Some people refer to them as battle wounds. Some say that they are memories. But not all of them are good memories and not many of them are from extraordinary battles. Most scars are ones that individuals would prefer to get rid of–or at least reduce the appearance of. While it can take some patience, it is not impossible to make scars less visible to the naked eye. Here are just a few of the methods:
- Sunscreen: When you’re trying to get that perfect golden tan, using sunscreen just sounds like it will get in the way. It won’t. It will protect you from the damaging rays and, more importantly, it will prevent scars from worsening. Just like sun exposure tans your skin, it will also tan your scars–but not in a good way. Because pigment producing cells are overactive when a scar is still healing, they end up producing a lot more pigment than normal. Tanning a scar will just make it stay much darker than your normal skin tone for much longer. So make sure to pour on the SPF 30.
- Cell Activator: Sometimes, even though your body is working overtime, after a scar is healed it still is very much visible. When this is the case, a good way to even out the scar and eliminate the redness is a cell activator. If you combine this with a topical stem cell cream, you’ll see a significant reduction in scar visibility. Cell activators are commonly used for anti-aging purposes because of their skin cell protecting qualities. They often contain stem cells from a plant, as well as a tripeptide and antioxidants. This combination is really useful when it comes to helping the skin to work overtime to produce new and healthy skin cells that are more elastic and even-toned.
- Gentle Skin Care: Scars are easily aggravated so using gentle skin care products, that don’t have acids in them, helps to keep them calm. When you’re walking down the skin care aisle, go with a cleanser that is mild. Optimally it will be infused with natural plant extracts. And as for a moisturizer, use one that includes soothing ingredients like chamomile and aloe.
- Silicone Gel: Silicone gel or silicone gel sheeting is a reliable way to help fade scars and prevent them from worsening. It should beused for several months, though, to really see the benefits. These products flatten scars, lighten scars and slow down the higher than normal production of collagen going on around the scar. For scars that are painful or cause itching, a silicone bandage or sheet can help reduce this, along with the visibility. The convenient aspect of this method is that it comes in all forms. So whether an individual prefers sheets, gels, ointments, creams, sprays, or serums, they’ll find what they need.
- Dermabrasion: This is a procedure that removes the surface of the skin with special equipment. Microdermabrasion can be used at home for more superficial scars, but raised scars need to be worked on by professionals who understand the dermabrasion equipment and methods. In this procedure, a professional uses a wire brush and removes the discolored or hardened skin from the scar tissue growth. The brush that the doctor uses rapidly rotates and basically levels off the top layers of skin. Once this is removed, the skin underneath is less raised and is noticeably softer. And while this may sound painful, don’t worry, the doctor will numb the skin if necessary. After the procedure, most individuals are not in any pain. The skin will begin to regrow after five days and it will fade from a reddish tone back to its normal color after about 6 weeks.
- Laser Resurfacing: Laser resurfacing can be similar to dermabrasion in that it removes the skin surface–just with a laser. The dermatologist will pass over the scars between one and three times. Concentrated and short pulsating light beams are directed at the skin to slowly remove layer after layer through vaporization. However, another type of laser resurfacing works on the dermis’ collagen instead of removing the upper layer of skin. The goal of this technique is to allow new skin the opportunity to grow. Recovery from laser resurfacing can take up to two weeks because of some minor heat damage that may occur. Expect to have the treated area bandaged up. You’ll also need to clean the affected area a few times a day and apply some ointment to prevent scabs.
- Cryosurgery: This method uses liquid nitrogen to freeze scar tissue. Sometimes argon and carbon dioxide will also be used, but the end goal is to get the temperature down to -320 degrees Fahrenheit so that it will instantly freeze what it comes in contact with. The doctor will place the liquid on your skin either by spraying it or applying it with a cotton swab. The frozen tissue then falls off the skin. It is most useful for raised scars and, because it can cause spotty bleaching of the affected area, it is mainly suggested for individuals who have lighter skin. Warning to the wise: this method can cause you to have hyperpigmentation, swelling and blistering, but after about a month, these will subside.
Whether through injury or surgery, scars, at some point in your life, are inevitable. But just because they will happen, doesn’t mean they have to last. The methods listed above, along with a few others, are effective ways to reduce the appearance of scars and boost self-confidence. For more scar-reducing methods, contact us.