Reduce Scarring Before It Starts

These tips on how to reduce scarring focus on the scar tissue healing process and what action you should take when.  While some scars go away, others do provide a permanent visible history of an individual's life experiences.

Any time that you get a cut, a burn or another type of wound, you will end up with a scar. Scars form naturally as part of the healing process. The real question is how long that scar is going to be glaringly visible.

It can take a scar up to two years to become stable and set in appearance. Some scars will go away, while others won't. In addition, the scarring process varies according to individual, making it difficult to predict whether a given scar will disappear or stay.

This doesn't mean that you can't be proactive in trying to prevent scars. Any injury should be treated properly to avoid infection and diminish the possibility of scarring. To do this, be sure to clean the wound with water. Save soap for the tissue next to the injury, as it can irritate the wound and add to the wound's trauma. Apply an over-the-counter antibiotic to help prevent infection and then cover the injury. Change the bandages periodically to help keep infectious bacteria away. Only leave the wound open to the air after the injury has healed enough so that it would be difficult to get an infection.

Try to avoid tearing the wound open again after the injury has started to heal.

Current studies indicate that vitamin E will probably not help with scarring, although it won't hurt. However, you might try aloe vera, which can help reduce inflammation and redness. However, whether you choose to try vitamin E or aloe vera, wait for two weeks before applying.

If you have a serious burn or a deep wound, go to your doctor or the emergency room as soon as possible. Serious burns can require specialized treatment; deep gouges may need stitches.

How to Treat Scars
If you have a scar that you would like to remove, discuss the issue with your physician or dermatologist. You may have several options, ranging from filling in the scar with collagen or fat to surgery to remove the scar and replace the scar with skin grafts. Laser surgery, dermabrasion or microdermabrasion might also be possibilities, depending on the type of scarring that you have.

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