Scars are a natural part of the body’s healing process. When the skin is injured, the body repairs the damage by creating new tissue. However, this tissue often has a distinct texture and colour from the surrounding skin, causing a scar.
It’s important to remember that scars are a natural part of the healing process, so there’s no shame in wanting to look and feel your best. If you’re struggling with scars and want to know more about your options, keep reading this blog.
We’ll be covering everything from what scars are and how they form to at-home treatments surgical and non-surgical methods. This way, you can make an informed decision about which option is best for you.
Let’s get started!
Types of scars
Whether it’s from a childhood injury, a surgical procedure, or even acne, scars can significantly impact one’s self-esteem and confidence.
NHS defines a scar as a mark left on the skin after a wound or injury has healed. Most will fade away as part of the healing process, but they won’t completely disappear.
Scars are not equal. They vary in size, shape, colour, and texture depending on the injury or wound that caused them. Some of the most common types of scars are keloid, hypertrophic, and atrophic scars.
Keloid scars are raised, thick, and can be larger than the original wound. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, keloids usually take their time to appear. Once it shows up, the scar grows slowly for months or years.
The size and shape of keloids vary greatly and depend on the body area. For example, they tend to expand across the skin when formed on a shoulder or chest, and, in most cases, it looks as if a liquid was spilt on the skin and hardened.
These are similar to keloid scars but are not as severe. Hypertrophic scars are raised and thick but do not extend beyond the original wound. They can also be red or pink in colour and can be itchy or painful.
They are usually caused by burns, cuts, or surgical incisions, and even though they may continue to thicken for up to 6 months, NHS says they can gradually improve over a few years.
When the skin does not produce enough collagen during the healing process, it leaves behind a depressed scar. These are caused by acne, chickenpox, or injuries that cause a loss of tissue. They can be shallow or deep and may have a pitted or wavy appearance.
These are the most common type of acne scars, with three main types: ice pick, boxcar, and rolling. They’re also the most difficult type of scar to treat and can require multiple procedures to be repeated over time.
Scar removal: Non-Surgery options and treatment
Everyone’s scars are unique, and treatment options will depend on the individual and their specific circumstances.
If you’re looking for a scar removal method or scar treatments, the best thing to do is to consult a specialist like a dermatologist or plastic surgeon to discuss your options. With the right treatment, you can significantly improve the appearance of your scars.
Complete scar removal is not possible. There are, however, several treatments available that can minimise scar appearance. Depending on the type of scar, the treatments include:
- Keloid scars: topical treatments like silicone gel or corticosteroid creams, injections of corticosteroids or chemotherapy agents, cryotherapy, or surgical removal. As these scars can be challenging to get rid of, dermatologists often recommend more than one type of treatment for a keloid.
- Hypertrophic scars: Also silicone gel or sheeting, corticosteroid injections, laser therapy, or surgical removal.
Atrophic scars: Dermal fillers and chemical peels are the most common treatment for this type of scars. Some other options are skin needling, punch excision or surgical procedure such as subcision.
How to prevent scars?
While some scars are unavoidable, there are steps you can take to minimise their appearance and promote better healing.
These are some tips by the American Academy of Dermatology on scar prevention and tips for proper wound care:
- Always keep the wound clean: Wash the area with mild soap and water to keep out germs and remove debris.
- Use petroleum jelly to moist the wound: It avoids the wound from drying out and forming a scab and wounds with scabs take longer to heal. Additionally, this will prevent scars from becoming too large, deep, or itchy.
- Cover the skin with an adhesive bandage: Use hydrogel or silicone gel sheets for large scrapes, sores, burns or persistent redness. Then, change your bandage daily to keep the wound clean while healing.
- Avoid picking at scabs: Picking at scabs can slow down the healing process and increase the risk of scarring. Let the scab fall off naturally on its own.
- Apply sunscreen: Sunscreen with a high SPF protects the skin and prevents further damage.
Manage your scars with a health professional
While there are many over-the-counter treatments and home remedies available, it’s important to speak with a healthcare professional to determine the best course of action for your specific case.
A healthcare professional can evaluate your scar and recommend a treatment plan that is tailored to your individual needs. Treatments like laser therapy, dermabrasion, or chemical peels may be necessary, and they should only be performed by a qualified professional.
In conclusion, preventing and treating scars is an essential part of maintaining healthy skin and boosting self-confidence. There are several preventative measures you can take; however, if you’re concerned about a scar, don’t hesitate to seek professional advice.
At Davinci Health Clinic, we can help you achieve optimal healing and the best possible outcome with minimally invasive cosmetic methods for scar removal performed by top medical staff.
Get to know our cosmetic surgery services, and find a doctor at the consultant’s timetable! It’s easy! Don’t let scars hold you back from feeling your best. Count on us and take the first step towards healthier skin.