Q. I had a lumpectomy 15 years ago. The scar still itches and is painful at times. Do you know of any remedies?
A. One implausible-sounding approach is the original-formula hemorrhoid ointment, Preparation H. Readers of this column have used this product to help heal bedsores, soothe dry cracked fingers and relieve the itch of surgical scars. One woman wrote years ago that the burning and itching from a heart surgery scar drove her crazy until she applied old-fashioned Preparation H to it.
Since then, Preparation H has been reformulated in the U.S. It no longer contains the live yeast cell derivative (LYCD) that may have contributed to its healing power. A study in diabetic mice found that LYCD dramatically improved healing of skin wounds (Journal of Burn Care & Rehabilitation, Mar-Apr, 1999).
Preparation H is still sold with LYCD in Canada. LYCD is referred to as BioDyne. Several outlets import this product and offer it online.
You may be interested in this comment from a reader:
“I am past 80 years old. About 40-50 years ago, at Walgreens drugs, they had an ointment named ‘Sperty biodyne ointment’ that had shark liver oil and lycd ingredients in it. We started using it for cuts and abrasions, and found that it healed real fast, and with very little scarring. We were really impressed with it. Then, it became unavailable, and we found that the old Preparation H had the same ingredients and started to use that. The old Sperty Biodyne co. of Cincinnati went out of business.
“Then the dang FDA got to meddling in the affair and Prep-H formula was forced to change the formula and removed the LYCD from it. Now after considerable searching I just today received five(5);75 gram tubes of Prep-H from a Canadian drug firm at $21.00 U.S. per tube plus S/H. Last tube of Prep-H that I bought in the USA cost me $2.50 at Dollar general Stores. Thanks to FDA meddling that’s quite a jump in price.” Tom P., U.S.A.