Reducing the Impact of Scars
Many of us have scars of some form or another – who didn’t scrape a knee or get bumped and knocked playing team sports as a child. But many situations can result in much more significant scarring – accidents such as burns and scalds, episodes of self-harming and severe acne or other skin conditions can cause severe scarring. For new mothers, the joy of giving birth can be marred by scarring in the form of stretch marks, which can be result in severe scars in some cases. For the individual involved, scarring can have profound psychological impacts as well as the physical manifestation – increased self-consciousness, self-esteem issues and anxiety are common, and in more serious cases people can be diagnosed with depression and other similar conditions.
Options for Scar Treatment
Thankfully today there are a number of treatments to reduce the physical effects of scarring, and in doing so mitigate the emotional impacts felt by those who suffer from scarring. Surgery has always been a “go to” option for many in this situation, as have treatments such as dermabrasion and grafts to reduce the visibility of scarring. In recent years laser treatment has become more popular. But surgery can be very costly and disruptive, and may cause other long term impacts on your well being.
Not all improvements in treatments for scar reduction and removal have been surgical in nature. Creams and gels for application have come on in leaps and bounds – both in terms of effectiveness and affordability – to such an extent that these are now one of the most popular treatments for scars. Topical treatments such as creams can be applied specifically to the scar area and can now be considered the most convenient of scar treatments. Follow the link for more information on creams for scar reduction.
Medical organisations have produced silicone based treatments which similarly to scar reduction creams work based on topical application to the scar over a period of time. Alpha hydroxy acid treatments have been used as the basis for natural remedies since ages past, and dermatologist have taken on these natural healing properties to new levels through the development of cutting edge topical moisturisers and creams. And that’s not even to go into the countless number of natural remedies that have passed down generation to generation. So all in all there are some great options for scar reduction and removal you can choose… but which is best for you?
Types of Skin Scars
There is not one remedy to reduce visibility of scars because there are different kinds of scars. Moreover, each skin area of a certain body part copes with scars differently. Facial skin recovers the fastest from scars. Age determines the recovery time of the skin from scarring. The older you are, the slower is the healing process. The size and depth of the wound also contributes to the type of scars. Ethnicity and genes determines the pigment and the chance for keloidal scars.
Keloids are raised scars that often appear shiny. They usually extend beyond the area or border of the wound. They occur when the body becomes overly aggressive when repairing the skin, thus it produces excessive collagen to close up the wound. Keloids are difficult to remove because they must be flattened and leveled with the normal skin. Keloids are either lighter or darker than the normal skin tone.
Acne scars can range from deep pit or ice pick scars, box car scars, rolling scars (when acne clusters on a certain area), keloid scars and flat but pigmented scars. Ice pick scars are deep and narrow scars, and develop mainly from cystic scars. Box car scars are deep, depressed, oval scars. Rolling scars give a wave-like appearance to the skin. Keloid acne scars are raised scars. Flat scars are often hyperpigmented.
Hypertrophy refers to “a non-tumorous enlargement of an organ or a tissue as a result of an increase in the size rather than the number of constituent cells” (ref. medical dictionary). Hypertrophic scars appear similar to keloidal scars in that thy result in a raised scar due to excessive amounts of collagen, but they do not extend beyond the area of the wound, and they also tend to be thinner than keloids.
Contracture scars often occur when the skin is burned, either by fire or chemicals. They appear shiny and tight. As a result, contracture scars may impair and limit mobility. Because contracture scars are caused by serious injuries, they can affect the nerves and muscles too.
At the simplest level, stretch marks are dermal scars that occur when the bodies elastin and collagen fibers are subjected to too much stress causing tearing and resulting in unsightly scarring.
On this site you will find guidance and expertise to help you choose the best treatment for your scarring – focusing particularly on scar removal creams, silicone based treatment and alpha hydroxy acid based treatments. Check out all the info you will ever need to make the best choice for you. Click here for more info on scars and scarring.