Feeling good is a big part of being a happy, healthy teen! After doing some research on health and beauty for those effected by cleft lip or cleft palate, I discovered tips, common questions, and solutions that may be helpful for the future:
Will applications of Vitamin E to the scar help?
No. There is no consistent evidence that applying Aloe Vera, Vitamin E, or Cocoa Butter will truly improve the long-term appearance of the scar. Since a normal scar will spontaneously improve, some people mistakenly believe it is due to the Vitamin E they are applying. Although it is not recommended by the Cleft Palate Foundation to use these things, there is no evidence saying it would do any harm.
When Will the Scar Go Away?
Unfortuantely, once there is a scar, it is there forever. However, when the scar matures it should be much less noticeable than when it was new. Some people heal with less obvious scars than others, so that the scar may be fine, or, at the extreme, very wide.
So... What Can I Do to Reduce the Appearance of my Scar?
From personal experience, I know that you can put make-up over the scar. I know, it may sound like a hassle or it may sound embarrassing to wear it, but it becomes routine after a while. I use a product that people have not been able to detect AND there has been less comments about my cleft lip since I started using it. Now, I'm not saying it will fix every aspect of self-doubt concerning your cleft, but I definitely made me feel more confident and proud. They are not sponsoring this site or anything, but if you are curious, the website is: www.smartcover.com Based on reviews I discovered on Google, it was almost always the top recommended make-up for covering "imperfections" such as birthmarks, tattoos, acne, and in our case, scars.
If you are a guy (or an unfortunate woman), you can always grow facial hair to cover your scar. I have seen men who say they had cleft lip or cleft palate, and I would've never been able to tell hadn't they told me so, due to the facial hair.
Also, there are the last resorts. I only call them this because they are the most severe methods of decreasing the appearance or "correcting" your scar. These include using a "combination of surgical and non-surgical management techniques which include laser, electrodesiccation, chemical peel, dermabrasion, V-plasty and other scar revision techniques," as stated by one plastic surgery clinic.
What Can I do to Help Develop Good/Better Speech and Hearing?
First off, make an appointment with your "Cleft Palate Team" if you have not already. The ear, nose, and throat doctor (otolaryngologist) is a good person to see if you are having complications in these areas. You may also need to contact an audiologist (hearing specialist) and/or a speech-language pathologist. Some other help options may be needed, so make sure to talk to your doctor if you have any issues with from your cleft lip/palate, like speech or hearing. They can tell you what is best. (:
DISCLAIMER: I am in NO WAY certified (doctorate, etc.) to give you this information. The bulk of this info IS from the internet (sources down below), and all of MY OWN inputs are merely from PERSONAL EXPERIENCE. If you have more serious questions, are having complications with your cleft, or want to learn more than what I have to offer, see a doctor (or a cleft/medical website). Thank you!