What is Therapeutic Ultrasound for Scars?

What is Therapeutic Ultrasound for Scars?

Most people equate the word “ultrasound” with fetal imaging. Indeed, one of the most common applications of ultrasound technology is allowing a pregnant woman to see her unborn child, know its gender ahead of time, or learn other things about a pregnancy.

However, while ultrasound technology is probably most often used for fetal imaging, it can serve several other valuable applications as well—including, believe it or not, scar therapy.

A “therapeutic ultrasound” is a type of ultrasound that utilizes ultra-high sonic frequencies as an aid in the healing of wounds or other injuries. When an ultrasound probe covered in a gel is touched to a wounded area, the probe transfers high-frequency vibration into the tissues at that site. These vibrations can relax the local tissues and direct extra blood flow into the area, which can in turn help to relieve pain and speed up healing.

Why Therapeutic Ultrasounds Are Good for Scars

It is important to note that therapeutic ultrasound technology can have positive effects on many different kinds of injuries. Chronic back pain, muscle sprains or strains, pain in the tailbone, joint issues (including certain types of arthritis), and more. With injured or arthritic joints, the increased blood flow provided by a therapeutic ultrasound can actually assist in collagen reformation. The positive effects of therapeutic ultrasound, in other words, are versatile and far-reaching.

In scar therapy, a therapeutic ultrasound might be used for the purpose of scar tissue breakdown. Previously injured tissue can lose its elasticity as scar tissue grows back in its place—a phenomenon that isn’t only limited to skin, but which also occurs in muscles, tendons, and other body tissues. This more hardened tissue can be a significant problem depending on the location of the scar on the body. Since scar tissue is less elastic than the intact skin, it can impair range of motion and overall function in parts of the body that tend to move or flex on a regular basis. Scars on the hands, at joints, or on the face are examples.

Therapeutic ultrasound can help “break down” the fibrous, collagen-rich tissue that forms at the site of scars. The fast vibrations of the ultrasound probe can contribute to making scar tissue more elastic, which in turn can restore range of motion and reduce scar pain or irritation.

Similarity to Scar Desensitization

The effects of this type of therapy, then, are similar to the benefits of scar desensitization—which involves rubbing or tapping scars as they heal to eliminate sensory nerve fibers and ensure more evenly distributed and pliable scar tissue. The main difference in these two forms of scar therapy is that one (scar desensitization) is only efficient during the scar healing process while the other (therapeutic ultrasound) can be effective both during healing and after scar tissue has formed and hardened.

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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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Can You Get Rid of an Indented Scar?

Can You Get Rid of an Indented Scar?

Although scarring is a natural and necessary phase of healing, this process sometimes leaves indentations, puckering, or pockmarking where the tissue below the skin has been damaged or lost. These are called atrophic scars, most commonly caused by acne, injury, and surgery. Although some level of scarring may be permanent, there are safe topical treatments available to help restore this underlying tissue and smooth the surface of the skin to reduce the appearance of scars. These treatments include a blend of vitamins and nutrients that have demonstrated a significant clinical benefit to skin healing and scar reduction.

Scars and Skin Form Differently

Scar tissue is built from the same collagen protein as normal skin, but the fibers are arranged differently. Where natural skin is a somewhat randomly assorted matrix, which allows sweat glands and hair follicles to form, scar tissue fibers are arranged in strong, though less flexible, parallel layers that do not allow for sweat glands or hair follicles.

When skin is damaged by injury, surgery, or acne, the skin layers are forcibly separated. Once the interference is removed or resolved, the skin immediately begins to generate new cells, adding fibers of collagen in roughly diagonal rows. Many factors affect the speed of this process, as well as what kind of scar eventually forms.

Minimizing Scars as they Heal

While the scar is forming, the layers of skin that come together may not align properly if the wound moves too much, or the skin becomes too dry or too damp. Therefore, during the healing process, it is important to both immobilize the area to maintain proper alignment, and to ensure that the skin along the edges does not dry out or become too moist.

Using a properly formulated scar treatment, such as InviCible Scars, as directed during the healing process helps to maintain proper elasticity while also feeding the skin vitamins and nutrients that are essential for healing.

InviCible Advanced Scar Therapy includes vitamin C, licorice, and aloe vera to completely heal the area, and restore elasticity and skin tone, as well as silicone and essential fatty acids to reduce skin pocking and indentation.

For years, vitamin E was used topically as well, but this has recently been discouraged by dermatology experts as it can cause skin irritation. Other ingredients to avoid include hydroquinone, Kojic acid, and anything with fragrance or preservatives.

Reducing Scars after Healing

Skin and scar tissue continually regenerates and replaces cell layers throughout our lives. Though this process is more gradual than the initial healing, it does mean that the appearance of scars can be altered even after they have fully formed. If given the proper tools, the body will continue to heal and repair old scars.

InviCible Advanced Scar Therapy comes highly recommended by doctors who treat skin disease, such as acne, or perform surgery. Regular application of our nutrient-rich product helps to drive the healing process and reduces the appearance of scars and uneven skin tone.

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How Long Does it Take to Get Rid of Scars?

How Long Does it Take to Get Rid of Scars?

Healing is a series of steps on a very long journey, but the destination proves worthwhile when scars eventually fade. Individuals hoping to minimize (or even eliminate) the appearance of hypertrophic, atrophic, and other types of scars should understand how their bodies react to each stage of the process.

Read More: Scars

The Inflammatory Phase

Healing begins with the inflammatory phase. A cut to the skin triggers a sudden dilation of blood vessels, which allows enzyme-rich fluids to rush to the wound. These fluids attack damaged tissue, breaking it down to eliminate bacteria, erythema, and broken collagen fibers.

The Proliferation Phase

To combat the amount of nutrients lost from inflammation the body increases its collagen production. This creates a new network of tissue. However, all too often this network proves excessive, with protein chains layering against each other. This raises the skin and forms a scar.

Epithelialization Phase

Skin serves as a barrier against infections. However, newly formed scars are structurally weaker than traditional tissue. Lipid bilayers appear infuse the skin surface with moisture, sealing scar sites against free radicals.

Maturation Phase

Scar tissue eventually begins to mature. Surrounding blood vessels shrink back to normal size, collagen production decreases, and hydration levels settle. The wound closes completely and bonds with the tissue. Eventually, the scarring begins to fade.

Read More: Scar Phases

How Long do These Phases Take?

Scars are unique – and so is the healing process. Each phase demands an individualized amount of time to reach completion. In general, however, patients can expect:

  •  Inflammatory Phase: 1 to 3 days.
  • Proliferation Phase: 3 to 4 weeks.
  • Epithelialization Phase: 1 to 2 days.
  • Maturation Phase: 1 – 2 years.

Impacting Factors

The healing process is, unfortunately, fickle. A variety of factors impact its effectiveness:

Genetics

Certain elements, such as metabolism, oxygenation rates, and enzyme levels, are inherited. Genetic precursors play pivotal roles in the overall speed and efficiency of healing.

Nutrition

Dietary choices directly impact healing. Patients suffering from low Vitamin A (which promotes balanced cell growth), Vitamin C (which promotes anti-oxidation), or Zinc (which promotes enzyme production) often experience slow healing.

Age

Younger skin is more prone to abnormal and exaggerated healing. This can lead to hypertrophic or keloid scars. Older skin takes longer to recover. These factors affect the body and its ability to heal, keeping scars from fading and potentially increasing their appearances.

Read More: Scar Healing

Each patient is different – shaped by specific genetic traits, dietary choices, and their age. Because of this, it remains impossible to definitely chart a scar’s healing process.  However, most can expect the process to take about a year.

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Which is Better for Scars: Silicone Creams or Silicone Sheets?

Which is Better for Scars: Silicone Creams or Silicone Sheets?

There are endless treatments for scars – lotions and gels, ointments and injections. They’re stuffed into pharmacy aisles and online inventories alike, promising fast results and easy healing. However, two of these treatments manage to keep those promises.

Silicone creams and silicone sheets counter the effects of scarring. They both relieve inflammation while also decreasing rigidity and improving elasticity. They also both deliver concentrated polymers to the skin, improving its appearance, texture, and collagen responses. This makes them ideal for treatment – but which is best?

What is Silicone’s Effect on Scars?

Silicone proves essential in the healing process. It infuses the skin with key amines (organic nitrogen-based compounds) to maintain proper hydration and oxygenation levels. It also interrupts the body’s excessive collagen composition, stabilizing levels to reduce the build-up of tissue. This ensures that scars heal quickly and minimizes their overall appearance.

Read More: Scar Healing

What is Silicone Cream?

Silicone cream, as its name suggests, is a spreadable topical formulation fortified with silicone. It allows for direct skin contact, with individuals applying it to their scar sites. This introduces amines into the body and expedites healing.

Read More: Silicone Creams

What is a Silicone Sheet?

A silicone sheet is an adhesive product. It’s a two-sided design similar to a bandage that combines a latex shell with silicone gel padding. This padding rests against the scar and delivers steady nutrients throughout the day. It’s typically reusable.

Read More: Silicone Sheets

Which is Best: Silicone Creams or Silicone Sheets

The effectiveness of silicone creams and sheets are undeniable. Both products, according to studies conducted by Dr. Thomas A. Mustoe, a member of the Feinberg School of Medicine, promote accelerated healing within the body and reduce the effects of scarring. They’re useful against keloids, hypertrophic scars, contractures, and more. However, one does offer distinct advantages over the other.

Silicone creams are more efficient for daily use. Their lightweight formulas absorb directly into the skin, rather than requiring adhesives (which can roll, twist, or come undone.) Cream is easily used with other topical options such as sun block, make-up, moisturizers, or cleansers, and they’re undetectable. It’s also easily applied to facial areas, where sheets often prove cumbersome. These benefits make them ideal for the treatment of new and old scars alike.

Read More: New and Old Scars

Consult With a Physician

Silicone creams offer the same advantages as silicone sheets, but are much easier to use. Some individuals, however, may require more extensive procedures to treat their scars – such as dermabrasion, micro-needling, chemical peels, facial revisions, and more. Be sure to consult with a physician if you have a very complex scar.

Read More: Scar Treatments

Silicone scar products are the gold standard in scar therapy. This makes them perfect for treating inflammation, rigidity, and more.

Have a question about silicone creams, sheets, or other options? Leave us a comment! We’ll be happy to provide more information. Subscribe to Scars and Spots to get our posts delivered to your inbox.

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Do Topical Steroids Fade Scars?

Do Topical Steroids Fade Scars?

What are Topical Steroids?

Steroids are chemicals that are produced naturally by the body. They have a variety of functions including decreasing inflammation. The body produces 2 main types of steroids:

Glucocorticoids

These carbohydrate-based hormones regulate the metabolic system, as well as expedite the creation of anti-inflammatory proteins. They allow the body to maintain appropriate levels of glucose, amino acids, and adipocytes.

Mineralocorticoids

These aldosterone-based hormones filter water and electrolytes through the body (specifically the kidneys). They regulate salt secretion, as well as the regulating potassium levels. They also affect the skin’s overall hydration levels.

Topical steroids are man-made chemicals that mimic these naturally-occurring chemicals we have in our bodies. Topical steroids are most commonly used to reduce inflammation and are often used in the treatment of skin disorders such as eczema, dermatitis, poison ivy or oak reactions, and rashes.

Topical steroids have been commonly used throughout the world for over fifty years, and they rank among the most popular methods for fading scars. Do they really work?

Read More: Steroids

Do Topical Steroids Fade Scars?

According to a landmark study published by the Journal of Burn Care and Research (and conducted by the Shriners’ Burns Institute of Cincinnati), topical steroids are not successful in fading scars. During a test of 159 patients – each suffering from post-burn contractures – doctors applied these formulas to skin and monitored the results for a year. No favorable changes were seen in scar thickness, texture, or pliability. Instead doctors discovered adverse reactions, including thinning of the skin and bruising, in 16.4% of patients.

Some physicians still prescribe topical steroids for the treatment of scars. Beyond decreasing inflammation however, there does not appear to be any real benefit in terms of improving scar appearance or texture.

Consult With Your Doctor

Those considering steroids should always consult with their physician first. Prolonged use can have long-lasting, negative side effects and is best overseen by a doctor.

Also be sure to ask about alternative topical scar treatments, particularly products containing silicone. Other topical therapies that have been shown to improve scar appearance include vitamin C, aloe vera, and Vitamin A.

Read More: Scar Treatments

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