How to Improve the Appearance of Old Scars

How to Improve the Appearance of Old Scars

Looking at some children nowadays can give us “old” folks a feeling of regret, not for ourselves, but for them. Today’s generation of children is cooped up inside their houses playing with expensive gadgets. Very rarely do you see a child who would prefer to play outside over playing with iPods and video games. Playing inside all the time robs them of a regular childhood where they learn how to fall from a tree or a bike. Some of them  will never know what it’s like to wear “battle scars” like our generation.

Battle Scars

Despite our pride over our childhood scars, vanity has a way of creeping up to you, especially as we grow older. Scars can be a bit of a nuisance especially for women who are fashion-conscious. Short skirts are obviously a no-no for women who have ugly scars on their legs. Yes, despite the happy childhood, there’s nothing pretty about childhood scars.

Hide Scars

The first instinct is to cover up the scars with leggings, jeans and long-sleeved shirts. But then how about those cute little skirts and spaghetti strap dresses? Well, you can always use stockings. Then again, with the unrelenting heat that summer brings, sweaty legs are almost as unpleasant as scarred legs. Makeup is also widely used to conceal scars. It comes in many shades for different skin tones and some are waterproof too. Small, shallow scars are the easiest to conceal with makeup.

Chemical Peels  for Scars

A visit to a reputable dermatologist is the best way to learn about chemical peels. Chemical peels are gaining popularity as a way of fading scars. Peels use certain chemicals to remove the top layer of skin. This “freshens” the look and feel of the skin as well as helping to smooth out and fade the scar. It is non-invasive and has little downtime depending on the strength of the chemicals used. It may take more than one peel to significantly improve the look of the scar, especially if the scar is raised or deep. Chemical peels also have risks. In the short term, peels typically cause some degree of redness. Long term they can cause permanent skin darkening known as “hyperpigmentation” (dark spots). The risk of hyperpigmentation is increased with sun exposure while the skin heals.

Scar Revision Surgery

If scars really bother you, maybe its time to think of a more invasive procedure like scar revision surgery. Consult a reputable plastic surgeon to better guide you in making the best decision. Surgical scar revision involves excising the ugly scar and re-closing it in a more cosmetic way. This can sometimes involve re-arranging some of the tissue to hide the resulting scar even more in a skin crease or shadow. Always be sure to check the fees well ahead of time as surgery is never cheap!

Topical Scar Therapy

Now, not everybody can afford to visit the doctor, surgery is not for everyone and the exuberant fees can be an issue as most medical insurances don’t cover scar revision procedures. A gentler but effective alternative can be to use a topical scar treatment. For regular folks like you and me, it’s the most readily available option. When looking for a product pick one that has proven effective ingredients like Aloe Vera, which has wound healing properties and minimizes inflammation; Vitamin C, which boosts collagen production and promotes skin renewal; Licorice, which lightens dark scars; and Sunflower oil, which can improve scar elasticity and also help lighten it in the process. Although it may take a little more time to get rid of your scars, this is certainly less aggressive than surgery and cheaper too!

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