Dealing With Scars

Help with Scars from medical and other procedures.

Scars are marks left on the surface of the skin after an injury or wound has healed. How long a wound takes to heal will usually determine how noticeable a scar may be. Personal factors, such as age, health and inhereent pigmentation will also affect wound healing time.

The body produces collagen which builds up at the wound site as part of the healing process. If scarring is abnormal, then increased blood supply and excessive collagen levels can cuase the scar to become raised, lumpy and red. Over time, some of the collagen is broken down, so reducing the size of the scar and making it softer and more pale in colour. These abnormal scars can come about up to 18 months after the formation of the scar. The two types of abnormal scar are known as keloid and hypertrophic scars, both of these are raised above the skin level. Keloid scars grow beyond the site of the original wound, hypertrophic scars don't.

Scars are common and although permanent, they may fade over a period of up to two years, After 2 years, though, frther fading is unlikely. Keloid scars occur in 10% - 15% of wounds and though they can affect anybody, tend to more common between the ages of 10 and 30 and in people with dark skin (such as African/ South Indian skin types). Hypertrophic scars are more common. 40% to 70% following surgery and up to 91% after a burn injury.

There are several ways of dealing with scars. Camouflage, surgery, laser therapy and dermal fillers. That said, one of the better ways of treating scars is arguably the use of silicone sheeting or gel.

Silicone gel forms what is known as an "occlusive barrier" over the scar tissue which helps to hydrate the tissue while protecting the same from chemical, physical and microbial attack. Silicone in either gel or sheet form can be helpful for itching scars and to reduce any pain or discomfort. The gel may be used as soon as the wound is closed or any stutures are removed and should be worn for at least 12 if not 24 hours a day.

We offer on our site the Kelocote range of topical silicone gel, which has been shown clinically shown to help soften, flatten and smooth raised scars. The product works on new scars and can be helpful for scars up to around 4 years old, whilst maintaining the mositure balance of the skin. Kelocote also helps reduce discolouration, redness and associated itching and discomfort. (Note: open the above link which goes to our "Damaged Skin" page -- on the left side, open "Brand Name" and choose "Kelocote")

Please be aware that I am a beautician and not a medical doctor, therefore if you are in any doubt or have any questions, please ask you chosen healthcare professional. Whatever they say, as always, comes first! That said, everything written is done so in good faith and is from my practical or general experience.

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