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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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.
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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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.

Risks with Scar Reduction Surgery

Risks with Scar Reduction Surgery

Healing often proves slow. Those suffering from scars often find themselves growing impatient and turn to scar reduction surgery, thinking it is a better option than topical treatments. Is it? Let’s examine the process and its risks.

When topical scar therapy fails, more invasive techniques used to reduce the appearance of scars include laser resurfacing, dermabrasion, and surgical scar revision.

What is Surgical Scar Revision?

Scar revision surgery is the most invasive technique for reducing scar appearance but often yields the most impressive results. It typically involves:

  • Numb the patient with anesthesia.
  • Remove rough or dead cells from the scar site using surgical excision.
  • Identify viable skin flaps (adjacent pieces of tissue, unaffected by the scar).
  • Gently lift skin flaps over the previous scar site, bring the edges together and suture them together.

Scar revision surgery is usually performed by plastic surgeons. When performed correctly, scar revision surgery delivers the maximum results while minimizing additional incisions. However, patients must realize that with this method comes a variety of risks.

Read More: Scar Reduction

What are the Risks of Scar Reduction Surgery?

Those considering scar reduction surgery should note the potential dangers involved:

  • Most scar revisions can be performed under local anesthetic. Even though this is less risky than general anesthesia, local anesthetics still come with risks including allergic reactions
  • Skin discoloration
  • Skin swelling
  • Nerve damage
  • Infection at the incision site
  • Post-Op bleeding
  • Further ugly scarring
  • Pain at the surgical site which may continue for weeks

Many of these issues often prove temporary, but the possibility of permanent complications remains after any surgery, even the most minor. Individuals should thoroughly discuss the scar reduction process with their doctors, as well as note any current conditions they have that may increase their risks.

Read More: Surgery

What is the Expected Recovery Time for Scar Reduction Surgery?

There is no established timeline for scar reduction recovery. Some patients may heal within two weeks, while others instead require a month. It depends greatly on:

Scar Type – Certain scars, such as keloids, can be more extensive and more difficult to remove. The more extensive the surgery, the longer recovery can take.

Scar Location – The placement of the scar site directly affects its overall healing speed. Scars over joints are constantly subjected to movement and can therefore take longer to heal. Occasionally, the scar revision site may be immobilized to encourage faster healing.

Age and Genetics – The person’s age and their genetic traits impact healing tremendously. Older patients tend to heal with less scarring. Some people are genetically “better healers”!

Read More: Scar Healing

Scar reduction surgery can be highly beneficial for many patients.. However, there are inherent risks with any surgical procedure and patients should approach it with caution. Discuss your options fully with your plastic surgeon, and make sure your surgeon is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery!

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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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