How Long Does it Take a Hypertrophic Scar to Heal?

How Long Does it Take a Hypertrophic Scar to Heal?

There are several different types of scars that result from an injury and among them is the hypertrophic scar.

The hypertrophic scar varies somewhat from other scars in that its appearance tends to be red and elevated. They can also be itchy or even painful. However, unlike keloid scars, hypertrophic scars stay within the boundaries of the initial area of injury.

Hypertrophic scars tend to start developing within the weeks following an injury, and they may continue to redden and thicken for months. Their raised appearance can improve with consistent scar massage over the course of several months. However, depending on the severity of the scar and the nature of its origin, it can take a year or even longer for the scar to begin to flatten and fade. [Read more…]

Tips to Conceal Scars as They Heal

Tips to Conceal Scars as They Heal

Scars tell a story, whether good or bad, and every individual will end up with a scar at some point in his or her life. However, not every individual wants to showcase that scar to the world.

Fortunately, with today’s treatments, it is easier than ever to not only speed up the healing process but to allow a scar to heal to the point to where it is almost indistinguishable from the surrounding healthy skin on an individual’s body. But that doesn’t mean that a scar is invisible during the healing process, which means that people still have to find ways to conceal their injuries while they are allowing them to heal.

Apart from wearing long sleeves and slacks for months and months on end, is there really a way to thoroughly conceal scars as they heal? Some people may be surprised to know that there are ways to keep scars hidden. However, it is important to do it the right way. [Read more…]

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!

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Scars Heal Differently. Here’s Why

Scars Heal Differently. Here’s Why

After the skin becomes injured, scar tissue forms as a part of the natural healing process. This tissue looks and feels different than normal skin tissue because there is excess collagen produced. Different scars also appear different and heal differently based upon the amount of collagen produced during the healing process. Lifestyle, genetics, age, depth and size of the injury, the location, and the treatment of the wound all affect how the scar heals.

Read: Scar Tissue is Different Than Normal Tissue 

Genetic and Lifestyle Influences on Scar Healing

As with any body function, your genetics, which include your ethnicity and gender, influence how your body heals from injury, which is why each person scars differently. These genetic influences cannot be changed, but they can be mitigated through lifestyle changes and certain treatments. Your age will affect scarring as well, because your ability to regenerate cells and heal is reduced.

Lifestyle factors, including exercising, drinking plenty of water, and eating a healthy diet, influence your skin’s natural healing process as well. To heal properly, you need to be strong and healthy. Your skin also needs certain nutrients that it can get from food, especially vitamin C and E. You skin also needs plenty of moisture to heal correctly, which is why keeping your scar moisturized is vital. You should also keep active, as long as it does not disturb your wound and your doctor approves it, to promote healing.

The Affect of Wound Treatment

Because scars are caused by injury to the skin, the element that has the greatest influence on its healing process is the treatment of the wound. When you experience a deep cut, including an incision from surgery, the skin needs to be aligned correctly when it is glued, stapled, or stitched back together, or else it will have a larger scar. Your scar will look different whether you have staples, glue, or stitches as well. If the injured skin is brought back together perfectly, then the chance of scarring is reduced, although you may still have a small, almost invisible line. You also want to allow the area to heal completely, and not reopen the wound or get it infected, as this will increase the chance of a larger scar.

How the Type of Scar Alters the Healing Process

There are different types of scars that affect the ability for the scar to heal over time. You may have a hypertrophic scar, acne scar, contracture scar, or keloid scars. Keloid scars are the most difficult to heal, because they are raised scars due to excess collagen that extend beyond the original injury. Contracture scars typically occur after a burn, and they often tighten the skin and can make it difficult to move. Hypertrophoic scars are also raised, similar to keloids, but remain within the area of the wound. Some of these different types of scars occur because of the type of wound, while others form due to genetics, the environment, or other factors.

Read: Scar Healing Time

There is no real way to predict how a scar will heal, as it is highly influenced by genetics, environment, lifestyle factors, and treatment. Regardless of the type of scar, you can help it heal by taking care of the wound, eating a healthy diet, and drinking plenty of water.

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

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