Old Scars: Treatment Options

Old Scars: Treatment Options

There are many types of scars, just as there are many types of scar treatments. Individuals are forever bombarded with endless creams, ointments, and abrasion pads – and it can prove confusing to choose between them. For many, the best option is to utilize a variety of natural and medical options when trying to improve the appearance of scars.

Read More: New Or Old Scars

Topical Remedies:

Aloe Vera

This gelatinous extract (from the leaves of the Aloe Vera plant) delivers superior relief during the initial stages of scar healing. It contains anti-inflammatory properties that heal wounded skin, soothing irritation and helping to increase moisture. This softens the scar, keeps is moisturized and improves its appearance, however it does not fade the scar.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is one of the best ways to fade scars. Always choose a stable form of Vitamin C (such as in InviCible Scars.) Healthy collagen production is necessary to reduce the size and appearance of scarring overall, and that is something that Vitamin C can play a big role in, as this vitamin is essential in the collagen production that is required to formulate healthy connective tissue in a wound.

Dimethicone Silicone

Silicone is one of the best ways to treat old scars. It relieves scar redness, pain and itching, improves scar elasticity and can treat and prevent difficult scars like hypertrophic scars.

Honey

Scars often create a lack of moisture in the skin. Honey helps to provide that moisture, providing the tissues with alkaline-rich properties and antioxidants. This revitalizes the hydration process and reduces scarring. Raw honey (not pasteurized) should be used.

Read More: Nutrition

More Invasive Options:

If topical scar treatments don’t help, there are several more invasive options for people to consider. Dermabrasion is the process of carefully removing layers of skin. It utilizes a series of rotating brushes, which spin quickly across raised tissue to reduce its thickness and rigidity. It’s used most often for facial scars, such as ones left by acne or surgeries.

Tissue fillers are aptly named, with dermatologists injecting the skin with substances like hyaluronic acid or calcium hydroxyapatite. These mimic the effects of collagen and help to redefine the skin’s natural contours. This reduces the appearance of scars, as well as improving their overall textures.

Read More: Dermabrasion

Surgical scar revision can also be a very good option for some problem scars, especially scars that healed poorly or unevenly, and ice-pick acne scars. This of course creates a new scar, but replaces the problem scar with a scar that heals better and more predictably.

Consult With a Board Certified Dermatologist or Plastic Surgeon

Before starting any scar treatment program – whether natural or medical – individuals should consult with a specialist. This will allow them to choose the right products for their particular needs, as well as help them avoid dangerous OTC options (such as hydroquinone or kojic acid). Be aware that no treatment is guaranteed and results will vary based on a patient’s specific scar type, skin type, healing rate, and genetic profile.

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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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Does Petroleum Jelly Help Fade Scars?

Does Petroleum Jelly Help Fade Scars?

First discovered about two hundred years ago, petroleum jelly has been widely used as an ointment for only about half that time. It was first used as a treatment for skin injuries, although it has since been used for a wide range of skin problems. Petroleum jelly is a semi-solid mixture of hydrocarbons. It is flammable and has a melting point of around 37 degrees Celsius. It is translucent and pale yellow. It generally does not have any taste or smell. It is also hydrophobic, meaning that it repels water, and it is not soluble in water.

Petroleum jelly has been used widely in the field of medicine for the purpose of attempting to heal scars. It does appear to have some beneficial healing properties. For example, it prevents other fluids or contaminants from entering a wound, so it protects the wound from bacteria and infection. This is one way it can help prevent severe scarring, as infection can result in worse scars. Additionally, by keeping the wound moist, it inhibits the formation of thick scabs, which is good because scabs delay the healing process.

However, it is important to realize that the healing benefits of petroleum jelly are only effective on fresh wounds and cuts, and it has no effect on older scars. While it may work to minimize scarring in the first place, it will not reduce, improve, or minimize the appearance of old scars.

Petroleum jelly is thought to be beneficial in many types of applications. For example, it can soothe chapped lips, soften dry skin, and protect the skin from hair dyes or other chemicals. It can also be gently massaged into the feet before going to bed to get rid of cracks and tough, dry skin.

Unfortunately, in spite of its many potential benefits, scar healing does not appear to be among them. Any perceived benefit gained from using petroleum jelly on an older scar is likely just the temporary effect of keeping the scar moisturized. Even in the case of fresh cuts or wounds, its abilities are limited, as it cannot be used on deep or severe wounds. If you are unsure about whether petroleum jelly is safe to use on a cut or other skin injury, ask your doctor.

As far as healing an older scar is concerned, a product with more than just moisturizing properties is required. Moisture is an important component of scar healing, but so are collagen regulation, oxygen circulation, and optimal nutrition – and clearly, petroleum jelly provides none of these. A better choice is a product that contains a mixture of ingredients known to bring about significant improvement in the appearance and texture of scars, such as dimethicone silicone, licorice, and certain vitamins. A healthy diet and regular exercise also go a long way toward healing scars.

Moisture alone cannot heal scars the way many other proven ingredients and methods can, so if you are serious about improving your scars, your best bet is a product designed to do just that.

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

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C-Section Scar Treatment

C-Section Scar Treatment

Now that your baby is born, you may be looking down at your C-section scar, wondering what you’re going to do about it. Let’s formulate a two-phase plan for your C-section scar treatment.

Phase 1 for Your C-Section Scar Treatment

During the first six weeks, there are three things that will help tremendously.

1. First, don’t panic or worry. The initial wound and scar may look bad to you right now but all scars heal with time.  How your scar looks now is not how it will look six months from now. Remember that you do have some control over the scar healing process.

2. Focus your attention on observing the wound, keeping it clean and addressing any signs of infection that may occur. Watch for a sensation of heat on the wound, any swelling, redness, or pus oozing from the wound. If any of these appear, see your doctor immediately. Preventing an infection is one of the best steps you can take to make your scar look good in the long run.

3. Avoid stretching the scar. Even gentle yoga stretches will be too much stress for your new scar to handle. The stretching will potentially tear the new collagen fibers that are forming to hold together the scar. It could end up widening the scar.

These first six weeks are the time when the new collagen fibers must be built. Once your doctor tells you the scar has healed enough, you can move to Phase 2.

Phase 2 for Your C-Section Scar Treatment

During this phase, the primary methods you’ll use to control healing are massage and topical ointments.

1. Massage breaks up any adhesions to organs or the fascia underneath that may form from the surgery. These adhesions may cause lower back pain or pelvic pain. If adhesions form around the bladder, they can cause frequency of urination.

If the scar is red and tender, use gently massage strokes around the scar but not on top of it. Once it has healed more and is not red and tender, you may begin more intensive massage. To do this, press into the scar from different directions. Locate the area where the movement feels restrictive. The restrictions are adhesions.

As you gently stretch and move the tissue with rolling movements or stroking movements in all directions, you’ll feel the tissue make gains in overcoming the restrictions.

2. When you massage the C-section scar, the best type of massage lotion to use could also be one that’s scientifically formulated to heal the scar. You can begin using a topical scar treatment once the sutures or staples are removed. The four most important ingredients to get rid of scars are vitamin C, aloe vera, silicone, and licorice. Each of these will assist is accelerating skin renewal in various ways.

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