Cheryl Mather (RN) Lotus Institute on Stratamed

In today’s episode I got to chat with Cheryl who is a Registered Nurse from the Lotus Institute. Cheryl is passionate about wound care and In this insightful episode, we discuss the effectiveness of using Stratamed for wound healing. We get into the use of the Stratpharma range (for open wounds) and abnormal scar prevention, and we go through why she uses Stratamed as a wound dressing for traumatic open wounds, as well as her views on the patient benefits of
👉Fast wound healing
👉Bacteriostatic properties of Stratamed (for prevention of infections)
👉Help prevent abnormal scarring
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Transcript- Cheryl Mather (RN) Lotus Institute on Stratamed

 

Trish

Hello, listeners. It’s Trish Hammond here from the Aesthetics Uncensored podcast. And today I’m joined by Cheryl Mather. Now Cheryl is actually an RN at the Lotus Institute so she’s the post op nurse at the Lotus Institute on the Gold Coast. And today we’re going to be talking about, like, basically about the post op procedures and what they do at Lotus Institute. So welcome Cheryl. 

Cheryl

Hello, Trish. How are you? 

Trish

I’m good. How are you? 

Cheryl

Good, thank you for having me today. 

Trish

Oh, thank you so much for joining us during your lunch break.

Yeah, exactly. Exactly. So sure. In your time now, you would have seen a lot in the post op area. Hey, 

Cheryl

Yeah. So with our two Surgeons, Dr. Peter Widdowson and Dr. Drew Cronin we do plastic plastics and reconstructive surgeries, and also a lot of skin surgeries as well. Smaller surgeries, skin cancers, excisions, things like that. 

Trish

Oh, yeah. So the whole gamut from a little skin cancer being carried out on your face or something right through to like, you know, big tummy cut?

Cheryl

Right, right through to our probably our biggest procedure that we do would be circumferential belt lipectomy.

Trish

That’s the 360 body lift?

Cheryl

Yeah, right. 

Trish

Yeah, that’s like, I always freak out when I think of that Surgeon like, whoa, that’s big. 

Cheryl

Yeah, have you seen some really good results? 

Trish

Oh, I’ve seen some mind blowing results. Yeah, amazing. So, tell me when you’re treating, like traumatic open wounds, Cheryl, like what are your main concerns when you’re treating those?

Cheryl

And so number one concern would be infection. And so, as well as the correct dressing selection so my dressing selection would need to take into account the kind of wound.

And also the patient’s lifestyle that the main question from patients is, am I still going to be able to have a shower, and depending on how early on in the pocket operative treatments we are, depends on so if it’s within the first 48 hours, we do ask them to not get that wet. But then after that time, the rules become a little bit more relaxed. 

Trish

Okay, so the first 48 hours, don’t get anything wet at all. And then after that, the next is a lot of…

Cheryl

So normally, I’ll see patients on day two, and take any drains out that might need to be removed, remove bandages, give everything a clean, and then put new dressings on and wherever appropriate, apply compression. 

Trish

Okay, so with that, like with the general advice that you give to patients after you’ve treated their wounds like what would that look like for a patient? Like if I was your patient, what would be general advice that you’d give me after you treated my wounds for the first time I popped in?

Cheryl

So if it’s a lamp, ideally elevate rest elevation, don’t be tempted to do too much. Sleeping at a 45 degree angle, which is normally the three pillars, are in the reclining chair in the lounge room. Secondly, keep wounds clean. Don’t be afraid to wash your wound after the first 48 hours and again as I just mentioned earlier, always we use compression wherever appropriate.

Trish

Okay, and what about with regards to infection? Like how can I stop getting my wound infected? 

Cheryl

Oh, well, we would have prescribed a prophylactic antibiotic and you would have been discharged from hospital with that.

Trish

Okay, and how long do you have to use that for?

Cheryl

It’s not only five days, but then I would have assessed the wound around that time and made a decision whether they needed a repeat script or everything’s moving along nicely.

Trish

Okay, and what’s your favourite product of choice like for the patients?

Cheryl

So, I like that depending on the age of the wound, we like to use Stratamed in the first four to six weeks on an open wound and then on a more mature scar Strataderm for around, about three months. 

Trish

Okay, so when they first had surgery, a patient, we told us the Stratamed up to four to six weeks?

Cheryl

Yeah, up to four to six weeks using twice a day. Only massaging on a small amount like a pea size, and that amount should be dry within five to six minutes. I always advise the patient, if it’s still tacky after that time you’ve put too much on.

Trish

Oh, so that’s a good way to tell it because I’ve got a friend who’s recovering from a skin scar. There is a massive something on her leg and she’s using Strataderm now, because it’s been over two weeks, and hers is completely closed. And like she said, Oh, it’s really sticky, so that would mean she’s putting on too much.

Cheryl

Correct. So people have this mentality of the more product we squirt onto the wound, the more good the doing and that’s not the case. In order for the Strataderm to form that firm, fill across the sky, it needs to be minimally applied and that’s the time frame, the five to six minute period. If it’s tacky around that time, that’s a pretty good indication that you’ve put the right amount on. 

Trish

Right. And if someone needed a secondary dressing?

Cheryl

You can apply all secondary dressings over the top of the Stratamed even if so, your earlier question that you asked me about patients wanting to have showers and keep the wound clean. Even if you wanted to apply a waterproof dressing over the top, you can still put your Stratamed on first, then your wash proof dressing. 

Trish

Okay. And the reason you’ve put the Stratamed on first?

Cheryl

Is to create a moist wound bed, which will speed up the healing time of the wound. 

Trish

Okay, and what about like, do you have to reapply it during the day or like, 

Cheryl

So I normally advise you to apply twice a day. Once in the morning, once before you go to bed. I just say popping next to the toothbrush that way you’ll always remember you need to pop it on. Gentle massage, backwards and forwards 20 to 30 times until the gels dry. 

Trish

Okay, okay, like a little bit of a stroke kind of thing. 

Cheryl

Yeah, like, like a gentle massage. 

Trish

And how long because it only takes five minutes or so to dry. Hey, 

Cheryl

Yeah, five minutes, and it should be tacky. 

Trish

Yeah. And if it’s some, like say, it’s on your face. For example, can you still use, like, to put makeup on? Moisturise? Or do you just go clean skin? 

Cheryl

No, you can go straight over the top. It has no restrictions with cosmetics, it’s fine. You can go straight over the top one once it’s dry. 

Trish

Okay, so you put that on first, let it dry and then you can use your sunscreen or any makeup or if you have to work pushing garments, you put that on afterwards as well. 

Cheryl

Yeah, so you’d give it that time to dry and then you’d pop your garments on. 

Trish

Okay. And you know, it’s really funny because like, like scars is a really big thing and some have a scar more than others. Is there any way you could do different things for different patients? Or how does that work? Like how do you determine what’s right for each individual patient Cheryl. 

Cheryl

So some of the main issues that can arise with wound care can include allergies to tapes, you know, the adhesive on the back of the tape, redness, discoloration in the area, sometimes itching or burning discomfort feeling so with the more sensitive patients, it’s really just a case by case. There’s not one rule that fits all, just some patients might have to see twice a week. Some patients I can push back to once a fortnight I’ve kind of got to treat each case individually.

Trish

Yep, you know what you’re talking about with the tape. I am one of those people like I just cannot have tape on my body at all for a certain amount of hours. Like if I just put it on for a little bit. It doesn’t matter at all. But the last I had a tummy tuck revision and I had some tape on there and within 12 hours, I was just welding up and itchy and crazy. It drove me nuts so I’m definitely one of those people that responds badly to taking some tapes and it’s common. Yeah, I’ll say in one of our groups, it seems to be becoming more and more common. I wonder why that is?

Cheryl

I’m not sure and we’ve got a few different tapes. Some are less, less adhesive than others, and they might be a tiny bit more gentle on the skin. But really once that irritation is bad, it’s sometimes easier just to leave the tape off, and let everything calm down and then try again maybe the next week.

Trish

Yep. Okay. Yeah, I’m a Strataderm advocate. At the moment we have one now first aid kit, because I’ve got like, my grandbabies, my kids, there is always something happening and my first go to is the Strataderm. And recently I used it when I had done, which seems really strange, but I don’t know why. But for me, whenever I have a multibyte that stops my itching, I don’t know what’s in it that would stop there, or whether it’s psychosomatic? I don’t know. Have you heard of anything like that before? Like, do you use it yourself at all?

 

Cheryl

The product that I use on myself is the Stratacel, which is from the same range. But it’s a slightly different viscosity for fall for the face and I use that on my personal derma pens that I do to myself. As soon as I finish my derma pen, I’ve got a thin layer of Stratacel on, usually lasting at night before I hop into bed and then when I wake up the next morning that there’s no redness at all.

Trish 

Yeah, I love the Stratacel because I did that when I had a HALO treatment and then I put the Stratacel on just to give help with the redness, and it does help with getting it, ya know, just really works nicely. So yeah, I love the Stratacel actually, because that’s relatively new. I think it hasn’t been out for that long.

Cheryl

Yeah, yeah, you’re right. 

Trish 

I don’t know how long it’s been out. But I remember when it was only a couple of years, maybe I think that I first saw it for the first time and I love it. Like, I have a tube sitting in my drawer right here and I just use it for everything, which is crazy.

Cheryl

Well, I think the reason that Stratamed is my product of choice is it just reduces the downtime. For the patients, it could even be by as much as days especially if it’s something that’s on the face. Yeah. See, it’s your pride and joy, your face, you don’t want to be really read or really obvious so I just think anything that can quell that redness and calm you down as soon as possible, rather than extending it over a week. It’s perfect and as well as reducing the downtime. You can use it immediately after a procedure even on an open wound if you wanted to and I’ve also used it on toddlers and pregnant women. 

Trish 

Yeah, right. Good, because what when you mentioned that it’s part of your wound care protocols so that’s because it creates that moist wound bed. And how does that make it better for the patient?

Cheryl

It just, it just all keeps boiling down to a quicker recovery and so the quicker that the wound heals over, then the quicker we can progress onto something like a scar maintenance routine and so that’s normally around around a 12 week timeframe. And then that’s just going back to that gentle, gentle to firm massage by that time with the Strataderm so gentle, or in the early days as the wound gets more mature, and a little bit firmer pressure. 

Trish 

Okay, and so if someone doesn’t follow, well, actually, first, when you get patients to actually comply with the things that you tell them to do that’s going to be better for their scar, like, do you find that they are complying? 

Cheryl

Like, I always find that patient, but not our patients in Lotus Institute because they are compliant. They just want to do the best for the scar to get the best outcome. So I don’t really have that many issues with non compliance. Everyone just really wants to do the right thing. 

Trish 

They listened to you. It’s your authoritative voice. Yeah, so tell me because I know that it can help with infections. Can you tell us a bit about that, like it’s got the bacteria bacteriostatic activity?

Cheryl

Bacteriostatic property which also helps prevent infection. 

Trish 

Yeah, right. So that just kind of sits on there to stop stuff from getting in which is going to cause an infection, hey. 

Cheryl

Yeah, well, then obviously it would be dressed and then they would also have the antibiotics that would have been prescribed before they were discharged. 

Trish 

Yep. Okay, and tell me, are there any unique issues that can arise with treating traumatic wounds that can affect the wound or scar outcome?

Cheryl

Well, I think we kind of touched on that a second ago. So with regards to any irritation, or itching or discomfort, the patients, they’re gonna really want to scratch their incisions and take the tips off and have a look at what’s going on under there. So once tapes keep getting taken off or unnecessarily earlier than they need to be and it’s just disturbing that healing process.

Trish 

Yeah right, and because I know you do a lot of the non surgical stuff as well like, like laser and your PRP and chemical peels and all that sort of thing. So would you use Stratamed in that situation?

Cheryl

So you would use Stratamed on our co2 laser, and but on the IPL and the Derma pen that the

lighter laser treatments that we do, that’s when you would use your Stratacel.

Trish 

Okay, okay, so basically the Stratpharma range of products, you’ve got the different products and they all have a different, I guess purpose or sorry that they have a different whatever the issue, not issue, whatever the or how do I even explain. 

Cheryl

What you’re trying to say is whatever stage of wound healing the patients are. There’s an appropriate Stratpharma product that we can use. 

Trish 

Yeah, perfect. Awkward. You’ve said it perfectly because when you use Stratamed for the open wounds, like because it could you can use it for I mean, you wouldn’t use that well. Tell me about it with open wounds like,

Cheryl

So you can use Stratamed on a wound that is younger than six weeks old.

Trish 

Okay, at any size?

Cheryl

The only thing you wouldn’t put it on is a third degree burn. Okay.

Trish 

Okay, so just be like open wounds. Or, you know, like,

Cheryl

Just in incisions. 

Trish 

Yeah, where there’s been a trauma to the skin. 

Cheryl

Correct. 

Trish 

Okay, cool. And I guess the benefits are the fact that’s going to help to heal it faster. It’s going to help prevent infections, and also the abnormal scarring, which is like the raise or the keloids.

Cheryl

The keloid scarring, yeah. 

Trish 

Yeah, okay. And because one of the things I learned early on the piece was the fact that it helps to keep the scars flatter?

Cheryl

Correct, along with taping, here at Lotus, we actually tape all our incisions for six weeks.

And then with a basic kind of tape. 

Trish 

Okay. And when they put that on, do they keep that on for the whole six weeks or they change it?

Cheryl

Yeah, which we change on a weekly to fortnightly basis just depending how the healing, how the healing process is progressing. 

Trish

Got it! And when you change it, you put the Stratamed on underneath, and then you put that on again until the next change.

Cheryl

Correct. 

Trish

Okay. All right. That’s really good. And because I know that it’s nonreactive, like the Stramaned is nonreactive. It’s inert and apparently has no measurable pH, alcohol, parabens or fragrances as well. So it makes it good for like you said you’ve used on children and pretty much on pregnant ladies. 

Cheryl

Pregnant ladies, breastfeeding mothers. 

Trish

Yep. And people with sensitive skin. I guess that would be the same, hey, 

Cheryl

Yeah, because as you correctly said, it has no measurable pH and contains no alcohol, parabens or fragrances.

Trish

Okay, and I guess the fact that you’re using it straight away, like you can use it immediately. postprocedure is going to allow the prevention of any abnormal scarring to start, hey, because it starts the scarring straightaway, doesn’t it? 

Cheryl

Yeah, you can actually even use it on the eyelids straight away. You know, like after an upper bleph or something. 

Trish

Yep, okay, and it’s been like some people use it as an alternative to topical antibiotics because of the bacterial aesthetic component of it.

Cheryl

Possibly we don’t encourage use for that reason, like we would give, we would script antibiotics or we would, around the hour we would we would also prescribe classic topical antibiotic cream.

Trish

Okay, so I guess it’s like double, like double dipping, I guess. Like, making it twice as strong, I suppose. 

Cheryl

Yeah, it’s just an extra safeguard. 

Trish

Yeah. And so if someone does have a treatment, how long it would take for it, because scars go through different colours. Hey, so that when they first happened, they’re kind of like red. But then they can change colour to become flattened pale. Like, how long does that take? Roughly?

Cheryl  

I guess it depends. That can be around the six month timeframe.

Trish

Okay, and on everyone, have you ever had a situation where it doesn’t work with someone’s skin? Is that because I have a keloid scar a lot, or I used to anyway, but are there certain people that may just you know, it’s not gonna work as well?

Cheryl  

Well, obviously different ethnic backgrounds are more prone to scarring. Because what am I trying to say? 

Trish

Yes, I think that yeah, because I’ve got quite dark skin and that’s probably.

Cheryl  

Yeah, like, the light skin. Yeah, the different Fitzpatricks. 

Trish

Yeah. And could you know, like, because there’s different stages of scar healing as well, hey, 

Cheryl  

Correct. Yep. 

Trish

Can you tell, do you know what they are? I can never remember. But I’ve been told before there were three, three phases to healing. Like, I think the first ones when it’s inflamed or something.

Cheryl   

I’m not sure of the exact phases and timeframes. 

Trish

Yeah. Okay, well, anyway, they look different every time it’s like scars not gonna look the same. It’s going to slightly change over time as it’s getting better. 

Cheryl   

Yeah. as it matures. It will, it will improve with time. 

Trish

Yeah, awesome. And, sorry, I won’t keep you too long as that but I just two other things I wanted to ask you with the Stratamed is that’s going to be that’s going to be like that’s a film forming flexible, like for content, a cook for content, a film, I guess for one of a better word, but also you can do pretty much do anything that you can do everything that you do normally without once it’s on. 

Cheryl  

You can do everything. The only thing to bear in mind is if you do wet it, you will need to reapply.

Trish  

Okay, so once it’s been wet, or if you have a shower or have a swim or whatever you need to reapply?

Cheryl 

It needs another application. 

Trish  

Right. So water will kind of not dissolve it but it will kind of you know, rub away I guess with 

Cheryl 

Yeah, just wash off. 

Trish  

Okay, all right. So hence you have a shower or be clean. Put it on, let it dry for five minutes, then do whatever you normally do, and it’ll stay fine until you get it wet again. 

Cheryl 

Correct. 

Trish 

Okay. All right. Cool. So if someone was having a shower in the morning before they went to bed, would you wash the scar first or just? 

Cheryl 

Yeah, wash it first. 

Trish

You wash it, wipe it down, get it clean. So before we plug in, make sure that it’s clean. 

Cheryl 

So any dressings that were on there are removed before you get in the shower, wash the area, pack dry, pop your Stratamed let that dry. If you were still using dressings at that stage, pop your dressing back on. Or if you were just applying the gel, let that dry and then put your underwear on. 

Trish

Okay, okay. Awesome. And it comes in different ways, like there’s different sizes for different people. Hey, because like if you’ve got a little, if you got an eye blepharoplasty you probably only got a one to five mil five gram tube of Stratamed but if you got a tummy tuck, you might want to know the 20 gram or the 50 gram tube. 

Cheryl  

Especially if you’ve done an abdominoplasty or a circumferential belt lipectomy you’d probably want to go the 50 gram tube. Yeah. Anything including an upper blepharoplasty or a facelift scar or a platysmaplasty, anything small like that you’d be able to get away with a 10 gram tube. 

Trish

So it’s a facelift, neck lift, eyes, anything small like that. It could be with a smaller tube. 

Cheryl  

Correct. 

Trish

And it’s so funny because you spend so much on having your surgery done, you want to make sure you’re using the best product you can to get the best outcome. 

Cheryl  

Correct and, and especially if it’s a facial procedure, you also want to make sure you commence a really nice skincare routine after everything’s healed just to preserve your outcome. 

Trish

Yes. And last question I asked you because I know you’re a bit of a scar guru so when it’s scar turns to dark what could have possibly caused that?

Cheryl  

If the scar turns to what sorry? 

Trish

If it’s got dark or pigments a bit or I don’t know where scar camping went? But you don’t, I mean, if it goes darker than your skin?

Cheryl  

Are you having trouble with going dark? You possibly could have had sun exposure?

Trish

Oh, good points. 

Cheryl

They are not protected, you’ve not protected your scar. 

Trish

Yes, yes. So I guess no matter where it is, if you want to, if you’re going outside or if you’re gonna be out in the sun, you definitely want to put the sunblock on over the scar film.

Cheryl

Sunblock and a wide brim hat on the face, obviously. 

Trish

Yeah. And any other tips that you could give a patient who was about to have surgery or concerned about their scar and think okay, well, you know, any top tips that you can pass on for them? 

Cheryl

Definitely massage is the key twice a day 20 to 30 times with medium pressure for as long as you think there’s an improvement there. Probably a minimum of three months.

Yeah, that’s my best tip. 

Trish

Okay. And daily use, like twice a day use of the Strataderm up to up to six weeks. And then sorry, it’s rather,

Cheryl

Stratamed to six weeks, Strataderm up to three months. 

Trish

In fact, I’ve actually heard of people using the Strataderm for up to a year. Yeah, I have to. Yeah, yeah. Have you used it yourself? 

Cheryl

No. The only product from the range that I usually just leave it is the Stratacel. 

Trish

Yep. Yep. I’ve got the Strataderm actually in my cupboard and a little Stratamed as well because you just don’t know. You know, especially little kids because they like to pull off takes and Band Aid, stuff like that. So this way, once you put it on, if you can manage to keep them still while it dries, you’re safe. 

Cheryl

Yeah, definitely. 

Trish

Yeah. Awesome. Awesome. We’re gonna say thank you so much. Is there anything that we haven’t covered that we should have covered? I just feel like I want to know so much more as well. Hey, but how much can you know? 

Cheryl

Yeah, I could talk about wound care all day. I just love it.

Trish

Yeah. Yeah. Until we went when you’re when your patients come in? Do they all use it? Do you do the same protocol on pretty much everyone that’s having the same treatment? Like, say, for some of the tummy tuck patients? You know, it’d be pretty much the same general after so.

Cheryl

Yeah, obviously, I follow our Lotus Institute guidelines for each procedure, per patient, but as I mentioned earlier, each patient is a case by case basis and what works for that patient, you’d like to think would work for the next patient, but if it’s not, then it’s back to the drawing board and just troubleshoot until we get a really good outcome for each patient.

Trish

Yeah, cuz it just comes down to what’s right for that patient, then hey, 

Cheryl

Correct. 

Trish

Yeah. Awesome. Awesome. Well, we’re gonna say thank you so much, Cheryl. That’s been, it’s fun the thank you notes so much and then there’s always something else that you can learn. 

Cheryl

My pleasure. Thank you for inviting me on. Hopefully I’ve answered everything.

Trish

Yeah, no, that’s been great. Well, thank you so much for joining us today. 

Cheryl

My pleasure. 

Trish

Lovely. Listeners look, if you do want to find out about the Lotus Institute, they’re on the Gold Coast, you can get in contact with them. Give Cheryl a buzz and booking to have one of her treatments as well. And if you’re having surgery, you’re in well looked after, well cared for hands because I always love it when someone wants to provide the best for their patients, because then that they’re doing the best for them and their patients so I really love that Cheryl. 

Cheryl

Thank you. 

Trish

Awesome. Thank you so much. Thank you. Bye.

You can find out more about Stratamed here https://stratamed.com/ and you can slide a DM in their Instagram https://www.instagram.com/stratpharma_australia/ for more product range and information. 

Check out more of Cheryl at the Lotus Institute here https://www.lotus-institute.com.au/ and their Instagram is https://www.instagram.com/thelotusinstitute/ 

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Well, like all good quickies it's time to dust off and get back to our day jobs! If you liked the podcast please rate us because we need the validation for our fragile hearts. If you have a story to share or have a burning question you would like us to cover please slide into our DM’s on Instagram at @transformingbodiespodcast. Stay positive, keep your boobs and chins high until we chat again xoxo Trish