The Basics of Scars

As part of the body’s process of healing itself, scars are a natural result of trauma to the skin. When the skin is broken, the body’s response is to produce collagen in the affected area. Collagen helps to heal the area which is a good thing, however often the body will overproduce collagen. When this happens, the result is a buildup or pile of excess collagen which results in a scar. Certain areas of the body may be more likely to form visible scars and certain skin types, such as darker skin are thought to be more prone to visible scarring.

In most cases, scars are not painful. For many, the problem with scars is in how they look rather than any associated discomfort. While smaller, narrower scars will often heal neatly and fade over time, larger more unsightly scars often form as a result of wider wounds.

To many, visible scars are not an issue. To others however, they may be an unwanted reminder of an unpleasant event. Scars generally only need to be treated if they are either painful (physically or emotionally) or if they are bothersome due to their appearance. The rare scar may pose problems with mobility, for example if they form on an area such as a knee or elbow. But this is normally not a problem. There are several available medical treatments for scars, including surgical excision, steroid injections, laser treatment and cryosurgery.

For those that would rather not go through one of the available medical treatments, there are several topical products (creams, gels, sheets) available for the treatment of scars. These types of treatments are generally available without prescription from a physician. For topical treatments to be very effective, the scar should be active, meaning no more than 1 ½ to 2 years old. As is the case with other treatments, not all topical products are created equally. Those with silicone in them tend to perform the best. There have been numerous published studies showing that silicone based products are effective in scar remodeling. Also important to note is that these products won’t have the same effect on all scars. Factors such as skin type, scar type, scar location and scar size all play a roll in how effective they will be. For example, pitted scars such as those often associated with acne or chicken pox, are not good candidates for treatment with topical products.

Scarfade Scar Gel from Hanson Medical is one of the leading silicone scar treatments available. It has been around for several years and is recommended by plastic surgeons and other physicians to their patients. Scarfade has been used in published studies substantiating the effectiveness of silicone based products.