By the time we reach adulthood, we all have suffered a scar or two. Some scars are more than skin deep. They act as a reminder of past events and may even make us feel self conscious. I got the scar between my eyebrows as a baby, the scar on my shin when I fell on climbing bars as a child, and my caesarean scar from my two kids. What scars do you own?
Why we get scars
When an injury to the skin occurs, the body acts as fast as possible to repair the affected area. Whether the injury was from a cut, burn or surgical incision, the body devotes its energy and resources to healing quickly rather than perfectly. As a result, there is an overproduction of collagen at the site of the wound which leads to scarring. There are a number of factors that affect how fast or well the area heals. Factors like skin colour, the immune system, age, extent of the damage, exposure to sunlight and family history, all play their role.
The good news is that scars usually fade over time, and while there is no product that can make a scar disappear entirely, there are various solutions which may improve the scar’s appearance.
Top 6 scar management solutions from experts
- Massage. Cosmetic scientist, John Knowlton, recommends applying Bio-Oil to the scar with a massaging action. “The benefits of massage are to reduce scar sensitivity and to help the skin and nerves become tolerant of the normal forces of everyday living. This process of ‘desensitizing’ the scar can take up to 4 months and is best initiated as soon as the skin and repaired tissues have adequately healed.”
- Taping. Plastic surgeon, Dr Nerina Wilkinson, advises her clients to manage their scars early on in the healing phase. “In my practice, every patient is instructed to tape his or her scar in conjunction with applying oils. By minimising the stresses placed on the scar, we can reduce the risk of pulling the scar apart which delays the healing time. When we tape, we are actually supporting the scar, which keeps the edges together and dampens down the scaring response.” The following steps should be followed for up to a year for best results.
- Avoid UV exposure. Dr Ladonna Davids says to stay out of the sun. “We know that UV radiation prolongs the healing process, and sun exposure can cause permanent pigmentation or hyperpigmentation which is difficult to treat. We therefore recommend that patients use a UV protection over their scars and if possible, avoid exposure to the sun.”
- Eat right. Maintain a healthy diet rich in Vitamin C and zinc, which aids in reducing scar appearance.
- Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water to keep the skin hydrated and regenerating properly. Avoid alcohol and caffeine which dehydrates the body and skin.
- Stop smoking. Smoking reduces blood circulation resulting in less nutrients needed for repair, being delivered to the skin.
Your scars may not fade completely, but follow these solutions to get better results.
This is not a sponsored post. Content supplied by Bio-Oil.