Restoring Your Skin

Restoring Your Skin after Scarring

It’s strange that the same process used to heal your skin after injury is the cause of scarring. Skin consistently sheds old cells while creating new ones. This keeps your skin looking healthy and beautiful. If this natural process did not exist your skin would look dry and scaly. Simultaneously, when your skin becomes injured, your body overcompensates by producing too much collagen under the skin. This results in the formation of a scar.

Scars come in many shapes and sizes. The look of the scar will vary depending on your age, skin tone, nutrition, and type of injury. Genetics can also play a role in scar development. For instance, if one or both of your parents is prone to keloid scars, you may be too.

Most of the time scars are red and raised when they are first forming, but as time passes they can become flatter and paler. When your body is trying to heal itself after injury, there is an increase in the formation of blood vessels. This is what causes the bight discoloration. Scars can continue to develop for up to 2 years. After that, they have generally reached the peak of maturity. Keloid scars are the exception to this rule. Keloids are the only scars that can continue growing, even past the point of original injury.

Most scars are the result of cuts, surgeries, burns, and even skin diseases such as acne. Strain on the skin by way of gain or loss of weight can lead to stretch marks, which are another form of scarring.


The Many Faces of a Scar

Atrophic, hypertrophic, and keloidal are the 3 different types of scars. Atrophic scars can be identified by their icepick like indentations usually across the cheeks, neck, and jawline. Atrophic scars are caused by skin diseases such as chicken pox and acne.

Hypertrophic scars are pink or red and are raised above the skin in a lump. They can be caused by injury or surgery, resulting in the over growth of collagen. This overgrowth blocks the regeneration of tissue.

Keloid scars are often confused with hypertrophic scars. Keloids are also pink or red and raised above the skin. They can be caused by surgery, acne, accidents, or body piercings. They are actually non-malignant tumors that form by the overproduction of collagen under the skin. Keloids are different from all scars in that they can grow beyond the boundaries of the original injury site.


Scar Removal: Fict or Fact?

Recent studies have shown that using Vitamin E on a scar has no effect. Aloe vera, however, has anti-inflammatory agents that will reduce redness overtime. Surgery can help diminish the look of atrophic scars, while lasers have been found more effective for hypertrophic scars.

Silicone sheets and gels are becoming popular because of the ease of use and effectiveness. Silicone forms a protective barrier on the skin locking moisture in and toxins out. This promotes healthy skin cell regeneration.

The best thing to do is to prevent a scar from forming. This can be done by keeping the wound clean and moist and ensuring that it stays covered properly until the wound is completely healed.