Which Scars Are Permanent?

Which Scars Are Permanent?

The simple answer? Most scars are permanent.

While you may not be able to remove scars completely, you can get rid of scars, per say, by using a scar treatment in combination with the right diet, exercise and massage.

Fading a Scar

The ultimate goal for most people is to reduce the appearance of their scar. There are many ways to help a scar fade over time and one of the biggest contributors to scar fading is nutrition. By having the right balance of nutrients, the body is able to supply the scar tissue with the nutrients required to heal properly and reduce the appearance of the scar. Just as it is important to ingest these nutrients, regular application of creams with vital nutrients is also helpful to minimize your scar’s appearance.

Read: How Nutrition Affects Scar Healing

Read: How Does Zinc Affect Skin and Scar Healing?

Exercise is another element that can help fade scars. Giving the muscles, ligaments, and skin movement around the scar is going to help reduce the amount and severity of the scar tissue; thus, reducing the appearance.

Beware of the Sun

Some people are under the misconception that regardless of whether or not a scar is new or old, they can simply sit in the sun to even it out or attempt to hide it under a tan. Nothing could be further from the truth. The last thing a scar needs is exposure from the sun.

Scar tissue is not like normal skin. When it comes to how it feels, they way it functions, and its overall appearance it is quite inferior. Old and new scars alike are prone to sunburn, especially when they are brand new, they are less resistant to ultraviolet rays and can permanently be darkened with too much exposure from the sun. This is even truer for people who have dark skin complexions.

Read: How Does the Sun Affects Scars?

To prevent these things from happening, you should take extra care when preparing to be in the sun. All year long you should make every effort to protect your scars from direct sun exposure.

  • Sun block with high SPF should be applied directly onto the scar.
  • Using a water resistant sun block is important, but remember to re-apply every 2 hours.
  • If you are unable to avoid the sun entirely, you should wear sun protective clothing over scars. Clothing with a high UPV of 50 would be just right.

Avoid Smoking

When it comes to skin healing, smoking is known to be linked to complications. Typically, plastic surgeons recommend that at least a month before any plastic surgery procedure, patients give up smoking.

Read: How Does Smoking Affect Scar Healing?

When any cuts or wounds occur, scars simply are a part of the healing process. They need to mature for healing to be completed. This can take many months to happen. Infections can be related to smoking as one of the complications to healing. Scars may worsen if infections should develop.

For those that are looking to reduce the appearance of their scars, avoiding certain behaviors is going to be the best way to make the scar less noticeable. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle will help promote healing and diminish the look of any scar, as well as using your scar treatment regularly and consistently.

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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 Do You Soften Scar Tissue?

How Do You Soften Scar Tissue?

Scarring has many causes from accidents to acne, surgery, illnesses such as chicken pox, and countless other reasons. Scars can be very embarrassing and can have a negative effect on your self-perception, especially if it is especially rigid or firm and difficult to hide.

The development of scarring or internal scar tissue is how the body naturally reacts to surgical incision, liposuction, plastic surgery, or injury. The extent of the internal or external scar tissue can vary depending on a number of factors.

The Scar Hardening Process

Over time, both external and internal scars could become very hard or un-pliable. When scars become stiff, they can even be quite painful. Scars can become fibrous with bands that extend on a subcutaneous level or they could be superficial on the skin’s exterior. Scars can discolor and make ripples in the skin and in some instances, scarring over a joint area could cause restricted range of motion.

The long-term effects of scar tissue can vary depending on the actual location and the level of severity. Scar tissue is primarily made up of dense fibers of collagen. The composition could restrict lymphatic and blood circulation. This will cause surrounding structures and tissues to be put under stress. This type of stress could lead to:

  • Pinched nerves
  • Numbing sensations and pain
  • Range of motion and flexibility restrictions
  • Atrophy in certain muscles

Through the use of massage, one can manipulate the scar tissue as it develops and it can greatly minimize issues surrounding the development of scars.

Softening Scar Tissue

Massage is a good way to reduce the buildup of scar tissue. Working along and against the grain of the muscle fibers should loosen and break up scar tissue. This will cause the adhesions to loosen up, as well. This should relax tightening and increase flexibility and ability for movement.

More than likely, the scar tissue will begin to form again. Staying consistent with massaging daily for about 2 minutes can help the tissue lay down and become more linear than when the scar originally formed. This is something that can be easily done when you are applying your scar treatment.

Massage therapy is considered to be the best manual manipulation of soft tissue to provide increased circulation. Depending on the severity of the scars, massage might be painful to endure, especially if it the first attempt at scar tissue is being broken up. The pain will decrease over time as more massage is completed.

When scar tissue loosens up, those tissues normally get reabsorbed by the body. To promote the tissue to lie down properly, massage should be performed along the muscle fiber. This will help the adhesion fibers parallel to muscle fibers to lie down properly, making your scar become flush with the surrounding skin.

It could take a couple of months to achieve your goal depending on the consistency of the massage. Using it more than once a week will help to ensure a reduction in pain. In some cases, magnetic therapies used in conjunction with massage can also help to soften the scar tissue at a faster pace.

Have you tried massaging your scar? 

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My Scar is Red and Hurts: What Do I Do?

My Scar is Red and Hurts: What Do I Do?

It is somewhat of a mystery why certain scars become red and hurt while others do not. In some cases, it is due to how the wound developed and if it has been aggravated through squeezing or nerves and muscles nearby the area. In some cases, it is due to nerve endings that become irritated causing discomfort and pain.

The skin is comprised of two types of nerves: pain and touch nerves and sympathetic nerves. The sympathetic nerves are responsible for regulation of sweating and skin temperature. If these nerve fibers become damaged then a person can experience changes in sweating, temperature, and skin color. Pain from scars can be next to the scar or in the nearby area in many cases. It can spread to a wider area, as well.

Some people describe the pain they experience as being a shooting or stabbing pain. It can become worse with movement. Any sneezing or coughing can aggravate facial scars. These scars can be very sensitive to changes in temperature also. In some cases, scars can seem thicker than normal. These scars are generally extremely tender upon touching. In some cases, they will contain a dense and small nodule of nerve endings. This is known as neuroma.

When dealing with scars that are painful, there are several treatment options available. Some treatments that may be recommended by a doctor would be:

Steroid Injections

In many cases, this treatment works very well. It can be repeated up to three times. Each successful injection can lead to long lasting relief, but there are limits. If there are too many injections of steroids, the skin could become damaged.

Phenol Injections

These injections will kill off nerve endings that are causing the pain. They are less common today.

Amitryptilline Treatments

These treatments work very well when it comes to scar pain. Low doses can have a dramatic effect. Many times this is the first choice for treatment for this type of condition. Other drugs such as Pregabalin or Gabapentin can also be useful, but they can sometimes have side effects that are very unpleasant.

In some cases, massaging the area with a scar cream that is hypoallergenic might be enough to loosen and stretch scar tissue. Certain creams such as hydrocortisone may be helpful in the relief of itching.

Acne lesions can cause red scarring on the facial area. In some cases, the acne will clear up without leaving any scars behind. There are certain kinds of acne that will leave behind red marks once the lesions have been healed. Small cysts that have filled with pus can be painful and can be the cause of scarring. Over time, these red scars can fade; however, there are many options available to speed the process along. There are home remedies with natural ingredients, creams you can buy over the counter, or by visiting a dermatologist for treatment. The main goal is to stop the pain and to fade the look of the scars.

Read: What are the different types of acne scars?

Have you experienced pain with your scar?

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How Does Zinc Affect Skin and Scar Healing?

How Does Zinc Affect Skin and Scar Healing?

Bodily functions such as immune responses, growth and reproduction, and neurological functions rely on Zinc for a number of reasons. For cuts and abrasions the use of zinc is recommended, and in topical and oral applications in can be used to encourage the healing of wounds, prevention of infections, and for the reduction of damage to the skin. Before beginning any supplements, it is always wise to check with a doctor for the proper dosage and advice.

Zinc plays an essential role in the metabolizing of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. This allows the body to utilize protein to help heal wounds. The body uses zinc in the generation of cells, which is crucial to the re-growth of skin that is damaged from injuries, aging, or causes on an environmental level. Zinc is also good at helping the body with collagen production, reduction of free radicals, prevention of the growth of bacteria, inflammation reduction.

When it comes to the treatment of skin ulcers, acne, and inflammation, zinc has shown a great deal of promise. It is helpful for the prevention of infection and scar healing. It has very positive effects on the immune system and the prevention of the growth of bacteria. In 2006 a study was completed and published in the Annals of Burns and Fire Disasters that supported zinc as beneficial to skin that has been burned to heal much faster.

Not only is zinc used for protection against the sun, but also to promote the healing of skin. It is used in skin ointments, over the counter treatments that help cuts and abrasions and also in diaper creams. Taking an oral dose of zinc as a daily supplement can be very beneficial to the body. The body is naturally able to produce zinc; however, if you have skin that is damaged, you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or suffering from a medical condition, the levels of zinc could be reduced, and a supplement may be required. Sources of zinc include shellfish, poultry, dairy products, red meat, beans, nuts, and some grains that can be used from these dietary resources.

Read: How Nutrition Affects Scar Healing

While it is very rare for it to occur, an overdose of zinc is a possibility. In some cases, an administration of only 50 mg daily of zinc could result in causing gastrointestinal distress, which is due to mild zinc toxicity. It is possible at higher doses of around 225 milligrams could cause nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting, or diarrhea. Before beginning any regimen that includes zinc it is important to seek out the advice of a doctor.

In the United States, a deficiency in zinc is rare; however, it can happen. Symptoms of such a deficiency could include a change in the skin health. This mineral deficiency could result in dry skin, weakness in the fingernails, slow healing, and inflammation on the skin, dermatitis, and acne.  People with diet restrictions such as vegetarians could be at a higher risk of such a deficiency. The zinc in vegetables and plants is much harder to absorb than in the meat from animal products.

How do you incorporate zinc to help heal your scar: topically or through your diet?

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How Do I Get Rid of Vaccination Scars?

How Do I Get Rid of Vaccination Scars?

As a result of the smallpox and tuberculosis vaccines, people often have scars where the vaccine was administered. Both vaccines are given by breaking the skin multiple times in a small area – typically on the upper arm—and the scab that results gives way to a small pitted or raised area. People who are vaccinated for smallpox or tuberculosis usually have one of three types of scarring: a low pitted area, a keloid, or a hypertrophic scar. Though treatment is similar for each reaction, there are some important differences.

If you have a pitted scar on your body, you will want to use a cream that contains Vitamin C, which will improve your skin’s elasticity and encourages growth of healthy collagen during scar healing. Products with aloe, licorice extract and essential fatty acids (EFAs) will even out skin tone and decrease any inflammation that you may have weeks after the vaccination.

Keloid scars are raised, thick scars that are often larger than the vaccination site itself. Keloids are caused by an overproduction of collagen in the skin, and they can continue to grow years after the vaccination. Though it is important to let the site heal, wrapping the area tightly with silicone sheeting can decrease the size keloid. Aloe, licorice extract and EFAs will also help to change the color of the scar closer to the color of your skin.

The final type of scar that could occur from smallpox or tuberculosis vaccines is the hypertrophic scar. Like keloids, hypertrophic scars are raised and caused by too much collagen growth, though hypertrophic scars are typically smaller and will not continue to grow after they have formed. Similar treatment is recommended, but you should consider focusing on ointments and gels with Vitamin C, aloe, and silicone. Silicone sheeting may be helpful; however, if your scar is small, the presence of silicone in a cream may be just as worthwhile.

Ultimately, you should not be ashamed of your vaccination scar, but you can use these easy treatments to improve the appearance of your scars. However, make sure that the skin around the vaccination site has healed before treating the scar to ensure that your skin is not infected after the vaccination.

Do you have a vaccination scar?

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