Don’t Give Scars a Chance
Last week there was an article in YES ‘Don’t Give Scars a Chance’. I also receive a lot of questions about this on my blog, so am adding to this piece.
Scars: a very brief summary
If you have scarring you can go in the sun after a few weeks. When you do apply lots of sun cream onto scars or even cover the scar area up with clothing. A scar will be sensitive to sunlight for at least a year! If you don’t take any precautions then there is a big chance that the scar tissue will become darker than your normal skin and consequently remain very visible.
There has been much research carried out into special creams for scarring but there is little proof that these work. Silicone gel or silicone plasters give the best results. Apply them as soon as possible after your injury or operation. Applying a “normal” nourishing cream will keep the skin and scar tissue supple, so the scar may become less visible. Vitamin A Acid is also effective for speeding up the healing of the wound and reducing scarring after surgery. If possible start applying it a few weeks before surgery and inform the treating physician about this.
The scarring is at its worst at around two to three months after the injury. Don’t be shocked by this! Wait for at least a year to see how it is going to look. If you do want something done about it then you need to search for a treatment. Be careful about who you let carry out your treatment. Hereditary factors, your lifestyle and skin colour can all have an impact on how scars heal.
There has been much research into scarring carried out. You can read more in the scientific article ‘Topical Treatment for Hypertrophic Scars'(JAAD 2006) and an abstract from ‘The Effect of Vitamin A Acid on Scars’.
(Dr. Jetske Ultee- Research Physician Cosmetic Dermatology)