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.

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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.

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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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Do Topical Steroids Fade Scars?

Do Topical Steroids Fade Scars?

What are Topical Steroids?

Steroids are chemicals that are produced naturally by the body. They have a variety of functions including decreasing inflammation. The body produces 2 main types of steroids:

Glucocorticoids

These carbohydrate-based hormones regulate the metabolic system, as well as expedite the creation of anti-inflammatory proteins. They allow the body to maintain appropriate levels of glucose, amino acids, and adipocytes.

Mineralocorticoids

These aldosterone-based hormones filter water and electrolytes through the body (specifically the kidneys). They regulate salt secretion, as well as the regulating potassium levels. They also affect the skin’s overall hydration levels.

Topical steroids are man-made chemicals that mimic these naturally-occurring chemicals we have in our bodies. Topical steroids are most commonly used to reduce inflammation and are often used in the treatment of skin disorders such as eczema, dermatitis, poison ivy or oak reactions, and rashes.

Topical steroids have been commonly used throughout the world for over fifty years, and they rank among the most popular methods for fading scars. Do they really work?

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Do Topical Steroids Fade Scars?

According to a landmark study published by the Journal of Burn Care and Research (and conducted by the Shriners’ Burns Institute of Cincinnati), topical steroids are not successful in fading scars. During a test of 159 patients – each suffering from post-burn contractures – doctors applied these formulas to skin and monitored the results for a year. No favorable changes were seen in scar thickness, texture, or pliability. Instead doctors discovered adverse reactions, including thinning of the skin and bruising, in 16.4% of patients.

Some physicians still prescribe topical steroids for the treatment of scars. Beyond decreasing inflammation however, there does not appear to be any real benefit in terms of improving scar appearance or texture.

Consult With Your Doctor

Those considering steroids should always consult with their physician first. Prolonged use can have long-lasting, negative side effects and is best overseen by a doctor.

Also be sure to ask about alternative topical scar treatments, particularly products containing silicone. Other topical therapies that have been shown to improve scar appearance include vitamin C, aloe vera, and Vitamin A.

Read More: Scar Treatments

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What Is the Difference Between Atrophic and Hypertrophic Scars?

What Is the Difference Between Atrophic and Hypertrophic Scars?

No two scars are alike. Each one is shaped by genetics, metabolism, perfusion cycles, oxygenation rates, and more – and different wounds respond to different treatments. It’s important, therefore, to understand how the most common tissue tears can be healed. Let’s examine atrophic and hypertrophic scarring.

Read More: Types of Scars

What are Atrophic Scars?

Atrophic scars are flat lesions that appear on the face and body. They’re formed when fatty deposits beneath scar sites disintegrate, causing a sudden recession of collagen and muscle. This decreases the overall elasticity of the skin and creates a shallow, pitted effect.

Atrophic scars are typically associated with skin disorders, such as: chickenpox, cystic acne, or extensive ultraviolet damage. Their sizes, textures, and depths vary greatly. They’re not generally considered painful, but they are often prone to irritation or inflammation.

What are Hypertrophic Scars?

Hypertrophic scars are, unlike their atrophic counterparts, raised lesions. They occur when an excess of collagen builds within the body, causing the tissue to thicken dramatically. They’re clustered around the scar site (unlike keloids, which spiral outward) and feature red, textured appearances.

Hypertrophic scars have many causes – cuts, surgery, burns, or even acne. They will often heal on their own, but the process is slow and sometimes painful (extreme irritation or itching may occur).

How Do Patients Treat These Scars?

Treatment starts with identification. Once patients establish whether they’re suffering from atrophic or hypertrophic scars, they can then quicken the healing process.

Atrophic Scars

Atrophic scars occur when external factors interrupt the body’s collagen process. There are, however, several treatments available to reinvigorate this process:

Dermabrasion

Cylindrical pads move across the scar site, buffing away olds cells and encouraging the growth of new ones. Skin is gently stimulated and collagen production resumes.

Soft Tissue Injections

Soft tissue injections introduce patients to new collagen, pumping controlled doses directly into the scar site. This slowly rebuilds elasticity and fullness.

Silicone Gels

Silicone gels restore natural hydration levels, helping skin achieve greater mobility. They also soften pitted tissue and minimize the appearance of atrophics.

Hypertrophic Scars

Hypertrophic scars occur when the body releases too much collagen, but several treatments are now available to maintain proper production, including:

Laser Therapy

Laser therapy utilizes bursts of light to penetrate the skin, with high-frequency pulses reversing the collagen flow.

Compression Therapy

Compression therapy relies on varying degrees of pressure (often achieved through bandages) to slowly eliminate build-ups of collagen.

Vitamin C Complexes

Vitamin C complexes infuse tissue with key nutrients, helping to stabilize collagen production. They also reduce redness, irritation, and rigidity.

Before starting any scar treatment program patients should consult with their physicians.

Read More: Get Rid of Scars

Atrophic and hypertrophic scars rank among the most common afflictions worldwide. They affect men, women, and children alike. Learn how to identify them to ensure successful healing.

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