It’s hard to get through life without injuring yourself from time to time. When you incur a wound, be it a simple cut on your skin’s surface, a deeper gash that goes down to the lower layers, or even a surgical incision, you’ll need to treat it with care.
Wounds that aren’t properly looked after can become infected and cause numerous problems. Over time, some wounds fade, only to leave scars that can last for years. If you allow a wound to develop and grow, it will leave an even bigger scar. Let’s examine some easy ways you can treat your wounds to make your skin healthy and smooth.
Four Simple Ways to Stop Scar Formation
It can be hard to avoid scars since they are a natural part of the body’s healing process. However, they aren’t pleasant to look at and many people suffer with body image issues and a lack of confidence due to their scars. Luckily, there are several simple things you can do to minimize the scarring process.
By following these tips, you will be less likely to have long-lasting scars on your skin:
1. Look After Your Wounds to Keep Scars Away
As your wound heals, you’ll need to do all you can to help the process along. An open wound is prone to get infectious. It’s significant to stay safe and protect your body from bacteria and viruses. Let’s look at some of the problems you need to treat in order to keep your wounds clean.
The Do’s and Don’ts of the Healing Process
Be vigilant when you have a skin injury. You should be sure to look out for the following signs of trouble:
- Red Patches or Bruises
- Scaly Patches
- Scabs and Small Cuts
- Swelling or Lumps
- Warmth on the Affected Area
If you experience any of these warning signs, contact your physician as soon as possible. Here’s the best ways to treat your own wounds and allow them to heal:
- Keep It Clean: This is the first step for looking after any wound. You need to keep it clean, especially if you have cut yourself outdoors, because little rocks or bits of debris may have entered the wound. Wash it carefully with a bit of warm water and mild soap.
- Use a Moisturizing Ointment: Next, use a therapeutic ointment to speed up the healing process and help the wound stay safe. Petroleum jelly is a popular choice. This works to prevent wounds drying out. This also helps to avoid the formation of larger scars.
- Cover It Up: After performing the steps above, you should apply a physical barrier,such as a bandage to your wound. This acts as protection, keeping the wound safe from outside damage or infection. It also allows the damaged skin to heal faster by keeping it moist. Use an adhesive bandage that covers the whole wound, leaving no part of it exposed to the air.You may require stitches if you have endured a serious injury. In this case, you need to visit a doctor and seek professional medical help. Your doctor will also be able to advise you on the effective ways to treat your wound.
- Stay Safe from Infection: If you want to keep your wound free from infection, try using an antibacterial product. Be sure to choose a product that is safe to use on the skin, like Bactine First Aid Liquid or Band-Aid Antiseptic Wash. These products will kill any harmful bacteria in or around the wound, helping you stay safe. If you notice any side effects with the use of these products, consult a doctor. You may be allergic to one of the ingredients.
- Be Careful of the Sun: The sun’s rays provide your body with vitamin D, a helpful ally in the healing of wounds. However, the sun’s rays also cause UV damage to the skin. Being under the sun can dry out the skin and weaken it, making scars more prominent and longer-lasting.It’s vital to get your daily dose of vitamin D if you want to stay healthy, but you need to remember to use the proper protection on sunny days. Cover up your wounds with clothes and apply sunscreen to all exposed parts of your body. This way, you will get the benefits of the sun without any of the negative effects.
- Keep Your Wound Calm: Your skin can be quite sensitive, especially around the area of a wound. Do not use soaps, chemical-rich lotions or creams. You should also avoid the following herbs and natural ingredients to avoid irritating the wound or even delaying the healing process:
2. Don’t Pick It
Scabs may not be pretty, but they are a natural part of the healing process. When you cut yourself, your body reacts by sending platelets to the affected area. These platelets are a part of your blood and they work to create a scab. This blocks off a wound and helps to keep it safe from infection.
If you pick at a scab, you will open up the wound and endanger your body. You will also slow down the healing process.
3. Use Silicone to Restore Your Skin
If you are looking for a restorative way to treat and prevent scars, look no further than silicone. Experts use it in combination with other wound treatment products to minimize the amount of scarring that appears.
Silicone works by preventing too much collagen from building up around a wound. The production of excess of collagen causes scars. Nowadays, you can buy thin silicone sheets or gels. You can apply these directly to a wound to help it to heal and reduce the size of your scars.
4. Fade Them Faster
If you want to minimize scarring and help older scars fade away, massages can be effective. Studies have shown that massages help to control the production of collagen. This allows your skin to stay balanced and elasticated, preventing the development of large scars. Here are some effective techniques you should use:
- Circular massage: Simply draw small circles with your fingers all along the length of a scar.
- Horizontal massage:Move along the length of a scar with your fingers, pushing backwards and forwards across the line.
- Vertical massage:Just like with the horizontal massage, this time you use your fingers to push up and down the line of your scar.
Here are some additional tips:
- Try using each of these different techniques at various times throughout the day.
- Start gently and increase the pressure over time.
- You could even add some moisturizing ointment or lotion to help the process along.
- If you do choose to use a moisturizing product, be sure to avoid anything that could irritate or discolor the skin.
- Remember to speak to your dermatologist to confirm that the wound has sufficiently healed before using massage techniques.
Know Your Risk Factors to Avoid Scarring
Even if you care for a wound properly, you may still end up with a scar.This is because some individuals are more susceptible to scarring. Besides, some places on the body are more prone to scars.
You might be wondering whether or not you are the type of person who scars easily. It all depends on a variety of factors. Your age, race, genes and more can all determine the likelihood of scars developing around your body.
Let’s look at some of the top factors and help you learn whether or not you are prone to scarring.
- Aging enhances scar formation. Over time, the skin loses its strength and elasticity because your skin’s collagen levels slowly decrease with age.
Collagen is the building block of skin cells that keeps your skin stretchy and supple. Naturally, the changes in the collagen level, unhealthy lifestyle habits, as well as the exposure to extreme environments prevents your skin from healing as quickly as when you were younger. Thus, your skin becomes more prone to scarring with age.
Conversely, scars tend to be less noticeable on older skin. This is because wrinkles and skin imperfections work to conceal scars that might be more visible on younger skin.
- Your skin color affects your scars. Your race determines the color of your skin, and this can affect the prominence of scars on your body.
Scars may be harder to spot on darker skin tones, but black people are more likely to have hypertrophic scars. The excess amount of scar tissue developing after a wound causes such scars. Lighter-skinned people tend to struggle more commonly with body image issues, as their scars are easier to spot.
- Your genes are important too. If your family has a history of scarring easily, you will probably have the same skin issue, as well.
- The size and depth of a wound matters. Larger and deeper wounds will leave scars more easily than small cuts because of the damage done to a greater amount of skin. The healing process, therefore, lasts longer and the body reacts by producing scar tissue.
- What’s your healing rate? Some people tend to heal faster than others. If you are one of those people, you are lucky and you probably won’t have too many scars in your lifetime. If a wound heals quickly, there is less chance of scarring.
There is Hope: Effective Treatments to Try on Your Scars
Sometimes, scars can be hard to avoid. If you have already got scars and want to do something about them, here’s some effective things you can do right away:
- Get that flawless look with concealers. This treatment temporarily hides your scars on days when you want to show off your body, go swimming, or simply feel comfortable without having to cover yourself up. Make use of concealers and cover up creams to hide your scars.
Be sure to choose the right tone of product to suit your skin. It’s also significant to pay attention to undertones. For red scars, use green undertones. For brown scars, choose yellow undertones. These colors will provide the best results and make your scars magically disappear.
- Lighten your scars. Bleaching cream may help fade some scars and make them appear less noticeable on your skin. However, you need to use lightening products on a regular basis to see effective results. Besides, it is imperative to follow the instructions carefully while you use them.
Speak to a dermatologist about the bleaching products available for your skin type. When bleaching your skin, protect the affected area from the sun to avoid getting a tan.
- Ask your doctor about injectable fillers. Injecting substances like collagen or fat into a scarred area helps scars to fade away more quickly.
- Get steroid injections. Steroid injections work to boost the healing process and calm any swelling around the scar. Be aware that steroids come with side effects, so speak to a doctor before going ahead with this treatment option.
- Scrape them with dermabrasion. Dermabrasion is effectively a more powerful form of exfoliation. It works to rub away the top layer of your skin, allowing fresh new cells to rise to the surface. These fresh cells are usually brighter and smoother than before. This can change your appearance and even make you look years younger.
Microdermabrasion is essentially the same process as dermabrasion, but on a much smaller scale, focusing on one small scarred area.
- Smooth your skin with lasers. Laser peels work by using layers to remove the top layers of your skin. The lasers also encourage collagen production and help your skin cells to regenerate. This can leave you with a healthy glow and a fresh new look.
- Go for surgery. Surgeons can’t remove a scar entirely with surgical procedures, but procedures exist to make your scars much less noticeable. Be aware that surgery comes with a variety of risks and associated costs.
What You Can Do Right Now to Prevent and Minimize Scarring
If you want to minimize your chances of scarring, you can follow some basic tips and make a few healthy lifestyle modifications starting right now. These changes will also help you to feel healthier and happier in general.
- Stop smoking and drinking. Smoking slows down the healing process, making scars more likely to appear. Alcoholic drinks are also full of toxins that prevent your body from functioning properly and healing itself.
- Fix your diet. If you want to give your skin the best chance of staying beautiful and healthy, here are some effective ways to tailor your diet:
- Cut out the junk and processed foods.
- Eat fresh fruits and vegetables to provide your skin with plenty of essential nutrients.
- Get lots of protein in your diet. Protein helps build new skin cells and heal damaged cells. You can find healthy protein in lean meats, seafood or dairy products.
- Chug it up. Your skin cells need plenty of moisture to stay plump and healthy. Experts recommend that you drink eight glasses of water per day. If you live in a hot region or have an active lifestyle, you need to drink even more than this. Keep your body hydrated at all times and it will function much more efficiently.
To drink more water:
- Have a full glass with each meal, as well as first thing in the morning and also in the early evening.
- Buy yourself a couple of water bottles you can carry with you to always keep water handy.
- Drink seltzer or add fruits, herbs or vegetables to your water for added flavor. Try lemons, limes, oranges, mint or cucumber.
Scars are a natural part of life, but they can be hard to live with, especially if they are in a prominent area. Many people suffer with confidence and self-image issues because of scars. These tips can minimize your chances of developing fresh scars. Try some of these effective ways to cover up existing scars and undergo treatments to fade them away. If you are suffering mentally because of scars, consult a doctor or counselor to get the best advice.