What is Scar Desensitization Therapy?

What is Scar Desensitization Therapy?

Often, following surgery or an injury that leaves behind a major wound, the first thing that patients are worried about is how the scar will look when the wound has healed.

While the visibility of scars is a concern, though, it is equally important to think about the overall maneuverability of the area in which the scar tissue is forming. Scar tissue is, by definition, tougher and less pliable than normal skin. Read: Why Scar Tissue is Different from Normal Tissue.

For hands and joints especially, this lack of pliability is a problem, as it can significantly impair the range of motion that you are capable of achieving. Playing instruments is difficult with scarred hands, for instance, just because the scar tissue makes dexterous and accurate movement more difficult.

Scar Desensitization

Luckily, there are types of therapy that can, as a scar heals, help to ensure that it is as pliable and maneuverable as possible in the future. Scar desensitization therapy, for instance, is at least partially designed with this aim in mind. The basic idea behind scar desensitization is that, as a wound continues to heal and scar tissue forms and matures, that tissue becomes tighter, tougher, and less pliable. If allowed to heal without scar desensitization therapy, a scar will have a considerably more adverse impact on range of motion than it would have with therapy.

Scar massage and other similar procedures are the core basis of scar desensitization therapy. By rubbing and tapping on a scar region as it heals and as scar tissue continues to form, you can ensure that scar tissue is growing uniformly across the wound. More systematic growth, in turn, can reduce the feeling of tightness that often comes with a fully healed scar, allowing for a broader range of motion in that part of the body.

Dealing with Hypersensitivity

Scar desensitization also helps to reduce skin hypersensitivity in and around a scar. The site of an injury or surgical incision on the skin can often feel irritated, itchy, or sore for weeks or months after the spot has started healing. The soreness can radiate out from the site of the wound as well, affecting surrounding skin. The nerve fibers of the skin in these spots have been interrupted by the injury, which results in skin that is hypersensitive and often racked with discomfort.

Massaging or tapping the scar as it heals desensitizes these nerve fibers and helps to restore a feeling of normalness to your scar area. In the short term, this therapeutic action contributes to reducing pain and irritation. In the long run, it helps restore capability to the scarred area faster and more fully than would otherwise be possible.

Treating Scars Further

Scar desensitization therapy is smart because it minimizes the ongoing chronic pain of an injury and maximizes the range of motion. These factors are both highly relevant to your continued quality of life, and should be the first thing you address when you begin treating a scar. Afterward, once the scar tissue has formed and the hypersensitive nerve fibers have desensitized, you can start thinking about how to treat the scar to reduce its overall visibility. InviCible Scars can help with that part of the therapeutic process, with our powerful scar treatment cream.

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

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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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Can Certain Foods Reduce Acne Scars?

Can Certain Foods Reduce Acne Scars?

Hippocrates, the Greek philosopher and physician who famously inspired the doctor’s Hippocratic oath, also gave us this ageless wisdom: “Let food be your medicine and let medicine be your food.” During his lifetime, science was not yet advanced enough to examine food and digestion on a molecular level, but he had of course noticed a distinct correlation between diet and health. Those who ate well tended to be healthier, and those who did not often had poor complexions.

We now know that there are some specific food ingredients that influence skin health, and can be particularly helpful for healing acne scars. Research is still ongoing, and the links between diet and skin health are still anecdotal in many cases. However, there are a few correlations that are supported by strong clinical evidence.

The Role of Fruits and Vegetables

Vitamin A and its related compounds are found in foods such as sweet potatoes, spinach, carrots, red bell peppers, and cantaloupe. These compounds contribute to skin health by maintaining proper elasticity and moisture, which helps scars form more evenly across tissues. The vitamin A ingredient, retinol, is commonly used in topical face creams; however, the body also actively absorbs vitamin A from foods with the aid of vegetable oils.

Diets rich in fruits and vegetables also tend to be lower in fats and added sugars, which helps keep the glycemic index low. Recent clinical research indicates that high-glycemic-index diets contribute to a greater occurrence of acne in some groups due to an increase in insulin production, which is required to regulate blood sugar. In fact, high glycemic index and insulin are among the most scientifically and clinically significant dietary factors which can impact acne. Low glycemic index diets are also known to decrease the risk of heart disease, obesity, and diabetes.

The Scoop on Omega Fatty Acids

Two forms of omega fatty acids (OFAs) are found in our foods. Omega-6 fatty acids are associated with repairing tissues after physical activity. Omega-3s are primarily associated with metabolism in mammals. Both forms are essential to the body for different functions, but the ratio of one to the other is where many diets fall short.

Most nutritionists recommend consuming equal amounts of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. However, many diets that are high in vegetable oil and beef ingredients tip this balance in favor of omega-6, sometimes as much as 30:1. This may not seem important at first glance, but excessive imbalance in favor of omega-6 have been shown to contribute to inflammation.

Because acne scars are generally formed over relatively small areas of the skin, any level of increased inflammation can increase their appearance and slow the healing process. To help balance your OFA ratio, it is helpful to first visit a nutritionist to analyze your current diet, and determine if an omega-3 deficit exists. If so, you may increase your omega-3 intake with grass-fed beef or dairy products, soy-based foods, wild rice, walnuts and almonds, flax, black and kidney beans, and coldwater fish such as salmon, bluefin tuna, Atlantic mackerel, and anchovies.

Healing Acne Scars from the Inside and Out

The hard truth is that no one remedy can completely heal acne scars. However, by eating a healthy, balanced diet which provides essential vitamins and nutrients to the skin, combined with topical creams, such as InviCible Scars, the appearance of acne scars can be greatly reduced, both during and after the initial healing phase.

Have a question about your acne scars? Leave a comment and let us know!

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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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Healthy Snack Ideas to Improve Scar Appearance

Healthy Snack Ideas to Improve Scar Appearance

Healthy skin demands a healthy diet. To improve the appearance of scars, ensuring proper collagen distribution, the reduction of inflammation, and the softening of tissue, choose nutrient-rich foods.

Read More: Nutrition

Snack Time Suggestions: Choosing the Right Ingredients

Sodas and sweets make for a delightful treat. However, they don’t offer the fundamental nutrients needed to improve scars. Swap out those calorie-heavy snacks for ones infused with Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Vitamin E, and Zinc.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a water-soluble nutrient that strengthens the immune system and expedites the healing process, helping scar tissue fade. Physicians recommend a daily dose of 90 milligrams to ensure good health, and achieving this requires the right snacks:

  • Yellow Bell Peppers (341.3-mg per large pepper)
  • Golden Kiwi (64-mg per large fruit)
  • Strawberries (10.6-mg per large berry)
  • Oranges (69.7-mg per large orange)

Read More: Vitamin C

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is a retinal-infused compound that improves the texture of the skin. It accelerates cell development and generates greater elasticity. Physicians recommend a daily dose of 1500 micrograms, and individuals can reach this amount this with:

  • Carrots (7835-micrograms per large carrot)
  • Kale (17707-micrograms per cup)
  • Cantaloupe Melon (2334-micrograms per cup)
  • Tuna Fish (7141-micrograms per ounce)

Read More: Vitamin A

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is a fat-soluble nutrient. It counters the effects of free radicals, protecting skin from loss of hydration, decreases in elasticity, and oxidation. While Vitamin E does not improve the appearance of scars (whether applied topically or taken through diet or supplements), it is great for combating oxygen free radicals which can damage the skin, especially from sun exposure – and UV rays can permanently darken a scar. Physicians recommend a daily dose of 20 milligrams, and there are many ways to meet this number:

  • Almonds (7.3-mg per ounce)
  • Avocados (4.2-mg per cup)
  • Sunflower Seeds (10.2-mg per ounce)
  • Tofu (4.5-mg per ounce)

Read More: Vitamin E

Zinc

Zinc is a mineral that directly impacts the body’s immune system. It enhances cellular growth and dissolves carbohydrates (which provide key proteins during the tissue creation process). This decreases the rigidity of scars and reduces inflammation. Physicians recommend a daily dose of 15 milligrams, and there are many delicious ways to reach this goal:

  • Cashews (1.6-mg per ounce)
  • Dark Chocolate (5.9-mg per cup)
  • Mushrooms (1.4-mg per cup)
  • Mung Beans (0.6-mg per cup)

Read More: Zinc

Consider Supplements

Achieving a healthy lifestyle is not always possible, with individuals forever on the move and away from the kitchen. Choosing the right snacks proves challenging, and vitamin supplements are often needed to ensure balanced results.

These items deliver concentrated bursts of key minerals so that even the busiest individuals can maintain their diets and meet their intake goals. It also promotes the improved appearance of scars.

Read More: Vitamins

Substituting traditional snacks with vitamin-heavy foods provides immediate and long-lasting results. Make the change today!

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