What’s The Best Way To Reduce Scarring?



What’s The Best Way To Reduce Scarring?

When it comes to avoiding being left with unsightly scarring from cuts, scrapes or even small surgical wounds, the old saying about prevention being better than cure definitely does apply. Prevention in this case refers to taking proper care of the wound as soon as possible, so complications that ultimately result in scarring don’t have a chance to develop.

How To Reduce Scarring

Here are some tips for how to properly care for your wound in order to avoid permanent scarring:

  1. The first thing to do is to clean the lesion out with cool water, remove any dirt, and wash around it with a mild soap and a washcloth. Avoid using anything harsh that contains alcohol or hydrogen peroxide on the wound because these will act as irritants and may in fact delay healing.
  2. You can apply a thin layer of antibiotic cream or ointment, and cover the wound with light bandage that keeps the bacteria out but still allows some air to circulate. (There are specialty adhesive dressings on the market that keep the wound moist without letting it get wet.) The skin will be trying to repair itself naturally using the fluid produced by the wound.
  3. Once the wound starts to repair itself and the scab starts to form, expose it to air, but continue to keep it very clean and moist (not wet) with a thin layer of lightweight moisturizer. Keeping wounds moist encourages healing and prevents itchiness. Change the bandage at night.
  4. Be careful not to immerse the wound in water for a long time, or expose it to harsh detergents or other irritants, or the sun. All these elements will break down the scab and prevent the formation of new skin below it.
  5. Do not pick or even touch the scab once it forms. This is very important because any manipulation of the scab may cause bigger and permanent scarring. The skin starts to heal itself as soon as the wound first forms, with white blood cells attacking infection-causing bacteria and red blood cells, fibrin and platelets forming a clot over the wound. If the scab is impaired, the wound reopens and becomes at risk of bacteria and infection.

Still, even if you’ve done all due diligence to take care of the wound during the critical initial healing period, your scar may continue to heal for as long as the next couple of years. To speed up the healing process you can get a silicone-based scar treatment gel or serum at the drugstore that contain skin-healing ingredients and antioxidants.

Keep in mind, however, that although pure silicone can aid in healing and prevention of scars, it isn’t everything that the skin needs to improve scars. The treatment should also include certain anti-inflammatory and skin-repairing ingredients that work with the skin’s natural repair process to yield the optimal results. It’s best to talk to your doctor about the treatment that will speed up the healing process of your particular wound and prevent the formation of permanent scarring.

June 27, 2016

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