Whether you’ve suffered a burn, gash, cut or surgical incision, the resulting scar may vary. That’s because there are many types of scars and each one has its own treatment protocol. While scarring is a natural part of the healing process, a scar’s appearance and treatment will depend on multiple factors, such as age, location of the scar and skin tone. From keloid to hypertrophic, let’s discuss the many types of scars and how to best treat each one.
Resulting from an overly-aggressive healing process, keloid scars often extend beyond the edges of the original wound and could even hamper movement over time. Treatments include surgical removal, steroid injections or silicone sheets, which act to flatten the scar. Small keloids can be treated with cryotherapy which freezes the scar with liquid nitrogen. You may also use pressure treatment or gel pads with silicone.
Raised and red in appearance, they may look like keloids but they typically don’t extend beyond the injury boundary. Treatments include steroid injections to decrease inflammation or silicone sheets, which help to flatten them.
These typically result from a bad burn, tightening as they form and impairing the ability to move freely. Contracture scars tend to reach deeper into the skin, impacting muscles and nerves. If you suffer a burn, spread a thin layer of antibiotic ointment to help it heal, covered with sterile, nonstick gauze for added protection and infection prevention. Once the scar has started to heal, apply a silicone gel to the area, such as Scarfade, to help minimize its appearance. It’s also crucial with scars like this to moisturize the area daily. This will help with the tightening feeling that is indicative of contracture scars.
Severe acne can cause scars, resulting in deep pits that look angular or wave-like in appearance. Treatments for acne scars include over-the-counter or prescription creams, ointments, or gels such as Scarfade. Ask your dermatologist for advice on the best treatment given your type of acne and history. Never pick at pimples, as this can increase the severity of scars, not necessarily the pimples themselves.
As your skin heals, it’s important to moisturize on a daily basis. Use Scarfade as directed. Keep all wounds properly cleaned and covered and apply medicated ointment regularly so it doesn’t dry out in those first crucial days.
Once the skin is fully healed, apply sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 whenever venturing outside to protect the scar and prevent a stark contrast between healthy tanned skin and your scar, which will typically remain red and eventually become white. Regular Scarfade application as well as daily moisturizing will help minimize the size and intensity of scars.