Hiding a Thyroidectomy Scar After Surgery

5 Easy and Effective Ways to Conceal a Neck Scar

After thyroid cancer surgery, some patients are left with a scar across the front of the neck that can sometimes be as large as four inches long. A thyroidectomy is a procedure that removes some or all of the thyroid gland. In most cancer cases, a total thyroidectomy is commonly performed to ensure that as much of the cancerous tissue is removed as possible.

It is not uncommon for those who have undergone a thyroidectomy to feel self-conscious about the scar, particularly in the early days and months following the procedure. The likelihood that the appearance of the scar will soften over time does little to ease this discomfort.

To avoid these feelings, some people will opt to conceal their scar with otherwise simple yet effective fixes. From accessorizing your wardrobe to cosmetic surgery, the following 5 options may provide you relief when dealing with the stress of a visible scar:

    Wear a Scarf

    senior woman wearing scarf drinking coffee
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    Wearing a scarf is one of the easiest and least expensive ways to conceal your thyroidectomy scar. There are a hundred different ways that you can tie a scarf. They can be worn day or night in every imaginable color, fabric, length, and pattern.

    Scarves just aren't for cooler weather either. Lightweight fabrics make them the perfect accessory even for warmer months.

    While options may not be as wide for men (who wears a cravat these days?), they can be worn fashionably with certain sportswear, evening wear, daywear, or outerwear.

    Make a Statement With a Turtleneck

    mature woman in turtleneck
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    Turtlenecks have gotten a bum rap for a long time but have evolved over the years into what is now a wardrobe staple. Think turtleneck sweaters or sleeveless turtlenecks for a layered look or a basic turtleneck under a cardigan sweater. 

    Men can also take advantage of this look with both lightweight silks or heavier wools providing that all-season Brooks Brother appeal.

    While fashionable, some people with raised or bumpy scars may experience irritation from wearing turtlenecks. If this occurs, try different fabrics to see if there are less irritating options.

    Apply Makeup and Other Concealing Cosmetics

    Face Liquid Foundation
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    Cosmetics concealers and foundation are simple ways to make your scar blend in with the rest of your skin. Tinted moisturizers and sunscreens can also work effectively.

    There are also specialty products like Dermablend that are marketed as "camouflage makeup" and claim to provide excellent concealment for scars, birthmarks, and even tattoos.

    One caveat: if you have had a recent thyroidectomy, you will want to consult with your doctor before using any of these products. They may impede healing if applied too soon or cause irritation to the delicate scar tissue.

    Add Visual Bling With Jewelry

    Girl Holding Heart Pendant Necklace
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    A necklace won't exactly hide your scar but can certainly distract people's attention. Thicker necklaces, chokers, or those with pendants work best at keeping your scar less visible.

    However, if you have a raised or bumpy scar, a necklace may cause irritation simply from the friction of beads or metal against skin. Be wary of any allergies you may have to metals and try out a few different styles to see which one is the least irritating to your scar.

    You can also look into buying a jewelry scarf that has pendants and bangles woven right into the fabric. Alternately, you can accessorize a neck scarf by securing it tightly with either a choker or pendant. 

    Consult With a Plastic Surgeon or Dermatologist

    Smiling doctor with digital tablet consulting female patient
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    If you are still self-conscious after trying other methods of concealment, you may want to consider consulting with a plastic surgeon.

    Scar revision surgery is becoming increasingly popular among those with visible post-surgery scars. There are a number of minor cosmetic procedures you can explore as well as more in-depth treatments requiring surgery. 

    Surgical procedures tend to focus on the removal of the traumatized edges of the incision wound, using glue instead of sutures to avoid the typical "railroad track" signs of surgery.

    A dermatologist should also be considered when exploring less invasive ways to treat a thyroid scar. This should certainly be the case right after surgery when the wound is still healing. Silicone sheeting (to keep the skin from shifting) and cortisone injections are just some of the techniques that are commonly used.