Did you ever ask yourself how to minimize scars? You can prevent them after surgery or after injury in 8 simple steps. Whenever your skin gets injured, whether from surgery or by accident, your body works day and night to repair the wound.
As your wound heals, it may form a scar, which is a natural part of the healing process. The extent of scarring depends largely on how well the wound heals.
While scars from surgery or over joints such as elbows and knees are difficult to avoid, minor ones from scrapes and cuts can become less noticeable, if you follow proper care and treatment procedures.
Generally, the appearance of any scar will depend on several factors. The size, shape, and depth of the wound, as well as how much blood gets to it, your skin thickness, and color dictate the way it will look after healing. Take a look at which types of scars are there and how do you make them less visible.
Are there different types of scars?
There are three basic types of scars. Normal ones are relatively small, flat, and thin. Hypertrophic ones are raised, thick and red. On the other hand, keloid ones are often dark or red, and also raised, however, they extend beyond the contours of the actual wound.
Are keloid scars genetic?
These are thought to be genetic and can be quite hard to treat or predict. They are worsened mainly by the overproduction of collagen, which can be regulated by injecting steroid medication. If you have it, it is best to consult with a medical professional for proper guidance.
There are various tips and guidelines on how to minimize them. The key to do that is to slow down the amount of work your body has to do to heal the wound.
How can I minimize scars?
Let’s say you have a wound and you want to prevent scarring as much as you can. How to do that? Here are the 8 steps that should make it less visible.
1. Get the wound stitched if needed
Cuts that go deeper or spread apart will heal better if they are stitched by a clinician. It is important to note that stitching should be done as soon as possible, while the wound is still fresh.
If it takes too long before stitching, your wound may be contaminated with bacteria or germs. In this case, your doctor may be against stitching the wound because of fear of infection.
2. Is vaseline good for healing wounds?
Petroleum jelly keeps your wound moist and promotes healing that will prevent the formation of a scar.
The vaseline doesn’t interfere with the natural healing process of the wound, in fact, it speeds up the healing process. If the scar forms, it can help minimize its size during the healing process.
3. Why you shouldn’t use peroxide on wounds?
Hydrogen peroxide kills bacteria, but also destroys the white blood cells responsible for repairing wounds; this would eventually slow down the healing process.
How to clean a wound?
Simply rinse the wound with clear water. Keep away from soap and rubbing the wound with alcohol, as this can be pretty irritating. If you are not able to remove the remaining debris or dirt using sterilized tweezers, see a doctor for help. Keep in mind that cleaning your wound reduces the chances of infection and scarring.
4. Can I put aloe vera on an open wound?
Scientific studies continue to reveal the healing properties of aloe vera for wounds and other illnesses. The plant has been used as a traditional medicine in Chinese and other cultures for decades to heal a variety of diseases, both topically and orally.
There is a wide range of natural gels made by blending aloe vera with vitamins A, B, and C along with amino acids, enzymes, minerals, and sugars. When applied in the right doses, aloe vera gels can help prevent infection, scarring, and speed up the healing process.
Applying aloe vera is a great way to prevent their formation. Buy your own plant so you will have it close for healing wounds and to prevent itching from mosquito bites. I have it at home at it works very fast at healing minor cuts, scratches, or milds itching due to bug bites.
5. Do silicone gel sheets really work?
There is evidence that using silicone gel bandages or hydrogel sheets can reduce scarring. The dressings protect the wound from contaminants while providing moisture to the wounded tissues during the healing process to minimize scar formation.
If you choose to use these products, you can find them over-the-counter without a prescription. Be sure to follow the packaging instructions carefully.
How long should I wear silicone sheets?
Continue using these moisture dressings for several weeks to reduce the formation and size of the scar. Note that you don’t need to use petroleum jelly if you are using these moisture dressings.
6. How do you take care of a wound at home?
Taking care of the wound is very important. You need to change the wound dressing daily. Carefully clean the area using a mild soap every time you change the dressing and check for any signs that may indicate infection.
What to do if your wound gets infected?
It’s also important to note that even the best-cared injuries can sometimes develop an infection. See a doctor immediately, if you notice any signs of an infection. He or she may recommend a topical or oral antibiotic to help manage the infection.
How do you know that a wound is infected?
Some signs of potential infection may include swelling or redness in the wounded area, red streaks protruding from the area of injury, warm skin, fluid such as pus accumulating under the skin, or near the wound (which may sometimes ooze out). There can also be an odor coming from the wound, unusual tenderness or throbbing in the area, and having a fever or chills.
7. Does sunlight make scars worse?
Be sure to cover the wounded area from sun with bandages, clothing, or a sunscreen, when you are going out. This is because direct sunlight exposes your wound to the harmful ultraviolet rays, which can slow down the healing process.
Do you have an itching scar? See how you can help yourself so you won’t feel unpleasant anymore.
Do scars darken in the sun?
UV rays can also cause discoloration of the healing tissues by stimulating the cells that activate skin pigmentation causing the scar to become darker and more noticeable.
8. Does vitamin E reduce scarring?
It was once believed that vitamin E played a role in enhancing the body’s ability to recover from injury and reduce scarring. However, more studies have now revealed the opposite.
One such study was made by the University of Miami, Department of Dermatology, that involved a patient who had went through skin cancer removal.
When vitamin E was administered to the patient, results showed that it did not have any positive impact on the wound healing process. However, 90% of other participants experienced increased scarring after using Vitamin E.
How to prevent scarring?
Though it is impossible to avoid all scars, applying the above tips will make them less noticeable compared to untreated wounds. The key is to provide the gentlest care and treatment during the entire healing process so that the wound heals to the best of its ability.
It is also important to add that one of the best ways on how to minimize scars is knowing when to treat the wound at home and when it is the right time to see a doctor for specialized care.
If your wound is a minor cut or scrape, you can prevent a scar using the simple tips mentioned above. However, if the injury runs deep, becomes infected or very painful, seek immediate medical attention.