Do’s and Don’ts of Scar Prevention

Do’s and Don’ts of Scar Prevention

Scar tissue is a normal part of the skin’s healing process from any wound, including those caused by surgeries or accidents. Scars form because the collagen production works quickly after the skin has been wounded to mend the injury and protect the body from any further injury or infection. Since it goes through a more rapid healing process, the tissue does not have the exact same makeup of normal skin cells, which is why it looks different. (Read: Why Scar Tissue is Different from Normal Tissue.) Many variables influence the look of scars, including the size, depth and shape of the wound, as well as how much blood is able to visit the area during the healing process. Luckily, there are easy prevention methods to ensure that your injury or surgery does not end with a lifelong reminder in the form of a visible scar.

Do Get Stitches

Deep wounds, or cuts that can spread apart, heal faster and better when stitched by a professional doctor as soon as possible after the injury. Stitches minimize the wound area and make it easier for the body to heal the injury. This reduces the area of new skin forming, which minimizes the amount of scar tissue.

Do Protect the Wound

When you have a wound, you should keep it moist to prevent scabbing and allow the healing process to commence by applying a first aid cream like Neosporin. You should also keep it covered with a non-stick bandage to protect further injury and keep it from drying out. Once you see new skin forming, you can stop covering it with a bandage and begin applying your scar treatment.

Read: What Affects Wound Healing?

Do Massage the Scar

Gentle massage should start as soon as it’s tolerable, usually a couple of weeks after the skin has healed over. Massaging your scar breaks up the collagen and reduces the size of scar tissue forming; use the time when applying your scar treatment to massage the newly formed scar.

Read: How Do You Soften Scar Tissue?

Don’t be Impatient

When you wait for your injury or wound to heal, be patient. You should not pick at any scabs or use hydrogen peroxide. Although hydrogen peroxide provides beneficial first aid to the initial wound, subsequent use kills both good skin cells as well as bacteria making the wound more susceptible to infection. Instead, just allow the body to heal naturally. It takes 1-2 years for a scar to fully mature and there is no quick fix despite what you’ve heard.

Don’t Linger in the Sun

The damaging ultraviolet rays of the sun can interrupt the healing process, making it more likely that you will develop a scar. Additionally, UV rays discolor the scar tissue by stimulating pigment-producing cells. Skin is more vulnerable to discoloration when it is healing, so it is even more important to protect the area from the sun by covering it up with clothing or using sunscreen.

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

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Why Does a Scar Turn White?

Why Does a Scar Turn White?

Scars are a part of the skin’s natural healing process after it has experienced an injury, including accidents and any type of surgery. The new skin forms quickly as a way to protect the body from any additional threats such as bacteria and germs. There is often an overgrowth of collagen, which is one reason scar tissue looks different than other skin tissue. Furthermore, many of the skin cells become damaged, which can affect their ability to perform their regular functions.

Initially, most scars are red or purple in color because of the injury to the skin tissue and the underlying blood vessels, as well as the natural inflammation response that is part of the body’s healing process. As the scar continues to heal sometimes the tissue turns white, which is known as hypopigmentation.

What Causes Hypopigmentation?

Pigmentation in normal skin tissue is controlled by the protein melanin. Melanocyte cells produce melanin, and these cells are typically located in the deeper layers of the skin. The damage caused by a wound can damage the skin cells, and if it goes deep enough, it will also damage the melanocyte cells. When these cells are damaged, they cannot function properly, which means they do not produce the normal amount of melanin, which results in a lighter patch of skin or white skin.

How Long Does it Take for a Scar to Turn White?

The length of time it takes for a wound to heal depends on many variables, including a person’s overall health, the size and depth of the injury, the care taken during the initial healing of the wound, and more.

Read: What Affects Wound Healing?

Will a Scar Turn Back to the Normal Skin Color?

The body has a phenomenal amount of healing powers. When an injury to the skin occurs, the body begins to repair itself and protect the body, often resulting in a scar when the injury is deep enough. Over time, the scar turns different colors as the skin continues to regrow and heal, and new skin cells replace the damaged skin cells. However there are instances when the scar will overgrow its bounds, known as a keloid scar, or when it becomes hypertrophic (or raised.) The final color of your scar also depends upon if it was exposed to the sun without protection during the healing process.

Is a White Scar Permanent?

Depending on your normal skin color and the extent of the damage to the melanocyte cells, the whiteness of a scar and the surrounding tissue may or may not be noticeable. Those with darker skin will have a more obvious hypopigmented scar than those who already have a paler skin tone. If your scar results in a white scar, then it is permanent and there is nothing further that a scar treatment can do.

When you initially have a skin injury, using a scar cream that stimulates the body’s natural healing activity can help to normalize the process until the scar fades. Creams like InviCible Scars can help reduce the appearance of scars and fade hyperpigmentation of the area.

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

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Scar Healing Time

Scar Healing Time

If the trauma is minor, healing time for the wound should be quick, and scar formation minimal. If your scar is deeper, as is often the case with surgical scars, healing time will take longer. However long it takes, a scar goes through three stages of healing. The first phase of wound healing is a period of inflammation that may last anywhere from two to six days, depending on how severe the initial trauma. During this period, you’ll experience warmth, some redness, swelling, and pain.

When the initial trauma spot begins to subside and ceases inflammation, your skin begins to produce collagen to knit the edges of the wound or trauma area together. This is the period when scarring may develop. Most scars start to improve within 2 – 3 weeks, and will continue to improve for up to six months. Finally, your skin will continue to break down the excess collagen that created your initially raised and reddish scar, and turn it into a thin, flat scar that may be visible or almost invisible. This period take from six months to several years with the finalized appearance of your scar in about 1-2 years.

Read: How to Help Your Skin Heal Scars

It’s important to respond to a wound or trauma to your skin immediately, even before healing begins. If you’re a smoker, stop! It causes blood vessels to contract, decreasing healing oxygen to the body and skin. Avoid direct sunlight while your skin heals. This may seem impossible, but it is necessary! When your skin is fully knit together, begin exercising regularly. Exercise will increase oxygen to all of your body tissues, including the deep levels of your skin. Your scar will heal more quickly, and your body will be healthier, too.

If you haven’t been eating properly, now is the time to rethink your eating habits. A balanced diet is very important to proper scar healing. Try to get the most nutritional foods possible into your system, especially foods rich in Vitamin C. Be sure to include protein-rich foods for the collagen your skin needs to heal properly, and increase your Vitamin B and zinc levels, too. Eat plenty of foods rich in Vitamin A to enhance your skin’s ability to absorb moisture, and drink plenty of liquids.

Most importantly, stay out of the sun and apply a sunblock with SPF 30 to ensure total protection when you go outside. At the same time, begin applying a scar healing cream to your traumatized skin or scar, as soon as your skin has completely closed up. For instance, if you have a surgical scar, laceration or burn that required sutures, use InviCible Scars on the area as soon as the sutures are removed. If you’ve had a skin resurfacing, wait until there is no “rawness” before beginning to use Invincible. For scars or dark marks from acne, apply InviCible at least twice a day, directly on the affected areas, but not on active acne spots.

With proper exercise and nutrition, avoidance of the sun and application of InviCible Scars, your scar will heal beautifully, and more quickly than you might think.

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

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Getting the Most Out of Your Scar Treatment

Getting the Most Out of Your Scar Treatment

Finding a great scar treatment product is only half the battle. If only it were as simple as applying a gel and watching your scar vanish! The truth is that the effectiveness of any product depends partly on how you use it and many of the choices you make during treatment. You want your scar as minimally visible as possible, so be sure to follow these tips to maximize your results.

1. Choose the right product. You want a product you can trust to be safe and effective, one that does not contain any harmful ingredients or unnecessary chemicals. Look for a scar treatment with dimethicone silicone, a stable form of Vitamin C, aloe vera, licorice extract, and other ingredients that have been proven to heal scars without damaging your health.

2. Use the product consistently. Of all the things you should be doing, this is probably the most important. It is far too common for people to begin using a product and then get busy, distracted, or even discouraged if their results aren’t fast and dramatic. This can lead to using the product sporadically or stopping its use altogether before treatment is complete, which will not yield the best possible results. Use the product at least twice a day for at least 12 weeks. You may notice improvements within the first couple of weeks, but the scar will continue to improve for up to several months.

3. Apply the product first. That means under any moisturizer, sunscreen, or makeup. In order for the product to be effective, it must be applied directly to the skin. After applying, be sure to wait for it to dry before applying cosmetics or other products.

4. Boost your results with a healthy diet. Vitamin C isn’t only effective in a scar cream and applied to the skin; it also offers great scar-healing benefits when eaten, so get plenty of citrus fruits, broccoli, peppers, and other foods rich in vitamin C. Protein will help your body make the most of collagen; zinc and vitamin B both work to help your skin heal faster; Vitamin A is great for tissue synthesis.

Read: How Nutrition Affects Scar Healing

5. Avoid the sun. Even brief exposure can lead to darkening of your scar, and this change can be permanent. Especially during the first six months, when scars are still forming and changing, be sure to wear an SPF 30 sunblock, or keep the scar covered with clothing.

6. Get plenty of exercise. Exercise offers many heart and overall health benefits, improves your mood, gives you more energy, and helps you sleep better. But exercise also helps your scar heal faster! That’s because exercise improves your circulation, meaning that more oxygen-rich blood is transported to the site of your healing scar, and oxygen is key in optimal healing. If your scar is the result of a surgical incision, you may not feel much like exercise at first, but do as much as you can (and as much as your doctor gives the green light on). Even a short daily walk will go a long way to help with healing.

Do you have a question about your scar? Leave us a comment and we’ll be happy to answer.

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Do Scars Change Appearance After Surgery?

Do Scars Change Appearance After Surgery?

If you are planning to have any type of surgery, whether it is elective or not, you may be wondering what to expect concerning your scar. Most surgical procedures will leave some type of scar, and these scars do indeed change quite a bit after the surgery and over time.

Scar tissue is not as strong as normal skin. For several weeks after the surgery takes place, it is easy to reopen a wound through minimal accidental trauma. By the time six weeks have passed, if normal healing is taking place, the scar tissue has about half the strength it will ever gain. The scar’s final ability to withstand trauma or injury gradually increases over the next one to two years. However, it will never regain the normal strength of uninjured skin.

Read: How is Scar Tissue Different From Normal Skin?

Read: How Long Does It Take For a Scar to Heal?

Most of the collagen, which is the main component of scar tissue, has formed in the area by four to six weeks after the wound has closed and begun to heal. The scar will usually appear firm, red, and raised during this time. The rate of collagen production will change over the next several months. When healing is normal, normal amounts and types of collagen are present in the area. The redness of the scar fading and the scar itself beginning to soften are also signs of normal healing. Most patients can expect it to take at least one year for the scar’s final appearance to become apparent. In children, scars may continue to change for several years.

Read: Do Scars Grow With Age?

If you are unhappy with the red appearance of a scar, and it is a relatively new scar, realize that it will likely fade a good deal on its own (although not disappear completely; scars are permanent). Be sure to avoid exposing the scar to sunlight; use sunscreen, cover the scar with clothing, or stay indoors. UV rays do not only damage normal skin; they also damage scar tissue and can make it look darker or redder. These changes are sometimes permanent.

You can also cover a scar with makeup in some cases. If the sutures have been removed and the wound is healed, you can gently apply concealer or other makeup to conceal the scar as it heals. Remember that makeup by itself does not protect the scar from sun damage; also use sunscreen, or choose a makeup that contains sunscreen as one of its ingredients.

Scars do change in appearance significantly after surgery, as time passes and the scar begins to heal. Keep in mind that how much your scar changes, and what type of changes you notice, depend largely on how you care for the scar as it heals, your diet and lifestyle choices, and whether you are darker or lighter skinned. Be sure to exercise regularly (once you’re cleared by your doctor to do so) and eat a healthy diet; also use scar treatment products that contain ingredients known to help scars fade and soften, such as silicone and Vitamin C. Following these and other steps for scar healing will ensure that the kinds of changes you see in your post-surgical scar are the ones you want.

Do you have a question about your scar? Leave us a comment and we’ll be happy to answer.

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