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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Is it Hyperpigmentation or Melanoma?

Is it Hyperpigmentation or Melanoma?

Noticing a brown or black spot on your skin that wasn’t there before can be scary. Sometimes, these spots are nothing more than hyperpigmentation, a common and harmless—but somewhat alarming—condition where small sections or patches of your skin take on a darker color than the rest of your skin. Hyperpigmentation is nothing more than concentrated deposits of melanin, which can collect randomly in one spot (or several spots) on your skin.

Unfortunately, the harmlessness of hyperpigmentation sometimes leads individuals who have the condition to ignore dark spots on their skin. If these spots are just concentrations of melanin, you really don’t have to pay much attention to them. However, one symptom of melanoma—the most severe and dangerous type of skin cancer—is brown or black spots or moles on the skin. Without careful attention to detail or medical consultation, it’s easy to mistake melanoma for simply hyperpigmentation (and vice versa).

The Differences Between Hyperpigmentation and Melanoma

Fortunately, there are subtle differences in moles or spots caused by hyperpigmentation and moles or spots. These differences fall into five different categories, which are easy to remember because they bear the initials of ABCDE. In assessing moles or dark spots, these initials refer to asymmetry, border, color, diameter, and elevation. Read on to discover more about the signs in each of these categories that can indicate melanoma rather than hyperpigmentation.

  • Asymmetry: Generally, hyperpigmentation patches (be they freckles, moles, or simple dark spots on your skin) are symmetrical in shape and size. A noticeably asymmetrical dark spot on your skin is worth consulting a doctor about, as it may be a sign of cancer.
  • Border: In addition to symmetry, dark spots caused by hyperpigmentation will have smooth edges that are easy to distinguish. Spots or moles with more jagged or irregular borders are more likely to be cancerous.
  • Color: In hyperpigmentation, melanin deposits can range from light to dark brown. Spots or moles that are black or rusty red in color appear more commonly in melanoma patients. With that said, melanoma spots can also be a more regular brown hue, so use color as a supplement to other identifying factors, instead of using it as your sole decider.
  • Diameter: Moles or dark spots with large diameters—or with diameters that seem to be expanding—are cause for alarm. Most dermatologists say that any skin spots bigger in diameter than a pencil eraser are worth having checked out by a medical professional.
  • Elevation: When it comes to assessing whether moles or spots are hyperpigmentation or melanoma, flatter is better. While some harmless moles are slightly raised, extremely elevated moles are often a sign of a more dangerous skin condition.

All of these factors can help you to determine, on your own, whether the dark spots on your skin are more likely to be the result of hyperpigmentation or melanoma. If you have a mole that is small, with a smooth border, symmetrical, flat, and light brown, chances are pretty good that you don’t have any reason for concern. When in doubt, though, consult your physician. It is invariably better to be safe than sorry when it comes to possible signs of skin cancer.

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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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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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