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WLE – wound healing / scar questions

Forums General Melanoma Community WLE – wound healing / scar questions

  • Post
    nyalt
    Participant

      Hi, I had a WLE on my back about a month ago.  I ended up with an infection in the wound and required a few extra doctor visits, special dressings and some antibiotics, but it is now healing well.  My doctor has me putting antibiotic ointment on it 2 x day with a bandage.

      Here are my questions:

      1. as your WLE healed, what color was the base of your wound? 

      2. how long was it sore?

      3. if your scar had an indentation in it, did it eventually minimize or did it remain depressed?

      Hi, I had a WLE on my back about a month ago.  I ended up with an infection in the wound and required a few extra doctor visits, special dressings and some antibiotics, but it is now healing well.  My doctor has me putting antibiotic ointment on it 2 x day with a bandage.

      Here are my questions:

      1. as your WLE healed, what color was the base of your wound? 

      2. how long was it sore?

      3. if your scar had an indentation in it, did it eventually minimize or did it remain depressed?

      I've never had anything like this so I'm not sure what the range of 'normal' is.

      Thanks again for your thoughts.

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    • Replies
        Janner
        Participant

          I've had 3 WLE's on my back.  Healing takes a long time.  I had one WLE under my bra band that bothered me for years.  But the other two just took a couple of months to start feeling better.  All my WLE's have been red to pink at the base.  Angry red means infections which it seems you've already encountered.  My WLE's have taken well over a year to fade to a more normal scar color.  I had one WLE on my leg that had dog ears and a big indentation.  Over the years, it filled in.  But it wasn't a quick process. 

          Just watch the scar area for any pigment regrowth.  As long as things slowly seem to be getting "better", then I wouldn't be worrying.  Just realize that they take out quite a bit of tissue and it takes a while for things to heal.  Glad things worked out ok for you!

          Janner

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            nyalt
            Participant

              Thanks Janner!  I'll be keeping an eye on it (or rather, my husband will, I can't see it easily in the mirror). I think it's healing slower b/c of the infection, though it seems to be doing well. From time to time it still hurts (kind of a sharp stabbing feeling and sometimes a little ache), I would guess that's normal b/c they took out more tissue and it seems that's what you and others say so I'll just chalk it up to normal.

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              nyalt
              Participant

                Thanks Janner!  I'll be keeping an eye on it (or rather, my husband will, I can't see it easily in the mirror). I think it's healing slower b/c of the infection, though it seems to be doing well. From time to time it still hurts (kind of a sharp stabbing feeling and sometimes a little ache), I would guess that's normal b/c they took out more tissue and it seems that's what you and others say so I'll just chalk it up to normal.

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              Janner
              Participant

                I've had 3 WLE's on my back.  Healing takes a long time.  I had one WLE under my bra band that bothered me for years.  But the other two just took a couple of months to start feeling better.  All my WLE's have been red to pink at the base.  Angry red means infections which it seems you've already encountered.  My WLE's have taken well over a year to fade to a more normal scar color.  I had one WLE on my leg that had dog ears and a big indentation.  Over the years, it filled in.  But it wasn't a quick process. 

                Just watch the scar area for any pigment regrowth.  As long as things slowly seem to be getting "better", then I wouldn't be worrying.  Just realize that they take out quite a bit of tissue and it takes a while for things to heal.  Glad things worked out ok for you!

                Janner

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                EmilyandMike
                Participant

                  My husband's WLE on his back (10") healed quickly within 6 weeks but he had no infection like you did (drainage tube was left in for a while to prevent infection).  It healed pink and has faded nicely..but it healed with a bump at the end.  That concerned us, of course.  Docs felt it many times and said it was scar tissue.  2 years later that scar bump is still there and hasn't changed.   As Janner said – I would look for pigment – as a possible recurrence.  Or a lump that is growing.  My husbands doc tells him to check his lymph nodes every day in the shower – in his neck and arm pit – for swelling. Recurrences in the skin usually happen between the primary mole and the nearest lymph node basin.

                  I have pic on my blog of his WLE if you want to see! http://emandmichael.wordpress.com/melanoma-information/ 

                  All my best to you as you heal!

                  Emily

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                    nyalt
                    Participant

                      Thank you Emily!  My WLE was much, much smaller but even over a month out, it's still taking a while to heal (the infection set back the process).

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                      nyalt
                      Participant

                        Thank you Emily!  My WLE was much, much smaller but even over a month out, it's still taking a while to heal (the infection set back the process).

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                      EmilyandMike
                      Participant

                        My husband's WLE on his back (10") healed quickly within 6 weeks but he had no infection like you did (drainage tube was left in for a while to prevent infection).  It healed pink and has faded nicely..but it healed with a bump at the end.  That concerned us, of course.  Docs felt it many times and said it was scar tissue.  2 years later that scar bump is still there and hasn't changed.   As Janner said – I would look for pigment – as a possible recurrence.  Or a lump that is growing.  My husbands doc tells him to check his lymph nodes every day in the shower – in his neck and arm pit – for swelling. Recurrences in the skin usually happen between the primary mole and the nearest lymph node basin.

                        I have pic on my blog of his WLE if you want to see! http://emandmichael.wordpress.com/melanoma-information/ 

                        All my best to you as you heal!

                        Emily

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                        kjshaner444
                        Participant

                          I had a WLE on my arm. To me, it seemed like it was dang near a foot long but  in reality it was about 5 inches long. I was fortunate to have no soreness or pain whatsoever!!  The color was pinkish. As I have mentioned, my WLE was on my arm. Yours, is on your back so that may or may not make a difference in terms of healing. I'm not sure.  One thing I did do was to apply Bacitracin EVERY DAY. I think it helped alot. Regarding your question whether the indentation will minimize, I am told that often, the indentation will minimize. Another note:  my WLE on my arm was on 4/7/11.  It is now completely healed.   Now that the stitches are out and now that it has healed up nicely I like to apply sunscreen over the incision site since some days it feels kind of dry and a tad bit itchy. Check with your doc on this.  I hope this helps some.

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                          kjshaner444
                          Participant

                            I had a WLE on my arm. To me, it seemed like it was dang near a foot long but  in reality it was about 5 inches long. I was fortunate to have no soreness or pain whatsoever!!  The color was pinkish. As I have mentioned, my WLE was on my arm. Yours, is on your back so that may or may not make a difference in terms of healing. I'm not sure.  One thing I did do was to apply Bacitracin EVERY DAY. I think it helped alot. Regarding your question whether the indentation will minimize, I am told that often, the indentation will minimize. Another note:  my WLE on my arm was on 4/7/11.  It is now completely healed.   Now that the stitches are out and now that it has healed up nicely I like to apply sunscreen over the incision site since some days it feels kind of dry and a tad bit itchy. Check with your doc on this.  I hope this helps some.

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                            kjshaner444
                            Participant

                              By the way, it appears we both had a WLE at about the same time (one month ago).  I will keep an eye out for any of your future postings. Perhaps we can help each other out.  I had no clue as to what a WLE was whatsoever, until recently!! This may be true for you, as well…. Good luck.  Keep in touch here.  Karen

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                                nyalt
                                Participant

                                  Thanks Karen, I had no idea what a WLE was either.  Mine was smaller in length than yours, but is still healing. The wound is still wound-y and I'm still doing the antibiotic ointment + bandage each day until it is 'done'.  I'm curious what this is going to look like when it's 'done' enough to go without a bandage!

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                                  lhaley
                                  Participant

                                    I'm curious if your Dr told you to keep a bandage on it this long because of the infection or if you are doing this on your own.  It's been awhile since I've had a WLE but even with my last surgery I had the bandages off in a day or two (Dr told me to do this). I'm allergic to antibiotic creams so they always have me use vaseline or nothing on the incision area.

                                    Hope you heal soon!

                                    Linda

                                    stage IV

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                                    nyalt
                                    Participant

                                      Hi Linda, to answer your questions — the short answer is the doctor said to keep it covered. And the infection delayed and complicated the process. At my last visit he said it would be about approximately 2 weeks until it was ready to be 'uncovered' but I think it's just been slow going.  It is startin to look more 'done' though, so that's good!

                                      I had a conversation w/ doctor about the various theories of wound care and skin surgery – so I do know that many doctors take different approaches — anywhere from requiring all patients to take oral antibiotics ahead of surgery to those that say only vaseline on a wound after surgery.

                                      Thanks!

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                                      nyalt
                                      Participant

                                        Hi Linda, to answer your questions — the short answer is the doctor said to keep it covered. And the infection delayed and complicated the process. At my last visit he said it would be about approximately 2 weeks until it was ready to be 'uncovered' but I think it's just been slow going.  It is startin to look more 'done' though, so that's good!

                                        I had a conversation w/ doctor about the various theories of wound care and skin surgery – so I do know that many doctors take different approaches — anywhere from requiring all patients to take oral antibiotics ahead of surgery to those that say only vaseline on a wound after surgery.

                                        Thanks!

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                                        boot2aboot
                                        Participant

                                          think of it as a war wound-you've been fighting the beast…it is a badge of courage…as far as minimalizing the scar…i keloid so i get ugly scars…when it closes and you can leave it open, i used aloe vera gel and vit e-did take down ugly welt some for me…i always uncovered mine for an hour-usually when i bathed and dripped soapy water on wound…then dressed it up again….

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                                          boot2aboot
                                          Participant

                                            think of it as a war wound-you've been fighting the beast…it is a badge of courage…as far as minimalizing the scar…i keloid so i get ugly scars…when it closes and you can leave it open, i used aloe vera gel and vit e-did take down ugly welt some for me…i always uncovered mine for an hour-usually when i bathed and dripped soapy water on wound…then dressed it up again….

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                                            lhaley
                                            Participant

                                              I'm curious if your Dr told you to keep a bandage on it this long because of the infection or if you are doing this on your own.  It's been awhile since I've had a WLE but even with my last surgery I had the bandages off in a day or two (Dr told me to do this). I'm allergic to antibiotic creams so they always have me use vaseline or nothing on the incision area.

                                              Hope you heal soon!

                                              Linda

                                              stage IV

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                                              nyalt
                                              Participant

                                                Thanks Karen, I had no idea what a WLE was either.  Mine was smaller in length than yours, but is still healing. The wound is still wound-y and I'm still doing the antibiotic ointment + bandage each day until it is 'done'.  I'm curious what this is going to look like when it's 'done' enough to go without a bandage!

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                                              kjshaner444
                                              Participant

                                                By the way, it appears we both had a WLE at about the same time (one month ago).  I will keep an eye out for any of your future postings. Perhaps we can help each other out.  I had no clue as to what a WLE was whatsoever, until recently!! This may be true for you, as well…. Good luck.  Keep in touch here.  Karen

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