We’ve all fallen down and hurt ourselves and often the end result is an unwanted scar. Do you have any crazy scars? The truth is scars will never completely go away, but there are methods you can try to help reduce their appearance.
How do you get a scar? Scarring is a natural part of the healing process after you’ve hurt yourself. Your age, genes, sex, ethnicity, depth and size of the wound and the location of the injury affect how big the scar is and how noticeable it will be. You can also wind up with a scar after you’ve had a big surgery if they had to cut you open. Even something as simple as getting a mole removed can leave a tiny scar.
There are several different types of scars. The first is called a keloid scar, which results in an overly aggressive healing process. These are common among people with dark skin. A keloid scar may hinder movement and extend beyond the actual injury. These types of scars may require special treatments from a doctor or dermatologist.
Contracture scars often happen when your skin has been burned. A contracture scar tightens your skin and may affect your ability to move properly and may affect your muscles and nerves. Contracture scars are definitely scars that also need special treatments from your doctor or dermatologist.
Hypertrophic scars are raised, red scars that looks similar to keloid scars but do not go beyond the injury. Lastly, there are acne scars, which are aptly named. You may get acne scars if you have had severe acne in your lifetime.
If you have a scar after a surgery, remember that it will heal and the appearance will be reduced in time, so don’t look for removal options until several months after your surgery.
Now that you can identify the different types of scars, what are your treatment options if you have an unwanted scar? First see your dermatologist to determine the type of scar if you are unsure and ask for a professional opinion on how to reduce its appearance.
They may prescribe you an over-the-counter prescription cream, ointment or gel. If your scarring is minimal, you can buy creams or ointments from the local drugstore from brands such as Mederma. If your scar is more severe, you may get surgical removal or treatment for these deeper scars. This could include a skin graft, excision, dermabrasion or laser surgery to remove the scar. These extreme options are mostly only for people with burns or if the scarring impairs function. Your doctor may also give you a steroid injection to treat scars that stick out, such as keloids or hypertrophic scars.
Also, know that you can help prevent scars from forming out of injuries. Don’t swab wounds with hydrogen peroxide because they can destroy new skin cells trying to grow to help heal. Cover a cut immediately with a band aid and an antibiotic treatment to prevent infection and keep wounds away from the sun. Maintain some pressure on the wound to promote healing and after you no longer need a band aid, massage the area to help break up collagen, which can lead to scarring. Don’t treat wounds with Vitamin E, despite what you may have heard. Vitamin E has been shown to impair wound healing and cause allergic reactions. Stick to it in vitamins. By following these tips, you can greatly reduce the appearance of a scar in the future.
Do you have any scars? Have you gotten them removed or used any product to help reduce the appearance? Tell us your story!