was up on my forehead near my hairline, so after the revision surgery it was not very noticeable with my hair down. I was diligent about putting Mederma on it and of course the surgeon was great. People don’t notice unless I point it out.

    2. This past fall I tripped and fell face-first on the sidewalk. I was running at the time so really had some momentum, my chin and lip got really scraped up. I basically had road rash on my face, plus my teeth hit the inside of my lip hard enough to make it swell. (I’m actually really lucky I didn’t break any teeth.) I kept a big Band-Aid on my chin the whole next week with Neosporin on it. I would have kept one above my lip as well, but it was really hard to breathe like that! I did keep Neosporin on it and reapplied throughout the day. After a few days, my chin was healed enough that I didn’t keep it covered, but still did keep Neosporin going until it was healed enough to start Mederma. (You are not supposed to use Mederma on an open wound.) I don’t have a scar at all now! I was amazed how fast it healed. I didn’t avoid meetings or anything, I just immediately explained to people what happened. The general response I got was, “That’s why I don’t run!”

  19. Neosporin is fantastic, I always take some when I travel as you cannot buy it in all countries. I’ve also been known to wear a Tweety bandaid when that’s all I can find.

    Best face injury story is a man I worked with came in one day with a large, reddish color bruise that was a perfect circle shape in the middle of his forward. He had stuck a Tickle Me Elmo toy with a suction cup to his forehead to play with his baby, and then had to wrestle the toy off his face.

  20. Blonde Lawyer :

    I might be posting too late but I have a ton of klutz stories. I was actually voted class klutz in my high school yearbook superlative section.

    One night I went to give my dog a biscuit from one of those canisters people keep on their counters w/ flour. It is the kind with the metal latch on it that keeps the container airtight. The container was on a little cart in my kitchen. I was wearing a sweater with long sleeves and shut my sleeve in the canister and didn’t realize it. When I turned and spun and walked away I must have done it very fast because the container came flying off the cart and I struck myself straight across the face, right in the nose, almost knocking myself out. I saw stars and had a big swollen and bruised (but not broken!) nose!

    I currently have a raspberry on my chin from laying on my stomach on a mesh lawn chair reading I had my chin pressed into the chair and got a rug burn type thing from it.

    I also had a cyst removed from my bikini line and couldn’t sit in a normal chair for over a week and had to work laying down on a couch in my office. So professional. I told people I was recovering from surgery but didn’t say where. When people asked more questions I just said I had a skin cyst removed and implied it was from my leg.

    During my college internship I had an epic ski accident that resulted in a swollen bruised sore on my chin. My internship was with probation so everyone kept thinking I got beat up at work.

    In elementary school I got three face injuries in the same school year and the school had social services question my parents. One was from me walking into the swing of a neighbor kid warming up w/ a baseball bat (7 stitches in the nose) the second was running in the woods and getting a tree branch in the eye giving me a pretty bloody eye and the third was me tipping back in a dining room chair until it tipped over and I got rug burn down the entire side of my face. My poor parents.

    • Yours are by far the best stories :) Love the dog biscuit story. It seriously sounds just like something I would do.

  21. My klutz story: about ten years ago I had an incident where I fell into a doorjamb and got a huge black eye and abrasions around my eyebrow. As I am sure most folks know, the “oh, I fell” thing is what a lot of abused women will say to explain away bruises from being assaulted by their partners. But in my case, I really did fall into a doorjamb. I was playing with my dog and tripped over him. Concealer just made it look worse, so I walked around with the black eye. I thought about getting an eyepatch but felt too weird about it. The worst part was the looks people would give my husband (who is a big guy, looks like an ex-NFL defensive lineman) when we were out together in public. I actually had one woman pull me aside in the grocery store and give me a card for a woman’s domestic-violence shelter. And my “no, really, I fell” story was not convincing, apparently.

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