Now that it’s summertime, you might be interested in spending more time out in the sunshine and fresh air. Care should be taken to avoid direct sunlight on active scars. The most noticeable effect is hyperpigmentation. This means that the scarred area develops a red or even purple appearance. The coloration doesn’t dissipate easily. The best methods of preventing scars from hyperpigmenting are to either cover them completely with clothing or use sunscreen.
Keep your scars covered if they’re still actively healing and changing. While the idea of tanning a light scar is a nice idea, it’s also impractical. Melanin is what gives your skin a tanned look, but scars produce it in uneven patches. Too much melanin on the upper layers of skin creates hyperpigmentation. Wear clothing and cover-ups over scarred areas to prevent exposure. Cover the wound with a bandage or paper tape to prevent sand and dirt from entering the wound before it’s completely healed.
Look for sunscreen with a higher sun protection factor (SPF). The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends using a product labeled at SPF 15 or higher to block out both ultraviolet A rays and B rays. This means that it takes 15 times longer to burn the skin than it would if you were wearing no protection at all. It can be worn with the best scar removal products for optimal results.
Scars heal faster when the skin is clean and moist, but not wet. Drink plenty of fluids and keep yourself hydrated. If you’re outside in the heat and you already feel thirsty, you’re already dehydrated. Don’t be fooled by the idea that staying in the water will keep you hydrated or that the pool or ocean will protect you from the sun’s rays. Use moisturizers with aloe, vitamin C and vitamin C to help your skin absorb the nutrients it needs to rejuvenate and stay moist. Keep in mind that water with a high chlorine content can dry out your skin more quickly, so shower before and after entering the water to minimize its effects.
Scar Treatment Gel
If you’re using a scar treatment gel such as Scarfade, be sure to apply the product first. Allow it to dry completely before putting sunscreen products on top of it. When using Scarfade products under clothing, try the silicone sheeting instead of the gel tube to prevent discoloration of certain types of fabric.
You don’t have to avoid the outdoors in summer weather. Look for shady spots or create your own shade with sunbrellas, awnings, screened-in porches and ball caps.