Sun and Scars

Summer is fast approaching, which means you’ll likely be spending more time outdoors. You already know the importance of protecting your skin when outside, but if you have scars, you need to be even more diligent about sun exposure. Did you know that the American Academy of Dermatology advises that, while all scars need extra TLC in the sun, new scars are especially susceptible to UV rays because they are so red and raw?

Enter your best friend: sunscreen. You need to slather it on your whole body, not just your scarred areas. However, those areas need a bit more attention and re-application. That’s because scars are way more sensitive to sunlight than your normal skin areas. But even though new scars will need more attention, this doesn’t mean you should neglect older scars. They can still be vulnerable to the sun. In fact, they will turn even whiter with sun exposure because scars can’t tan. That’s all due to hyperpigmentation, which leads to discoloration and intense hue differences.

What Kind of Sunscreen is Best?

Your best bet is to stick to a sunscreen with an SPF between 30 and 50 for scars. Any higher than that and it’s just overkill. On top of that, extremely high SPF lotions often have extra ingredients or chemicals that can actually irritate your skin with hives and rashes. 

Choose sunscreens designed for sensitive, scarred skin. If you can’t find it in the store, ask your dermatologist for a prescription. Here are the best sunscreens for scars:

  • Broad-spectrum UVA/UVB (SPF 30+).
  • Physical sunblock, not chemical sunblock (zinc oxide).
  • Sensitive skin formulas, sans fragrances.
  • Sheer finish with zero white cast on the skin.
  • Lightweight, for the ability to layer it under makeup; plus it will not clog pores or streak.

Whatever sunscreen you choose, put it on at least 15 minutes prior to going outside. You should be re-applying every hour after that, especially if you’re sweating or swimming.

Sunscreen does a lot more than just prevent wrinkles and skin cancer, as it can lessen the appearance of scars while avoiding effects such as scar discoloration. The American Academy of Dermatologists advises that you use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30+ after the initial wound has healed. This way, your scar can heal faster and won’t experience as much red or brown discoloration.

Sunlight also compromises collagen production on scars, which makes it even more important that you protect your skin from UV exposure. Essentially, this will help to reduce inflammation and prevent free radical formation that can interrupt the normal healing process.

Learn More About Scarfade

If you haven’t tried a tube of Scarfade yet, what are your waiting for? Browse our website to choose the right product for you, from gels to sheets, in a variety of sizes. Contact us to ask questions and get more assistance!