Prevention And Treatment Tips For Scars

Scars can have a major effect on your self confidence, especially if they are on an exposed area of skin, such as the face or neck. Not only do scars affect your appearance, they can also cause pain or limit your range of motion. This guide can help you minimize scarring from recent injuries and provide you with necessary information on the cosmetic repair options available for the different types of scars.

Immediate Prevention Tips

If your scar comes about from surgery or another medical procedure, the best way to prevent major scarring is to follow your doctor's post-treatment advice. It's up to you, though, to make the best decisions if it's a minor injury or accident. The following can help prevent scarring, or at least lessen the scars:

  • Wash the wound immediately to avoid infection, which can lead to a larger or more pronounced scar.

  • Keep the wound moist as it heals. Apply an antibiotic ointment daily and keep the cut covered in a bandage.

  • Massage vitamin E oil into the wound daily once the scab falls off. This helps keeps the skin supple, which may minimize the appearance of the scar.

  • Stay out of the sun until the wound is completely healed. Too much sun can lead to a discolored scar.

Cosmetic Procedures

If your scar is still obvious after one year, you may want to consider a cosmetic procedure to remove or lessen the appearance of the scarring. The type of treatment to consider depends on the type of scar. Generally, there are three scar types that are caused by injury or surgery.

  1. Keloid Scars. These large scars can become hard and even hamper movement, depending on the location. Keloid scars occur when your body heals too actively, producing more new tissue than is necessary to heal the initial wound.

  2. Hypertrophic Scars. These are raised scars, usually with a red or dark pigmentation. Unlike keloid scars, they do not extend beyond the initial wound site, and they rarely hamper movement or become painful.

  3. Contracture Scars. These common scars are often caused by burns. Generally, these scars are flat, but they may be discolored. They can also cause some discomfort, since the scar tissue is often tighter than the surrounding skin.

Cosmetic procedures for these types of scars vary. Keloid scars may require surgery to remove the extra tissue, which is then followed by steroid injections to prevent further tissue buildup. Minor keloid scars or hypertrophic scars are often treated with a silicon sheet treatment. These sheets hydrate old scar tissue, which helps it soften and fade.

Lightening procedures may be used on scars with dark pigmentation. Surgical procedures, such as skin grafts, may be necessary for large contracture scars. Working with a doctor that specializes in cosmetic treatments for scars can help you determine the best course of treatment for your scar.

For more information, contact Senter Dermatology MD or a similar location.