How Long Does it Take a Hypertrophic Scar to Heal?

How Long Does it Take a Hypertrophic Scar to Heal?

There are several different types of scars that result from an injury and among them is the hypertrophic scar.

The hypertrophic scar varies somewhat from other scars in that its appearance tends to be red and elevated. They can also be itchy or even painful. However, unlike keloid scars, hypertrophic scars stay within the boundaries of the initial area of injury.

Hypertrophic scars tend to start developing within the weeks following an injury, and they may continue to redden and thicken for months. Their raised appearance can improve with consistent scar massage over the course of several months. However, depending on the severity of the scar and the nature of its origin, it can take a year or even longer for the scar to begin to flatten and fade. [Read more…]

The information on this site is provided as an information resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes. Please speak to your doctor to treat any medical condition. Information on this site is not intended to be patient education, does not create any patient-physician relationship, and should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment.

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My Scar Won’t Stop Itching, Is This Normal?

My Scar Won’t Stop Itching, Is This Normal?

Is It Normal for My Scar to Itch?

A wound can be inflicted in an instant. But the recovery process is never quite so quick. There are many reasons you may have a scar, ranging from an accident to a skin disease to recent surgery. Beyond that, there are a variety of different kinds of scars, each with a slightly different road to full recovery. But one fairly widespread symptom of a recent scar that may affect you, regardless of how you acquired your scar or what type it may be, is itching. This is most common for burn victims or others suffering from keloid scars. However, itching is known to be an issue for many other forms of scarring as well.

A study in Texas several years back revealed that as many as 87 percent of burn victims experience itchiness. Of those, 96 percent have three or more itching attacks per day. Conversely, more than half of these attacks last more than thirty minutes. So if you are suffering from such attacks, know that you are not alone and that the itchiness will slowly deteriorate over time.

So why does your scar itch in the first place? There are several possible reasons. For starters, itching is a normal part of the healing process, so if a newer scar itches, it may very well stop as it heals further. Itching in an older scar can mean that there was damage to the nerve endings. Also, itching can simply be due to dry skin. Scars need to be moisturized for optimal healing and being diligent with this step can also improve itching dramatically.

So Is It Okay for Me to Scratch My Itchy Scar?

The answer to this question is highly dependent on the nature of your scar and how you acquired it. If it is a recent wound, just like with any scab, scratching can cause the wound to reopen, which lengthens the time of recovery and increases the chances of permanent scarring. Scratching is risky because you end up scraping away the new tissue, setting back the healing process. Furthermore, if the wound is reopened, there is also the possibility of infection. In short, while scratching your itch may result in immediate alleviation of an annoyance, the potential ramifications far outweigh that relief.

When it comes to post-wound itching problems, you may be suffering from an acute itch, which lasts up to six months after the initial injury, or a chronic itch, which could last much longer. Since scratching has the potential to slow the healing process and a full recovery, the most effective solution is to resist the temptation and wait it out.

Some over-the-counter alternatives that may alleviate some of the discomfort include placing a damp towel or an ice pack on the scar or applying antihistamines. 

Do you have a question about your scar? Leave a comment and let us know!

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Can a Tanning Bed Help Heal Acne or Scars?

Can a Tanning Bed Help Heal Acne or Scars?

The relationship between tanning beds and acne is a complicated one. Many believe that tanning beds can help heal or reduce the appearance of acne, either because of the drying effect of tanning or because they think that tanning will “even out” the skin tone and make acne less visible. However, neither theory is based on scientific evidence, and both are misguided.

Read: Does Tanning Get Rid of Acne Scars?

Indeed, the reality of tanning beds is that there is no scientific evidence that they can help clear up acne. In fact, tanning beds are more likely to worsen the skin’s appearance by contributing to fine lines, wrinkles, and other signs of premature aging. Furthermore, there is plenty of evidence that tanning beds (similar to outdoor sun exposure) can lead to skin cancer.

It’s true that there’s no shortage of anecdotal evidence that tanning improves the appearance of acne. However, the truth is that any improvement is highly temporary, because even though the darkening of the skin can mask the redness associated with acne, it does not heal the acne and as soon as the tan fades, the acne will still be there.

How Do Tanning Beds Affect Existing Scars?

Just as with acne, there seems to be a common belief that tanning beds can mask the appearance of existing scars. Many people use tanning beds in an attempt to darken the skin around the scar, camouflaging the scar and reducing its visibility. But how an individual scar will respond to tanning is unpredictable. A newer scar may become inflamed in response to UV rays and the result may be delayed healing or even a permanent darkening of the scar. Older scars may not tan at all, resulting in a stark white scar made even more visible next to the darker surrounding skin. In either case, the result is obviously not desirable.

Besides, tanning beds are simply not advisable due to the reasons mentioned above. They contribute to skin cancer and premature aging, and simply do not achieve what many hope for: clearer skin and less noticeable scars.

A Safer Option

A much safer and healthier option likely to yield better results than a tanning bed is the spray tan. The response of a scar to a spray tan is also difficult to predict, but a spray tan is more likely to achieve the desired result than a tanning bed. Also, you won’t be exposing yourself to harmful UV rays in the process. The masking effects of a spray tan on a scar may vary depending on the age of the scar, but in general, spray tans are less likely to worsen the appearance of the scar than tanning beds.

Read: How Does the Sun Affect Scars?

Keep in mind that a spray tan does not provide protection against the sun’s UV rays, so you should still use sunscreen when you go outdoors to protect your scar and the rest of your skin. Be sure to test a small, inconspicuous area of your skin to make sure you don’t have an undesirable reaction to the product.

Do you have a question about your scar? Leave a comment and let us know!

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Tips to Conceal Scars as They Heal

Tips to Conceal Scars as They Heal

Scars tell a story, whether good or bad, and every individual will end up with a scar at some point in his or her life. However, not every individual wants to showcase that scar to the world.

Fortunately, with today’s treatments, it is easier than ever to not only speed up the healing process but to allow a scar to heal to the point to where it is almost indistinguishable from the surrounding healthy skin on an individual’s body. But that doesn’t mean that a scar is invisible during the healing process, which means that people still have to find ways to conceal their injuries while they are allowing them to heal.

Apart from wearing long sleeves and slacks for months and months on end, is there really a way to thoroughly conceal scars as they heal? Some people may be surprised to know that there are ways to keep scars hidden. However, it is important to do it the right way.

Using Makeup to Cover Scars

One of the most common solutions for covering up any scar is to use makeup. This comes with an added bonus. Damage from the sunlight can worsen the appearance of scars, so choosing a foundation to cover up scars that has added sun protection in the form of SPF provides you with additional protection for your scar as it heals.

Read: How Does the Sun Affect Scars

Remember that if you do choose to use a concealer, as the foundation for the scar, opt for one that works with the tone of the scar itself. A pink or red scar is best covered with a concealer that has green undertones while one that is closer to the tone of the skin is better matched with skin-toned concealer. And of course, even when not using makeup, it is always a good idea to use a good sunscreen whenever the scar is going to be exposed to sunlight to ensure that it is protected.

Read: 4 Tips for Concealing Acne Scars

Priming Skin for Makeup Use

Remember that any time you plan to cover up healing skin with anything, including makeup, it is important to prime your skin with the appropriate healing treatments. For example, using products containing stable Vitamin C can be incredibly effective in helping to produce healthy collagen to replace the damaged, broken down collagen from the skin injury, and reduce abnormal pigmentation in the scar. This ensures that the scar continues to heal as well as possible even if it is covered up with a concealer and foundation during the healing process.

Remember to avoid skin lightening agents, bleaching agents, and other primers that contain harmful compounds such as hydroquinone, as these can be incredibly harmful to the skin, and can even damage the skin during the healing process. While you want to cover up your scars, you also want to help them to heal. Treat them with care and you can leave your skin looking bright, beautiful, and as healthy as it was prior to being injured.

Do you have a question about your scar? Leave a comment and let us know!

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Can Waxing Cause Scarring?

Can Waxing Cause Scarring?

Waxing is one of the most common remedies to get rid of unwelcome hair, but with waxing comes a lot of questions. One of those questions is whether or not waxing can cause scarring.

While waxing shouldn’t cause scarring if done properly – that is, without breaking the skin or otherwise tearing out the hair follicles – waxing can leave behind noticeable brown spots, especially in sensitive areas of the body. Another problem some individuals may experience is burn marks left behind due to overheated wax, especially with home wax treatments.

That’s why it is important to pay special attention to these areas and to know how to wax properly so as to avoid this problem. The first thing to take note of is that you should never wax any area of the body to excess. Typically, it is recommended that you not wax any area of the body more than about every four weeks, though this can vary depending on the individual. Some people may wax a little bit more often, especially with tougher areas such as the legs.

However, it is still important to pay attention to your skin and what it is telling you. Never use wax over areas that are still recovering from previous waxing sessions or that are sensitive for any other reasons, or from any other treatments that you have used (such as tanning). If hair removal is necessary over these areas, it is recommended that you choose a hair removal method such as shaving that is more sensitive to the skin and the hair follicle, and that will allow the skin to continue to heal during this process.

How to Treat Brown Spots and Other Effects From Waxing

If your skin is sensitive because of waxing, or you have developed brown spots or any other lingering or lasting effects because of waxing, there are things that you can do to help heal the skin and to restore it. Using the right combination of ingredients to treat these effects is essential.

For example, Vitamin C is one such essential ingredient that can be used to treat brown spots easily and effectively, as it is an antioxidant that reverses cellular damage, especially to the cells that help to produce melanin. It also helps the skin to produce more collagen and overall helps to promote healing in the skin.

When choosing any products that promote healing in the skin, it is highly recommended that you avoid any products that contain the ingredients kojic acid and hydroquinone. These skin lightening agents are incredibly harmful to the skin, and will do far more harm than good to your body.

By paying attention to your skin’s needs, you can ensure that brown spots, redness, and damage to the skin because of overwaxing or even burns from overheated wax can be easily remedied. Choose the treatments that you use with caution and ensure that you use only the best products to promote the healing of your skin, especially in the most sensitive areas of your body.

Have a question about your scar? Leave a comment and we’ll be happy to answer.

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