Depending on the type of wound you have, preventing a noticeable scar altogether may not be possible. However, for some minor wounds, following the steps below may prevent a permanent scar from being more noticeable. And if your wound is more severe, these same steps can significantly lessen its final appearance.
Infection of a wound is directly related to the severity of the eventual scar. That’s because some bacteria produce toxins or other byproducts that destroy tissue, exacerbating the severity of the wound. In addition, the skin’s inflammatory response to infection also creates a worse scar. Keeping any wound extremely clean and preventing infection is a great way to prevent or minimize scarring.
Read: Tips for Healing Scars
A healthy diet full of a variety of nutrients is important for overall health as well as scar healing. Certain nutrients are particularly helpful in the healing process. Protein foods such as meats, beans, and nuts help the body create collagen. Foods rich in zinc like beef, yogurt, peas, and black beans reduce inflammation and speed healing. Vitamins A, B, and C help with different aspects of healing such as collagen production, inflammation prevention, and the growth of new blood vessels. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables as well as meat, eggs, fish, and whole grains to make sure you are consuming enough of these important vitamins.
Exercise is important for anyone who wants to minimize a scar. Exercise promotes great blood circulation, which brings more healing oxygen to the site of your scar. Oxygen helps prevent infection, promotes healing, and minimizes scars. Remember to exercise as regularly as possible for the best results. If all you are able to do is walk, then walk; even this will help with scar healing. You can also try different types of exercise such as swimming, yoga, the increasingly popular boot camp fitness classes, or anything that is fun and gets you moving.
The importance of oxygen in the scar healing process is also a reason why you should not smoke. Smoking comes with a whole host of health dangers, and scar healing is one of them. By constricting blood vessels and decreasing the amount of oxygen that can get to the scar, smoking delays healing, increases your chance of infection, and deplete your vitamin C levels, which your body already cannot store or create on its own. All of this contributes to a scar that takes longer to heal and is more unsightly than it has to be.
The Right Scar Treatment
The right scar treatment can make all the difference in the final appearance of your scar. Choose one with vitamin C, which promotes collagen production, leading to better and faster healing and fading hyperpigmentation. Silicone is another important component of a good scar treatment. Silicone has been clinically proven to soften and flatten scars. Aloe vera, linoleic acid, oleic acid, and licorice extract are also safe and effective ingredients to look for. Avoid onion extract and vitamin E, which are ineffective, and hydroquinone, preservatives, parabens, and fragrances, which can cause allergic reactions and can worsen scars.
Have a question about your scar? Leave a comment and we’ll be happy to answer.
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