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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Gallbladder Scars and Pregnancy

Gallbladder Scars and Pregnancy

Each year an estimated 700,000 individuals in the United States have their gallbladders removed. The surgery ranks among the most common and the most effective, with leaps in laparoscopic techniques ensuring accelerated recovery times. However, despite advances in technology used in gallbladder surgery, scars are still left behind once the process is completed – and many women wonder how pregnancy will affect these scars. It’s an understandable concern, and understanding a few factors can better prepare women for what to expect.

What is Gallbladder Surgery?

Gallbladder surgery (known also as a cholecystectomy) is the removal of the gallbladder, a digestive organ located near the pancreas and liver. This is achieved through a series of careful incisions, with doctors entering through the abdominal cavity and extracting the gallbladder’s fundus, body, and neck. It’s usually done to alleviate pain associated with pancreatitis, bile duct blockage, or pigment stones.  This surgery is considered low-risk, and complications are rare. Patients typically return home within one or two days, and normal activity can often resume within a week.

Read More: Gallbladder Surgery Scars

What Kind of Scarring Results From Gallbladder Surgery?

Most gallbladder surgeries these days are performed laparoscopically using a small camera and thin instruments inserted through small “keyhole” incisions which small scars.

What is Pregnancy’s Impact on Gallbladder Scars?

Pregnancy transforms every body – increasing hormone production, causing tissue swelling, and creating sudden skin discoloration. Women find themselves experiencing an endless array of changes. Changes in the appearance of abdominal scars, including those from gallbladder surgery, are expected, and may include:

Stretching

During pregnancy skin (especially along the abdomen) will expand to accommodate the fetus and its needs. Gallbladder scars will do the same, stretching to keep pace with the stomach. Their appearance will, typically, become elongated and thinner.

Tightening

Some women may experience a pinching sensation while pregnant. Gallbladder scars are often expanded to their limits, resulting in mild or intermediate skin tightness.

Itching

A common pregnancy symptom is itching. Due to a hormonal imbalance, crucial moisture can be lost in the skin. Gallbladder scars are no exception, and will often begin to itch as the trimesters progress. Redness and flaking can also occur.

Note that every case is unique and not all women will experience these changes.

How Long Do the Effects of Pregnancy Last?

After pregnancy, most women will see their gallbladder scars return to a normal state. Their size will decrease and their textures will soften. However, some women have reported cases of symptoms lingering past childbirth including tightening sensations and irritation. Should this occur, it’s recommend to consult with a doctor. He will be able to provide insights into moisturizing creams, vitamin regimens, and other helpful techniques.

Read More: How To Get Rid Of Scars

Pregnancy promises many changes. Gallbladder scars, however, rank among the most temporary and should cause no concerns.

Have a question about your scar? Leave a comment and we’ll be happy to answer.

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Old Scars: Treatment Options

Old Scars: Treatment Options

There are many types of scars, just as there are many types of scar treatments. Individuals are forever bombarded with endless creams, ointments, and abrasion pads – and it can prove confusing to choose between them. For many, the best option is to utilize a variety of natural and medical options when trying to improve the appearance of scars.

Read More: New Or Old Scars

Topical Remedies:

Aloe Vera

This gelatinous extract (from the leaves of the Aloe Vera plant) delivers superior relief during the initial stages of scar healing. It contains anti-inflammatory properties that heal wounded skin, soothing irritation and helping to increase moisture. This softens the scar, keeps is moisturized and improves its appearance, however it does not fade the scar.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is one of the best ways to fade scars. Always choose a stable form of Vitamin C (such as in InviCible Scars.) Healthy collagen production is necessary to reduce the size and appearance of scarring overall, and that is something that Vitamin C can play a big role in, as this vitamin is essential in the collagen production that is required to formulate healthy connective tissue in a wound.

Dimethicone Silicone

Silicone is one of the best ways to treat old scars. It relieves scar redness, pain and itching, improves scar elasticity and can treat and prevent difficult scars like hypertrophic scars.

Honey

Scars often create a lack of moisture in the skin. Honey helps to provide that moisture, providing the tissues with alkaline-rich properties and antioxidants. This revitalizes the hydration process and reduces scarring. Raw honey (not pasteurized) should be used.

Read More: Nutrition

More Invasive Options:

If topical scar treatments don’t help, there are several more invasive options for people to consider. Dermabrasion is the process of carefully removing layers of skin. It utilizes a series of rotating brushes, which spin quickly across raised tissue to reduce its thickness and rigidity. It’s used most often for facial scars, such as ones left by acne or surgeries.

Tissue fillers are aptly named, with dermatologists injecting the skin with substances like hyaluronic acid or calcium hydroxyapatite. These mimic the effects of collagen and help to redefine the skin’s natural contours. This reduces the appearance of scars, as well as improving their overall textures.

Read More: Dermabrasion

Surgical scar revision can also be a very good option for some problem scars, especially scars that healed poorly or unevenly, and ice-pick acne scars. This of course creates a new scar, but replaces the problem scar with a scar that heals better and more predictably.

Consult With a Board Certified Dermatologist or Plastic Surgeon

Before starting any scar treatment program – whether natural or medical – individuals should consult with a specialist. This will allow them to choose the right products for their particular needs, as well as help them avoid dangerous OTC options (such as hydroquinone or kojic acid). Be aware that no treatment is guaranteed and results will vary based on a patient’s specific scar type, skin type, healing rate, and genetic profile.

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