Your Guide to Caring for and Understanding Scars

make-up-1623941-1279x1706Some of us have battle scars, some of us are stuck with the remnants of a painful history of acne- whatever the story, scars are a difficult predicament to deal with in the realm of beauty.  They come in a variety of colors and they come in many different forms. It’s important to understand the nature of your scar so that you can properly care for it so that it heals to its upmost potential and doesn’t prevent you from strutting your skin during summer time or doesn’t keep you away from your favorite skirt or dress.  Since the formation of the scar signifies the most about the pathway of your care process, we’ll examine the different types of scars to help you distinguish which one you possess.

Flat scars

These are the most common scars and generally represent a less impactful injury or circumstance.  They have the most range of color-they can be black or brown or pink or red. With the right treatment, flat scars can be faded several tones from the original color you received from your scar.  

Indented scars

Also called atrophic scars, indented scars result from cystic acne, chickenpox virus, or an impactful injury.  The depression quality of these scars indicate that the underlying structure of the skin has been damaged to the point that it has left the scar looking depressed into the skin. Generally, these scars can’t heal as well as the rest, as their supporting structure has perished.  

Raised scars

These type of scars are known as hypertrophic scars and they indicate a surplus production of collagen.  Common in people that have skin of darker pigment, these scars have a better chance of residing to a normal appearance over time, more than indented scars, but it will take a long time.  

Treatment Options

  1. Serum, scar treatment gel or silicon-based gel. This is generally a method you can use after the wound has fully healed.  Using a couple times of day, these methods lighten the skin pigment of the scar to a more flesh colored complexion.  It’s also especially important to be applying sunscreen if the scar is exposed to sun as the sun can dramatically recede the progress of fading and improving the appearance of your scar.  
  2. Laser treatments and grafting.  Surgery is generally a more ideal choice for those with indented or raised scars.  Skin grafting is formulated for skin indented scars and it involves removing a portion of skin from another area of the body in order to refill the indented area. The improvement rate is fairly low (50%), but can drastically change the appearance of the scar if the scar is prominent.  
  3. Silicone gel sheets.  This type of treatment is used for raised scars.  It involves a reusable sheet that can be worn up to 24 hours at a time. With persistent use, raised scars can dramatically be lowered to the normal level of the surrounding skin on the body.  

It’s important before investing in a treatment option to confirm with your dermatologist to ensure the most effective option to care for your scar.