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.

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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Scar Tissue After Surgery

Scar Tissue After Surgery

Scar tissue is a natural part of the body’s healing mechanism. When any part of the body receives an injury, it will work quickly to heal the injury. This repair process creates scar tissue. Scar tissue acts differently than normal tissue, and it may contain damaged cells, which is why it looks different than the tissue around it. Although most people think scars only affect the skin’s surface, scar tissue can also occur on any tissue in the body, including internal organs.

Although it is part of the healing process, scar tissue may end up causing problems, especially when it leads to adhesions. For most people, scar tissue causes most problems on the skin itself by leaving a life-long reminder of the surgery. By knowing what to expect after surgery, you can minimize the appearance of scars and other potential complications, including helping to reduce the time a scar takes to fade.

Scar Tissue on the Skin

Surgery typically includes an incision of the skin, usually extending through all the layers of the skin. Surgeons try to minimize the size of their incisions to reduce the amount of scar tissue that develops. The main factors determining the amount of scarring after surgery, beyond the skill level of the doctor, are age, race, genetic makeup, the size and depth of the incision, and the extent of the surgery. Initially, scar tissue will be pink, red or purple, due to the injury to the blood vessels and the inflammatory response that is part of the body’s reaction to any injury.

Over time, as the skin heals, scarring will fade and become closer to your skin’s natural pigmentation. However, many scars also turn white due to damage to the cells that control pigmentation. After surgery, the incision area will be sensitive and weaker than normal skin, so you should rest and avoid any movement or stress that could place too much stress on the healing incision.

What are Adhesions?

Although most people only focus on scar tissue after surgery on the skin, surgery can also cause internal scar tissue called adhesions. An adhesion is scar tissue that binds together two pieces of internal tissue or organs, even if they are not supposed to be connected. This distorts the normal internal anatomy, which can then cause problems.

The most common areas of adhesions are in the abdomen, heart and the pelvic area. Almost 93 percent of patients who undergo any type of pelvic or abdominal surgery end up with adhesions. Adhesions can be thin sheets of the tissue that may look similar to plastic wrap or strong, fibrous bands that can cause serious complications. Most adhesions are harmless and will go away on their own, but some adhesions can lead to complications and further problems.

How to Minimize the Appearance of Scars

Although doctors do everything they can to minimize any scar tissue, there are some actions you can take to prevent or minimize their appearance. Scars develop as part of the body’s natural healing processes. The faster and more efficiently the body heals, the reduced risk of scarring, or the faster it will take for the scar to go away. By avoiding smoking and drinking, eating a healthy diet, and staying hydrated, you will provide the body with the best foundation to heal properly. You should also practice proper wound care, which includes keeping your fresh scar covered and out of the sun, as well as following all your doctor’s instructions. It takes time for the skin to fully heal and for the scar to mature and look its best, often up to a year or even two. By taking appropriate care of your fresh scar and yourself, and using a good scar minimizing cream once the skin has healed, you’ll give your scar the best chance of fading.

Do you have a question about your scars? Leave a comment and we’ll be happy to help.

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How to Minimize Facelift Scars

How to Minimize Facelift Scars

Scarring is a concern regardless of the type of cosmetic surgery an individual is receiving. However, a procedure such as a facelift can be even more concerning to patients, as any scarring that may result will be much more readily visible than the scars that may appear with other types of procedures. There are many ways to reduce the appearance of scars after a facelift, just follow these tips below:

Be Proactive With Scar Healing

The first thing that every individual must do is be proactive about their health, and especially the health of their skin, prior to their surgery. It is recommended that for the best health possible, every individual quit smoking at least 6 weeks prior to and after surgery. For more information as to how smoking affects scars, be sure to read the highlighted post.

Maintaining a healthy diet with vitamin-rich foods is always a good idea, but can be especially important around the time of your surgery. After all, the healthier you are overall, the quicker you will generally heal. And the quicker you heal, the less chance there is for very noticeable scarring at the site of the incision for your facelift.

Read: How to Optimize Scar Healing with Nutrition

Caring for Sutures Immediately Post-Surgery

You will be given information from your cosmetic surgeon for the care of your incision sites immediately following the facelift procedure. It is important to follow your surgeon’s directions exactly – this will be your first step in ensuring that your wounds heal as they should. With a facelift it will be easy to avoid damage to the incision site during the day. However, you will need to pay attention to the way that you are sleeping in order to avoid irritating the site of the incision during the night.

Further Steps to Minimize Face Lift Scars

Be aware that for several weeks after surgery, even after the initial sutures are removed, the scars left behind will be noticeably red. This is normal, so don’t be alarmed – much of this will fade over time.  (Read: Are red scars permanent scars?) However, there are things that you can do to ensure that they heal better and faster.

With bodily scars, it is easier to cover them with clothing to avoid harmful sunlight. With facelift scars, you will need to be sure that you are using a sunblock that can block both UVA and UVB rays. You may also consider wearing a hat or scarf to block direct sunlight to the scars.

As you progress through the healing process, you can also consider the use of scar treatment products containing ingredients such as dimethicone silicone, which has significant moisturizing properties, and vitamin C, which have proven efficacy in the fading and softening of scars. Though you can never make scars disappear completely, taking the proper steps can minimize them by a great amount.

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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