If you are contemplating any kind of surgery, one of the first thoughts that pop into your mind is “will this leave a scar?”, and then “will the scarring be minimal or extremely visible? In this article we will discuss the most effective ways to treat scars and how to reduce the appearance of a scar.
To ascertain the correct methods of how to treat a scar, we first need to understand what a scar is. A scar simply put, are areas of fibrous skin that have replaced normal skin after an injury has occurred. Injuries could include surgeries, burns and even acne. A scar is the end result of the skins natural healing process. Once an injury has occurred, skin cells that are rich in collagen (protein), start to multiply in order to replace the injured skin. Collagen contains fibres which strengthens the skin below the surface. These fibres add thickness to the healing skin, and this is what actually causes the scar. The speed with which a scar heals depends on different factors such as the severity of the injury, the location of the injury, age plays a role in the healing process, hereditary factors, and naturally the skins colour and pigments.
Now that we know what a scar is, let’s have a closer look at the different types of scars.
Hypertrophic Scars: this scar is more red in colour, is raised slightly and is thicker in appearance
Keloid Scars: n keloid scar is usually the end result of an over production of collagen in scar tissue. These types of scars typically appear after surgery. They can also be caused by an inflamed pimple, burns and even piercings. Keloid scars can be sensitive to the touch, itchy tender, and can spread over the original wound site. Keloid scars typically appear on darker skins, are usually hereditary, and can keep growing at a slow pace for many years.
Atrophic Scars: These types of scars are often sunken into the skin, and the cause of this is when the fat and muscle under the skin have been damaged or have been lost. This is the type of scarring that acne can cause.
Contracture Scar: these types of scars have a taught and tight appearance. This is caused due to the skin contracting during the healing process. If the underlying nerves and muscles have been affected, these scars could cause the restriction of movement. Contracture scars are more often the result of burn scarring.
Not only should you eat healthy just for the sake of losing weight. Eating healthy has so many benefits. One of them is aiding the healing process of an injury. Certain types of food even reduce the development of scar tissue.
Proteins are essential in providing the building blocks to repair and then to rebuild. Proteins also help to fight off infection. Protein deficiency can lead to the delay in the healing process of the wound.
Zinc deficiency has been proven to slow down the healing process of the body. An interesting fact is that surgical trauma can actually decrease your zinc levels considerably. Zinc is a very important factor in the collagen matrix. Zinc promotes the formation of new skin and aids in fighting off infections.
Vitamin C, taken in higher doses than the recommended doses, have been proven to significantly increase the healing process of any wound. Other vitamins that promote skin growth are bromelain (pineapple), grape seed extract, vitamin A, glucosamine, hyaluronic acid, and collagen supplements.
Silicone Gel Sheeting
The next topic we are going to discuss is the healing of scars by using Silicone Gel Sheeting. Silicone Gel Sheeting is not only effective in the treatment of scars, it is also extremely easy to apply and what’s more, the sheeting is low risk. Silicone sheets are made up of silicone and oxygen atoms. The sheeting forms a protective barrier over the scar to retain moisture. Silicone sheeting is in the short sense an extremely strong moisturizer.
Silicone sheeting is the more widely accepted form for scar healing. Not only do they keep the wound moisturised they also provide pressure on the healing wound. This aids tremendously in the healing of a scar. The average healing time for scars while using silicone sheeting is between 2-4 months.