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 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.

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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!

Have a question about your scar? Leave us a comment and let us know! Be sure to subscribe to the Scars and Spots blog as well for further updates on this and similar topics.

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Do Essential Fatty Acids Fade Scars?

Do Essential Fatty Acids Fade Scars?

Scars are almost always permanent, but with patience, time, and proper treatment, they can fade and become less noticeable. Choosing the right treatments, however, proves crucial to the healing process. Essential fatty acids are one of the treatments often recommended to individuals seeking to minimize the appearance of their scars.

Read More: Fade Scars

What are Essential Fatty Acids?

Essential fatty acids (also known as EFAs) are carboxylic compounds. Though they serve key functions – stimulating the metabolic process and aiding in tissue regrowth – they’re not created naturally within the body. Instead, they’re synthesized through foods, ointments, or other secondary methods. This ensures a steady introduction of linoleic and oleic properties into the bloodstream.

Linoleic Acid

Linoleic acid is a polyunsaturated EFA chain. Due to its double-bonded shape, it does not appear naturally within the body. Its role as an inflammation regulator and a producer of cell membranes, however, proves critical to human development.

Oleic Acid

Oleic acid (also known as Omega 9) is a monounsaturated EFA chain. It’s not manufactured within the body but is instead commonly ingested through nuts, seeds, avocados, and other oil-based foods. It directly affects plasma production, circulation, and insulin production.

These two EFAs impact the texture and appearance of scar tissue. How? Let’s examine their effects.

How Do Essential Fatty Acids Affect Scars?

Essential fatty acids – specifically linoleic acid and oleic acid – trigger a variety of functions within the body:

Regeneration of Lipid Bio-Layers

Lipid bio-layers affect the skin’s overall hydration. They’re needed to soften each scar’s texture and promote elasticity. EFAs stimulate the lipid production process and maintain moisture levels.

Prostaglandin Production

Prostaglandins are fatty enzymes. Through their secondary compounds, known as prostacyclins, they stimulate skin growth, as well as attack sources of inflammation. This reduces redness, irritation, and swelling. EFAs contribute to prostaglandin production, which delivers concentrated compounds to the scar site.

Melanin Regulation

Melanin is an oxidized compound that determines an individual’s pigmentation. It affects skin color, eye color, hair color, and more. The arrival of scars tend to create an overproduction of melanin, which darkens the affected area considerably. EFAs regulate melanin and fade hyperpigmentation.

Through essential fatty acids, individuals achieve supple, hydrated skin, reduced irritation, reduced inflammation, reduced hyperpigmentation, and enhanced elasticity. These elements combine to fade scars. InviCible Scars contains essential fatty acids in combination with a stable form of Vitamin C to fade scars.

Read More: Get Rid of Scars

Essential fatty acids are pivotal in the healing process. They deliver vital lipids and promote hydration, decreasing tissue rigidity and size. This makes them ideal for the treatment of hypertrophic, keloid, and even surgical scars.

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