Scars are the body’s way of repairing tissue. Wounds are covered and knitted together with regenerated skin layers that protect the body from germs and further wound injury. There are many factors that go into the natural healing process, each of which can make it faster or slower. How long it takes a scar to heal depends on many elements. Some influences include the type and severity of the injury, skin type, nutrition and use of scar treatment products.
According to the National Institutes of Health, it takes between two and three years for scars to turn pale and the skin to mature. That’s a very wide time span, and it can be disheartening to experience this very slow process, especially when you see the scar every day. You can influence the healing time to some degree; the rest is up to your body. Different skin types naturally show scars more prominently than others.
The size and depth of the wound are the biggest factors. Any injury that extends below the outer surface of the skin will likely form a scar. The deeper the wound, the deeper the scar. The larger, wider and more severe the injury, the more involved the healing process. Burns, for example, can destroy the nerve endings and capillaries. Surgical incisions that cut the tissue below the outer skin layers usually take longer to heal than a skinned knee from a fall on the sidewalk. When the edges of the wound touch each other, skin cells can migrate and close over the wound in a day or two. When the sides of the wound aren’t touching, it takes longer.
What Takes So Long?
After an injury to the skin, the body sends cells to the wound that can build new skin and tissue. After it stops bleeding, a scab develops. During the first few weeks, natural collagen fills in the gap around and under the scab, forming new skin – a scar. Normal scar tissue slowly grows thicker and then smoother. Collagen production stops after a few weeks. Capillaries form to deliver blood to the injured area, helping it to heal more quickly. The scar isn’t quite as strong as the original skin. It becomes flat and takes on a skin color closer to that of the surrounding area. Abnormal scar tissue, such as hypertrophic or keloid, may never completely heal or fade without additional scar treatment.
Good Health and Proper Nutrition
There are several factors of good nutrition that can influence your scar’s healing time.
- Eating foods rich in vitamin C helps the body produce collagen.
- Drink plenty of fluid to keep the body hydrated and the skin moist.
- The body does its best healing during REM sleep.
- Nicotine makes blood vessels constrict, minimizing blood and oxygen flow.
- Stress slows down the healing process.
- High blood pressure, diabetes and circulatory conditions slow down healing.
Taut skin is more resilient than skin that has lost its elasticity with age. The more resilient your skin, the faster your scars are likely to heal.
Using one or several types of scar treatment can help the repaired tissue to be less noticeable, and in some cases, it does go away.
- Silicone Sheeting and Gel – Silicone scar removal products reduce the production of collagen without leaving the body vulnerable to infection. Scarfade, for example, can be applied daily as soon as the wound heals. You should use the product until no further improvement is noticed, which is usually about three months or so. It won’t harm you to continue using it beyond maximum improvement.
- Massage – Massaging the wound and the surrounding area every day is believed to help break down scar tissue and lessen constriction over joints.
- Steroid Injections – Corticosteroid injections can reduce large scars, but may also result in the shrinking of fat deposits and thinning of dermal layers in the area. Some patients also have a change in skin pigmentation with steroid shots.
To learn more about Scarfade anti scar cream and sheeting, and how it reduces scars, visit our home page at www.scarfade.com.