Scars may not just a have a physical effect – the psychological effect can be just as bad, if not worse. It can lead to a lack of self-confidence, social isolation and depression.
Scars are a completely natural stage of the skins healing process. They’re a result of fibrous tissue which has replaced normal skin as a result of the skins natural wound repair process. Whilst scar tissue is made up of the same collagen as found in normal, healthy skin the way the fibres are composed is different and it’s this that makes them pronounced and visibly different.
There are different types of scars and various degrees of scarring. Many will become paler and fade over time but many will not completely disappear.
Types Of Scars
Atrophic Scars: Atrophic scars are indentations in the skin as a result of a wound healing underneath the normal layer of skin tissue. Also called “ice pick scars”, they are single or, most often, multiple pitted holes resembling large, open pores. The most common causes of this imbalanced atrophic scaring are severe chicken pox or acute acne.
Hypertrophic Scars: Hypertrophic scars are raised, often red scars that form within the area of wound. Unlike atrophic scars which form indentations as a result of tissue loss, hypertrophic scars are raised up over the injured area as a result of too much collagen tissue developing.
Keloid Scars: Keloid scars are similar in formation to hypertrophic scars in so much that they are as a result of excess collagen forming raised, red areas over the wound. What makes them different is that these scars are as a result of overly aggressive healing and so they keep growing, even after the wound has healed. They aren’t confined to just the area of injury but will spread to form darker, raised scars over a larger area of skin.
Scar Contractures: Scar contractures are usually formed as a result of burns. They may not be just surface scars but go deeper down to affect nerves and muscles thus, not just leaving the skin tight but affecting normal movement of the affected area.
Stretch Marks: Stretch marks (or striae to give then their proper name) are also a form of scarring. They occur, as the name suggests, when the skin has been exposed to rapid stretching – during pregnancy or after rapid weight gain or growth spurts.
Stretch marks are very common and so we have a specific section on these: Stretch Marks – The Cause And Cure – Read Here >>>
Treatment Of Scars
It’s not possible to completely remove all traces of a scar. That said, most scars will naturally fade over time – some to a point where they’re hardly visible at all. There are various treatment options including:
- Silicone gels or sheets which can help flatten raised scars. They will also soften the scar and reduce any associated itchiness and general discomfort.
- Steroid corticosteroid injections or impregnated tape can also flatten and soften scarred areas.
- Laser therapy can reduce any redness associated with scarring. It works by targeting the blood vessels in the scar tissue, to remove the outer layer of skin and to stimulate the production of collagen.
- Cryotherapy is the process whereby liquid nitrogen is applied to freeze scars. This stops them growing (particularly helpful when it comes to keloid scars) and flatted the raised scar area.
- Dermal fillers are injections (similar to botox) which are used plump up and level out pitted scars.
- Micro-needling (also called skin needling) involves a small roller which is completely covered in minute needles being rolled across the affected area of scar. All the tiny “wounds” caused by the needles encourages the skin’s production of collagen and elastin which in turn helps repair the entire area of scarring.
- Surgery is an option in certain cases. Your dermatologist will discuss available options which include plastic surgery and skin grafts.
- Pressure dressings are pretty specialist long term solutions which are often supported by silicon. They are designed to be worn for up to a year to soften and flatten scar areas.
- Make-up may not be a treatment but there are certain products which are specially designed to cover and camouflage scars.
- Scar creams are very popular and can be quite effective in helping the skin repair, improve skin health, stimulate the production of collagen and elastin and to diminish the visible signs of scarring. Certain vitamins (particularly vitamin E) appear to help, a good moisturiser is vital to keep the scar are supple and sunscreen is also important as scars provide less natural protection against the suns rays.
Recommended Scar Treatments
Revitol Scar Cream
It's a specialist formulation from a blend of all-natural ingredients that fortify the skin with proteins and vitamins which help stimulate the skins natural healing process.
This formula helps combat the causes of scarring and heal skin in a way that’s both safe and effective.
It's not an overnight solution but reviews are excellent and suggest that, used regularly and in accordance with directions, over time it can make a big difference.
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