When you injure yourself, there is always the possibility that you may end up with a scar. Superficial cuts will typically heal very nicely, rendered almost unnoticeable through the healing process.
Unfortunately, many people have significant cuts, ones that can cause quite a bit of damage. The deeper and wider that they are, the more likely it is that they will not heal properly, and you will be left with a scar.
One of the drawbacks to scar tissue is the way that it grows back, appearing very noticeable, usually with either a significant amount of melanin that makes them dark, or they will be very light because the skin cells will be damaged preventing melanocytes from producing this pigmentation.
Either way, you need to do your best to prevent scarring by using certain topical treatments that can help accelerate the healing process. The longer that it takes to heal, the more problematic the scar will be, even if you are able to get stitches area this article will address proper wound care for helping skin heal fast, and also what to do if you end up with scars that you would like to make less noticeable or even remove. The following 10 tips will help you achieve these goals.
Understanding How Skin Heals
If you are involved in an accident where your skin has been injured, when it heals back, it occurs in a certain way. When skin grows naturally, as you are going through life, the cells are replaced in a basket weave fashion. Due to the fact that the skin cells cross over each other, it creates the very common appearance that we all have with our skin.
Likewise, unless you have a skin condition such as vitiligo where the melanocytes are no longer producing melanin as they should, the texture and color of your skin will be even all across your body.
However, when scars occur, the skin grows back in a linear fashion, meaning it is unidirectional as it regrows. It also will have a shiny appearance due to the way that it grows back, and in most cases there will be an excessive amount of melanin that is produced, making them very dark and noticeable.
One point worth mentioning is that scar tissue can grow back with either too much melanin, or not enough, and depending upon the color of your skin, either one of them can be problematic. People that have darker skin such as those from India, or African-Americans, dark scars will not be is prominent.
Conversely, those with very little pigmentation in their skin will definitely have scars that people will see if the melanin production was out of control. Now that you have a better idea of how skin actually forms on the body naturally, and how skin heals, let’s look at a few of the different types of scars that you can have, and possible treatments for eliminating them.
Different Types Of Scars
There are several different types of scars that you can have, four of which are very common. The first one we have already mentioned. These are scars where the skin has healed back successfully.
Yet because of how the skin differs from the normal weave pattern of normal skin, and whether or not you have access or diminished amounts of melanin once it has healed, they can be very noticeable. The second type of scar is called a hypertrophic scar.
Of these are also known as keloid scars. These will form as a result of too much collagen being used during the healing process, causing the scar tissue to reside above the skin. They can actually become too numerous, although they are mostly benign, and typical scar treatments will not help get rid of them.
You will have to use very specific remedies and medical treatments to diminish their appearance, something that we will soon discuss. The third type of scar is an atrophic scar which is like a pitted recess in your skin. These scars can go very deep, especially with injuries that were not sutured, or if you have had acne scars before, these are the pitted marks that many have on their skin.
Finally, there are stretch marks that can happen with people that are pregnant, kids going through a significant growth spurt due to having too much growth hormone, and can also happen as a result of gaining weight or weightlifting.
The scars are typically black or blue and will dissipate on their own such as during your pregnancy, or they will become similar to hypertrophic scars, long lines of excess skin that must be treated in a specific way. These are the types of scars that can occur, and they do not have to get out of control. It depends upon what you do to help with the healing process. Let’s begin with 5 simple strategies that anyone can use to prevent scars from forming.
5 Tips On Caring For Wounds
After you have been injured, there are a few things that you should do in order to ensure that your skin grows back as quickly as possible. Most of these treatments will come from your physician, unlike treatments for scars which we will also discuss where a dermatologist will make recommendations.
First, if you have a significant injury, one that will not simply heal on its own, you may have to go to a doctor in order to get stitches. It is only by suturing or stitching the skin back together that it will have a chance of healing properly.
You may still have a scar, but it will be a very fine line in most cases, which is why getting stitches is recommended for the proper healing of significant wounds. The second thing that you should do is apply an antibiotic to the injured area so that infections do not occur.
If you do not do this, you could end up with an infection that can cause the wound to not heal very quickly, and your chances of scarring will definitely be increased. The third thing that you should do is use a proper bandage over the wound, something that can keep particles or contaminants from getting in during the healing process. This can also slow down your ability to heal, and could also lead to infections occurring depending upon what lands in the open wound.
The fourth thing that you can do to care for wounds to prevent scar tissue from occurring is to use silicone. This is being used more than ever before because the body is actually able to use the silicone to accelerate the healing process, something that you can buy at your local store.
Finally, if you do have a wound that is in an area such as a joint like your elbow or knee, it needs to remain immobile until the skin has a chance to heal, or else you could end up with a hypertrophic scar. This is the body’s way of compensating for the movement, and in doing so, excess skin is going to be produced.
If you have a wound on this area of your body, making sure that you do not move it for several days until it is healed you can prevent scar tissue from forming. Unfortunately for most people, they are not able to do some of these preventative measures, causing different types of scars to form. The following treatment options are for those that have developed scar tissue, and would like to have a chance at either reducing its overall appearance, or removing the scar completely.
5 Ways To Make Scar Tissue Less Noticeable
To prevent scar tissue from occurring, it depends on what may actually lead to the scar forming in the first place. Here are five scenarios where scars may form, and what you need to do to prevent them based upon recommendations from your dermatologist.
The first tip that a dermatologist will tell you is for pregnant women that are in their first trimester. What you will want to do is use some type of topical cream.
Make sure that it is safe and FDA recommended, a topical ointment or oil that will be safe for your baby.
The oil that you use should increase the flexibility of your skin, making it much easier to stretch. It should also increase the amount of collagen and elastin that is in your skin so that you will be able to handle the stretching.
A pregnancy can push your skin to its maximum ability to stretch, and once that threshold is crossed, stretch marks will appear. The same is true for people that are lifting significant amounts of weight, building muscle mass quickly, or those that are gaining weight very fast.
By using these ointments, you will be able to prevent what could end up being a very obvious stretch mark. You will need to research on the web which ones are all natural and safe for both a mother to use when she is pregnant, and for people that may have sensitivities to certain types of lotions or oils.
The second tip is to go after scars that are dark using some type of pigmentation vanishing cream.
Smaller scars are much easier to get rid of and your dermatologist will recommend products like hydroquinone which are chemically-based, allowing you to get rid of the pigmentation where the scars are, or at least lighten it up, by stopping the melanocytes from producing melanin.
It must be applied for several weeks in order to see the desired results. Once you stop using these topical creams, however, the melanocytes will be able to produce melanin once again.
A third tip, one that can only be performed by a dermatologist, is to use some type of laser treatment. Different types of lasers can be used to only affect the darker skin and they typically work best with people that have a lighter complexion.
The cost of this treatment can be very expensive, especially since it takes several treatments to get the best results.
You could be looking at several thousand dollars whereas using a topical cream can be less than $100, especially if you are purchasing something from your local pharmacy that is about half the strength of pharmaceutical grade products.
The fourth suggestion that a dermatologist may make is to use what is called dermabrasion. This will remove the upper layer of the skin so that it can grow back, hopefully with a propensity toward a lighter coloration.
This is typically the case with most of these procedures as the initial scar tissue is typically that which has the most problems such as overactive melanocytes. Your dermatologist will be able to inspect your skin and determine whether or not this is the best course of action, as well as tell you how many of these procedures, which can cost a couple hundred dollars each, it will take to get the desired results.
Finally, for scars that are indented into the skin, atrophic scars that are either in your face as a result of acne, or indentations caused by an accident.
They can either use a punch hole incision which can bring the skin level after which your dermatologist will inject a filler material similar to collagen in order to keep it in that position.
Another possibility is surgery where the skin that is indented can simply be brought together, usually with stitches or sutures. An incision will be made which will allow the skin to heal back after the indented skin is removed, leaving a very fine scar that will not be as noticeable.
In conclusion, there are many things that you can do to prevent scar tissue from forming, as well as ensure that hypertrophic and atrophic scars do not occur. Using the suggestions that we have presented per the recommendations of a medical physician and dermatologist, you should be able to either prevent the scars from forming, or treat them appropriately once your skin has healed back.
Scars are simply a part of life and everybody will get them from young children to the elderly. By using these suggestions, and also seeing medical professionals, you should be able to diminish the appearance of scars, or prevent them from appearing too noticeable.