Scars are the result of the body’s complex effort to repair damage to the skin. With few exceptions, most trauma to the skin which causes bleeding will result in at least some scarring. That said, there are certain things one can do to help lessen the size and intensity of most scars. Following is a list of several of them. Note: The sooner you begin to implement these steps, the better the likelihood of achieving favorable results.
- Keep Wounds Clean – You are more likely to be left with a scar if an infection occurs. To prevent infection, clean wounds with cool clean water. To the extent possible, remove debris such as dirt, pebbles and splinters with alcohol sterilized tweezers. Gently wipe the area around the wound with a clean washcloth, mild soap and water. Note: many believe that irritants such as peroxide, iodine and alcohol may actually slow the healing process somewhat.
- Keep It Covered – Covering the wound, especially during the first few days will help it heal by minimizing exposure to bacteria & dirt. It will also aid in keeping the wound moist, which is beneficial to the healing process.
- Minimize Exposure To Sunlight – Solar radiation may damage the tissue or cause hyperpigmentation, which will make wounds and resulting scars more visible. Use a sunscreen with an SPF factor of at least 15.
- Massage Therapy – After the wound has closed, gently massage the area regularly, varying between clockwise, counter clockwise, up and down and across motions. This will promote blood flow to the area and help to soften and break down scar forming tissue. Try to do this at least once a day.
- Keep The Skin Moist – Wounds heal more effectively when kept moist. Keeping them moist helps promote growth of healthy skin over the wound and may also help speed the healing process. Good moisturizers include topical ointments and petroleum jelly. Topical Silicone Scar Treatments such as Scarfade also have moisturizing properties.
- Take Vitamins – Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Zinc and Beta Carotine are all believed to help boost the immune system and promote healing. A good multivitamin should be sufficient to cover the bases. A healthy, balanced diet is also beneficial to creating a good environment for healing.
- Avoid Picking At Scabs – Immediately after injury to the skin your body begins its healing process. This process includes formation of a scab over the wound. If you reopen the wound by removing the scab, you risk re-introducing bacteria to the area and creating a larger wound which in turn may result in a larger scar.
Again, it is not always possible to totally prevent formation of a scar. The list above is simply a guide to help minimize the intensity of scars. Results will vary between individuals based on a number of factors such as age, skin type, genetics, severity of wound, etc.
If, after healing has occurred you are unhappy with the appearance of the wound site (scar), there are many options, including surgical scar removal. We recommend trying a non surgical topical scar treatment product such as Scarfade before opting for surgical removal of a scar. Note: In most cases a scar must be two years old or less for such topical products to be very effective.