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Best thing to minimize scar tissue?

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  • Best thing to minimize scar tissue?

    ...and I don't mean a flat, superficial scar. I mean a big, hefty knot of a scar.

    My gelding incurred a big gash on his hind ankle about a year and a half ago. No tendon damage or permanent lameness, fortunately, but it was deep and took months upon months to completely heal. Now, though, he is left with a pretty sizable scar. It almost looks like a big chestnut that hasn't been removed.

    Have any of you experienced good products for minimizing the size of the scar tissue?

  • #2
    Good luck and good genes. Once a scar has formed, it's a done deal for the most part, unfortunately. Some animals (and people and I'd wager every other type of critter) form more exuberant scar tissue than others. This appears to be genetic in part, and also related to the nature of and care of the original wound. Neither of which is able to be intervened upon after the fact.

    No doubt, however, you will be told that there are any number of miraculous products and remedies. Any of which might be worth trying since they are probably harmless. But don't spend too much.
    Click here before you buy.


    • #3
      I've read that Vit. E capsules pin pricked open and slathered on scars helps in healing/minimizing. I've used this many times- does it work? Don't know but sounded good.

      If this were my horse I'd also try some skin/hair vitamins/supplements like Flax seeds, Vit. A.

      Or for a cheap ointment you could just apply Vaseline and see if it helps.
      "There is no fundamental difference between man and animals in their ability to feel pleasure and pain, happiness, and misery." - Charles Darwin


      • #4
        I actually had very good progress with Dynamite Wound Balm slathered on thick, covered with plastic wrap, and then wrapped with cotton and vetrap and let to sit for about an hour in warm weather. Now, you don't want to do that for too long because I don't think the heat is a *great* thing for legs, but she didn't suffer any soundness issues and it took a HUGE, hard yellow scar down to fresh, nice skin in a couple months. I'd wash/scrape it after I unwrapped and layers progressively sloughed off.

        ETA: I think I have before/after photos at home actually if you want to see, I'll have to dig them up. It was a heinous scar she had when I bought her.
        It's a small world -- unless you gotta walk home.


        • #5
          OP, you are like my problem twin in this case. My filly got a big gash on her ankle last summer, which the barn never noticed or treated (I was out of town) and by the time I got back from a work trip her entire leg was stocked-up huge and she had mega proud flesh. I shortly thereafter left that boarding barn, but the damage was done. Long story short, the proud flesh is gone, she never went unsound (x-rays are clean) but she has a giant knot on the outside of that ankle. It is seriously ugly. It bugs me every freaking time I see her (can you tell it's a sore subject for me?). I'm so glad she wasn't a sales horse and that she is sound.

          Anyway, we tried dmso (there are some intersting studies with DMSO and scar reduction in human patients) and a bunch of other crap and nothing has worked. So if you do find the miracle cure will you please, please, please let me know!?
          DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/


          • #6
            I bought some cheap stuff at walgreen's for humans to use on myself & I tried it on a 11 yr old scar on my mare, flattened that nasty thing out almost overnight. I've used it on proud flesh too once the wound has healed and changed to skin color (from pink to black, in my mare's case). the hair won't grow back but at least it's flat and healthy looking. the stuff has some idiotic name like "scar be gone" or "scar no more" and it's under $10. it doesn't hurt, sting, or itch and I use it myself.


            • #7
              This stuff sounds crazy but it works!

              "Dogs are man's best friend. Cats are man's adorable little serial killer." -- theoatmeal.com


              • Original Poster

                I'll have to give some of these products a try and let you guys know how they work! Thanks for all your input!


                • #9
                  Some kinds of scars keep on growing scar tissue pretty much forever (keloid is the name that comes to mind, but I'm not 100% sure). This type can have the excess tissue scraped off - which vastly improves the appearance and flexibility of the scar. Anything that softens the hard surface will allow the excess tissue to be scraped down over time.

                  I've got a horse with one of these types of scar, and oddly enough the best thing I found to put on it to keep it soft and scrape-able is Hoof Saver. It's a hoof cream type of thing with collagen in it.


                  • Original Poster

                    Originally posted by RedHorses View Post
                    Some kinds of scars keep on growing scar tissue pretty much forever (keloid is the name that comes to mind, but I'm not 100% sure). This type can have the excess tissue scraped off - which vastly improves the appearance and flexibility of the scar. Anything that softens the hard surface will allow the excess tissue to be scraped down over time.

                    I've got a horse with one of these types of scar, and oddly enough the best thing I found to put on it to keep it soft and scrape-able is Hoof Saver. It's a hoof cream type of thing with collagen in it.
                    I'm actually starting to think that's the case with this particular scar. It hasn't reduced in its size at all... in fact, some days I swear it looks bigger. I got to the barn today and he had managed to bust it open again and it was bleeding a little. Such a pain!

                    It also still looks so "scab-like." As I described in the original post, it looks sort of like a chestnut.


                    • #11
                      My guy's scar will bleed sometimes if I've let it get too thick and hard before scraping it off. I've learned not to worry about it. It heals quickly and then starts spitting out extra scar tissue which I scrape off diligently until it settles down again. I just use my thumbnail to scrape after rubbing the Hoof Saver well in.

                      I've known people to use vaseline to soften chestnuts - maybe that would work to get the initial crust off your guy, and then you can use something else to try and keep it soft.


                      • #12
                        Correct me if I'm wrong, but can't your vet come out and remove scar tissue if it is *massive* and impedes your horse's performance? I'm thinking that the hair wouldn't grow back, but that the wound might heal flat with some high-maintenance care.

                        Other than that, all I know of are products that will help keep wounds from scarring, not for reducing pre-existing scars).

                        Good luck, keep us posted!


                        • #13
                          We ve had good success using cold laser protocols to reduce the size and integrity of old scares laser works on a cellular level and is able to help realign collagen fibers and change tissue integrity. We have a mare that 5 years ago got wrapped up in wire fence, her scare tissue looked like a water Mellon, after lllt her hock while it still has some filling looks normal. We ve even been able to grow some hair back at the site.


                          • #14
                            As old as the injury/scar tissue is, it's just not likely you're going to make a difference. It's just most likely that the hair follicles were permanently damaged, and there isn't a miracle in the world that will get those back. My guess is at best you could affect some regrowth at the edges if you start diligently rubbing something softening on it daily for weeks.
                            The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


                            • #15
                              I've always used this.

                              "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" ~Friedrich Schiller


                              • #16
                                I've been using this product for almost a month now, I started using it after 8 days from the time I fell down from my cycle. I had scars on my hand and forehead. The scars has pretty much vanished but if you observe closely there is very light dark patch left, hope that too vanishes after some time.thanks dermalmd's scar serum