Dos and Don’ts of Scar prevention
We are afflicted with small cuts and burns, almost everyday. These routine wear and tear leave scars behind. We, however, can aid our body in healing scars by following the steps and precautions mentioned here.
We are afflicted with small cuts and burns, almost everyday. These routine wear and tear leave scars behind. We, however, can aid our body in healing scars by following certain steps and precautions.
Why & How we scar
Scars are body’s natural band-aid. In response to a tissue injury, a number of reactions begin in the body to heal the wound. Wound healing is a complex and dynamic process. It involves vasoconstriction and coagulation to prevent blood loss and fight infection. This is followed by a growth of blood vessels (angiogenesis). Ultimately, the collagen fills the defect that is left by an open wound. Culmination of these biological processes result in the replacement of normal skin structures with scar tissue.
Types of Scars
The scar or healing tissue is different from normal skin tissues. The appearence of a scar depends on a number of factors such as the shape and size of the wound, location of wound etc. There are three main types of scars:
Normal Scars are relatively flat, thin and small compared with Hypertrophic and Keloid scars. Hypertrophic and Keloid scars are raised and dark in colour, but Keloid scars expand beyond the actual wound. The occurrence of these scars is genetic and treatment requires consultation from a medical professional.
General methods of scar prevention
- Moisturising the wound with petroleum jelly speeds up the healing process.
- Cocoa butter relieves the problem by spreading the skin tone difference equally between the scar and healthy skin.
When massaged directly into the scar consistently, cocoa butter provides elasticity to the skin, which thereby, promotes healing. Though it is debatable, vitamin E present in cocoa butter is known for its healing effect.
- Increase of Vitamin E in the diet also helps. Some of the Vitamin E sources are nuts, oilseeds, eggs etc.
- Vitamin C fastens the process of healing as it aids in collagen filling of the wound.
- The juice of Aloe-Vera plant, cucumber and lemon are believed to prevent scarring from wounds and burns. Onion extract with its antibacterial properties promotes quick healing.
- Use of silicone gel sheets can also aid scar less healing, especially for people suffering from deeper cuts.
- Mederma is a widely popular topical treatment for scar removal.
- The scar should be prevented from the sun’s ultraviolet rays as it is more sensitive to it. Exposure to sun would lead to discoloration of the scar. This can be prevented by covering the scar or using sunscreen lotion.
- Picking up of scabs should be avoided completely as it worsens the scar by delaying the healing process.
Proper early scar treatment coupled with right diet can help in scar free healing.
Cuts and scraps
- Wound must be cleaned and an antibacterial ointment should be applied to prevent infection.
- During the initial days, the wound must be to bandaged.
- Stitches help in quicker healing of deeper wounds.
- Burn scars can be diminished by placing the burn afflicted area under cold water.
- Application of oil to burns should be avoided to prevent infection.
- Acne scars can be prevented by regular washing of skin without disturbing the pimples.
- Topical ointments can also be used.
Scars usually fade over time, but seldom go away absolutely. To maximise the prevention of scarring, one should follow the above mentioned precautions and allow the wound to heal undisturbed.
Read more articles on Acne Treatment.
Source: Onlymyhealth editorial team Jan 30, 2012
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