Rejecting My Red Badges of Courage


Abdominal Scarring with Minimed PumpChicks dig scars. But not on themselves.

Or at least that’s my feeling– I’m self-conscious enough about my abdominal physique without having to add concerns about scars to the standard concerns about shape. But alas, my hi-tech diabetes tools– the insulin pump and continuous glucose monitor– wonderful as they are, are making mince-meat of my stomach. It was bad enough with just the pump, rotated every three days; now I have two insertion points, rotated every three days. And on top of the pain of the needs and inconvenience of the blood, I’m beginning to look quite polka-dotted.

Will these tiny little holes leave scars? I’m not sure yet. In the past, the pump insertion sites seemed mostly to fade with time, but the CGM is a smaller gauge needle (that is, has a larger diameter). And, it increases the number of insertions required two-fold, which probably has a greater than two-fold effect on the chance of scarring, as I imagine I am more likely to re-injure and thereby cause scarring in a spot that might otherwise heal.

So what’s a girl to do? No, really; that’s a question. What do you do to reduce the likelihood and appearance of scar tissue? A friend of mine recommended Mederma; she had used it in the past and found it effective. It is relatively well-reviewed on Amazon, too, so I bought some (using the free shipping option, so I am still waiting to receive it).

Any other recommendations out there? Does the pump or CGM actually cause scarring over time in your experience? When diabetes is cured (yes, when), will I be able to rid myself of the evidence of all these fabulous medical devices? Or should I just go ahead and buy a polka-dotted bikini and pretend it’s a one-piece?

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11 years ago

You know you can keep your sensor in for longer than three days right?  In fact, you can keep it in as long as it will stay in without, a) causing skin irritation, b) providing seriously inaccurate readings, or c) you actually want to move it for some aesthetic reason (bathing suit?).  Research showed that the longer it was worn the better it worked (within reason – usually by two weeks it was no longer accurate).  This could help minimize the frequency of site changes.

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12 years ago

I guess even if it just has a placebo effect, and I think it looks better and therefore feel more comfortable in my own skin (pun intended), then that’s good enough for me.

Dr. Margaret A. Morris
12 years ago

According to the box I just received, water, PEG-4, Aloe Barbadensis leaf juice, Allium Cepa (Onion) bulb extract, Xanthum gum, Allantoin, Methylparaben, Sorbic Acid, and fragrance.
So water, aloe, onions, and a bunch of other stuff. I’ll try it and see how it goes… I guess even if it just has a placebo effect, and I think it looks better and therefore feel more comfortable in my own skin (pun intended), then that’s good enough for me.

Jessica Apple
12 years ago

What’s in Mederma?  I used a mix of oils, including vitamin E, after my second c-section.  I think it helped a little.  But it’s hard to say.

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