Why Scars Heal Differently on the Body

Have you ever noticed that you can have scars on different parts of your body and they look dissimilar? When an injury breaches the layer of the skin, the skin cells and blood vessels become damaged and the body sends excess collagen to quickly repair the region. This is the body’s way of forming a barrier to protect it from bacteria and germs. Depending on the amount of collagen sent, it can cause the wound to heal differently and result in scar tissue that looks and feels unlike the rest of the skin. Other factors that impact how a scar heals include:

  • Genetics
  • Age
  • Lifestyle
  • Size and depth of the wound
  • Treatment methods
  • Location of the wound

Abdomen Scar healing process

Here is a rundown of different areas of the body and how scars normally heal in these regions:

  • Knees and Elbows

The knees and elbows are prone to heavy scarring since they are constantly being stretched. Therefore, the skin cannot properly regenerate and heal. The scar tissue may constrict mobility over the joints since the tissue becomes tight and less pliable. Severely limited mobility or pain may require scar revision surgery to improve functionality.

  • Chest and Shoulders

Per the National Institutes of Health, the chest and shoulder regions have the poorest results when it comes to extensive scarring because areas of tension produce thicker scars which appear more noticeable.

  • Legs

Scars tend to be thicker and more prominent on the legs since the skin is normally tighter and tougher than other parts of the body. Scars on the legs are inclined to be hypertrophic scars. Hypertrophic scars can be red in appearance and are raised above the surface of the skin.

  • Abdomen and Stomach

Scars on the abdomen and stomach generally heal well leaving a thinner, flatter scar. Surgical scars can usually be placed below the waistline or bikini line and are rarely seen while wearing everyday clothing. Additionally, this placement keeps the scar protected from the sun for optimal healing and to avoid hyperpigmentation.

  • The Mouth

When it comes to scars, the inside of your mouth is the best at healing. The intraoral tissue stays moist and can regenerate quickly. However, it is critical to keep the area clean to avoid infection. An infection will slow down scar formation and may generate a larger, denser scar.

  • Ears

A scar on the ear is generally thick and more prominent than others. This type of scar is generally a keloid scar. Keloids can be found on any part of the body but are common after an ear piercing. Like hypertrophic scars, keloids are red and raised. Unlike hypertrophic scars, keloids extend beyond the edges of the wound. Keloid scars can be minimized with pressure and topical scar treatments.

Preventing and Treating Scars

To keep scars at bay, you should keep the wound clean and moist until it has healed. Serious burns or deep cuts should be evaluated and treated by a doctor. Post-op instructions should be followed as directed to help minimize scarring. Silicone scar treatments can minimize scarring or reduce scars that have already formed. There are many different types of scar treatments available and each type of scar may respond differently to certain treatments. Consult with your doctor about which treatment might be right for your scar.

SP

Different Methods for Removing Facial Scars

Facial Scar Removal

Having a visible scar is bad enough but when a scar is located on the facial area, it can cause self-esteem issues as well as take a toll on your professional and social confidence. Scars can be embarrassing especially when they cannot be hidden.

Scars can form as a result of an injury, acne, insect bite, cut or scrape. They can also form due to an autoimmune disease such as psoriasis or lupus. Although scarring may not be preventable in some cases, there are several options for improving the look, color or size of a scar. Some methods of scar revision include natural remedies as well as invasive and non-invasive techniques. It is important to understand that some methods may work better for certain types of scars than others.

Aloe Vera

is one of the oldest natural remedies used to treat injuries and scars. It is a great moisturizer and gentle on the skin. Apply 100% Aloe Vera gel to your face as a topical treatment to promote healing and fade a scar. Be sure to choose an Aloe Vera, which does not contain alcohol as alcohol can irritate a scar and dry the surrounding skin.

Nutmeg and honey

Make a great combination when used to reduce the look of scarring. Mix approximately 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg with 1/4 teaspoon of honey until it becomes a paste. Wash your face and apply the mixture like a mask onto the affected areas and leave it on for approximately 20-30 minutes. A little stinging is normal and this means it is working. After 20-30 minutes, wash it off. Aloe Vera can be used afterwards as a moisturizer and to help boost the effectiveness of the treatment.

Vitamin E

Great for regenerating damaged tissue as it has been shown to penetrate layers of the skin and also reduce the formation of free radicals that interfere with healing. Vitamin E also promotes collagen production.

Scar removal

Creams such as Mederma and Revitol Scar Cream may help to remove or lessen the appearance of scars. Be sure that the scar cream is gel or serum-based and contains a medical-grade silicone as the primary/active ingredient.

Soft tissue injections

Provides almost immediate results. These are injected into the scarred area and then plump the skin and smooth the scars. Some of the most popular fillers include collagen, Radiesse and Restylane. However, these fillers are not permanent and require touch-up treatments every 6 months to 2 years in order to maintain smooth-looking skin.

Excision

A surgical procedure used to treat deep scars, wide scars or scars which healed in an unusual way. This method involves cutting out the poorly healed scar and using layered sutures to properly close the wound. The patient will still have a scar but the objective is to have a tighter and less apparent scar.

Laser resurfacing

A way of gently vaporizing the damaged or acne-scarred skin to reveal fresh skin from underneath. The surgeon directs an energy beam onto the scar and its surrounding area. The laser beam burns off the outer layer of skin, which begins the regeneration of new skin. In addition, the heat from the laser stimulates the production of collagen underneath the skin. The patient will have smoother and tighter skin once it heals.

Microdermabrasion

A gradual and gentle scar removal technique,this approach vacuums micro crystals across the skin to remove damaged scar tissue. It is described as a superficial skin polishing technique. Since this treatment is designed to be gentle on the skin, patients will need to go in for weekly sessions to achieve their desired look.

Dermabrasion

This technique allows the doctor to sand down the scarred area with a diamond burr or wire brush after the skin is injected with a local anesthetic. The results from this treatment are not immediate as it takes approximately 6 weeks for a new layer of fresh skin to regenerate. However, it is an effective means to smoother skin and less scars.

Chemical peels

A chemical solution is applied to the facial area and creates a controlled wound as it burns the top layers of skin away. The new skin can take 3 days to 3 weeks to regenerate depending on the aggressive nature of the treatment. Mild peels can be repeated a few weeks later in order to achieve the desired look. Medium-depth, and deeper, peels can be repeated in 6-12 months if desired by the patient.

Natural Ways to Get Rid Of Scar Tissue

Scar Tissue RemediesScar tissue is a beauty concern for many people. When the natural skin has been damaged beyond its first layer, scar tissue is the tissue which replaces it. Scar tissue is the same tissue as healthy skin even though it looks different. This is because the fibers are arranged differently within the tissue.

Scars can form for a variety of reasons including cuts, scrapes, acne, minor burns, bites, surgery or fungal infections. Anyone is prone to getting a scar at one time or another. The important thing to remember is that scars will eventually fade. The extent to which they fade depends on genetics.

However, there are some natural ways to get rid of, or lighten, scar tissue. Do you know what to use and how to use it?

Coconut Oil

Contains fatty acids that act as an antioxidant. This oil can prevent and reverse radical damage. It can also stimulate collagen production while softening the skin to speed the healing process.
• Warm 1 teaspoon of extra-virgin coconut oil in the microwave.
• Gently massage the warm oil in a circular motion on the affected area until it is absorbed into the skin.
• Repeat several times on a daily basis until the desired results are achieved.

Aloe Vera

Well known for regenerating skin tissue. It can also help to reduce the size and appearance of scars.
• Peel the outer green leaf off the plant.
• Apply the gel-looking substance, from the plant, and massage for several minutes.
• Leave it to dry on the skin and then rinse with warm water.
• Apply several times a day for 1 to 2 months.

Vitamin E

Has extraordinary antioxidant properties and can also stimulate collagen as well as moisturize the skin while healing scars.
• Extract the liquid from a Vitamin E capsule or use Vitamin E cream.
• Gently massage in a circular motion for about 10 minutes or until completely absorbed.
• Repeat 2-3 times a day.
• Also, incorporate foods high in Vitamin E into your diet. Foods such as hazelnuts, safflower oil, almonds and peanut butter are all high in Vitamin E.

Lemon Juice

Works as a natural bleaching agent due to its alpha hydroxy acids (AHA) and can fade scars. AHA is known to remove dead skin cells while regenerating and repairing damaged skin. Note: When using this technique, be sure to use sunscreen on the treated area whenever going out into the sun. Lemon juice will make that area sensitive to light.
• Extract fresh lemon juice from a lemon and apply it to the scar.
• Allow the juice to dry on the skin for approximately 10 minutes and then rinse thoroughly and pat dry.
• Apply some moisturizer.
• Repeat twice daily for several weeks

Apple Cider Vinegar

Has various exceptional properties including being an astringent and a natural disinfectant. It can exfoliate the skin and also remove dead skin cells.
• Dip a cotton ball into the apple cider vinegar and apply it to the scar.
• Leave it on the scar for 10-15 minutes before washing it off.
• Apply moisturizer.
• Repeat this process a few times a day for a few weeks.

Lavender Oil

Can rejuvenate the skin cells. lavender oil helps to increase the cell turnover rate which will prevent the scars from becoming permanent.
• Apply a few drops of lavender essential oil to the scar.
• Gently massage the scar in a circular motion for approximately 10-15 minutes.
• You can also mix equal parts of the lavender oil and olive oil and then apply this mixture to the scar and massage for a few minutes.
• Repeat either method twice daily for several weeks.

-SP/MA

Treating Acne Scars with Laser

Scarring is one of the most dreadful complications of acne. Long after the actual acne is gone, the scars that it leaves can continue to lower the patient’s self-esteem. A number of treatment options are available to combat this problem but their effectiveness varies depending on the type of scar and the definition of “acceptable” results for the patient. According to experts, laser technology is by far the most useful treatment as it is indicated for more severe cases of scarring. Today, dermatologists use a variety of lasers to treat severe cases of acne.

Ablative Lasers

The term “ablative” means removal of some body tissue. Thus, the use of an ablative laser involves the removal of the outer surface of the skin. This type of laser is best used on pitted scars. There are two types of ablative laser for acne scars and they are CO2 and Erbium lasers. CO2 lasers produce a 50-80% improvement in skin texture and were initially thought to be better than Erbium lasers. However, CO2 lasers have much more side effects compared to Erbium so the latter is preferred by dermatologists despite being the less effective of the two.

According to studies, the side effects of CO2 lasers are often seen in patients with dark skin with skin discoloration being the most commonly reported. Other side effects include redness, itching, milia (small bumps of dead skin), infection, bleeding and formation of acne-like bumps. Erbium lasers produce the same side effects but they are milder in nature. Ablative lasers tend to produce excellent results if performed properly by a board-certified specialist.

Non-Ablative Lasers

Although ablative laser is considered one of the best treatments for acne scars, it is limited by its side effects. These limitations led to the development of non-ablative lasers which produce fewer side effects but less effective results. The idea behind using this type of laser is to induce collagen formation in the deeper layers of the skin without damaging the outer layers.

Non-ablative lasers can be further classified as infrared lasers and visible light lasers. Infrared laser is the kind of laser used in leg veins and hair removal. Their role in the treatment of acne scars is based on findings that show they can also promote the formation of collagen and cause destruction of fibrotic collagen in scars. These mechanisms, when combined together, cause significant improvement of both raised and pitted scars.

Fractional Lasers

The concept of fractional lasers was introduced in the early 2000s to address both the limited effectiveness of non-ablative lasers and the undesirable side effects of ablative lasers. Fractional lasers work by creating zones of thermal damage on smaller fractions of the skin.

The damaged part of the skin is healed and repaired by the surrounding uninjured skin. Healing occurs in a much shorter period of time so the risk of infection and other side effects are significantly reduced. Any side effects should resolve in one month or less.

Tattoo-Removal Lasers

This type of laser is newer than the others and has proven to be an effective way of getting rid of pitted acne scars. This laser is the picosecond laser which was originally used for removing tattoos. More details about this interesting new laser treatment are available here.

Laser treatment continues to be an effective way to stop the misery of acne scars. With the numerous types of lasers available today, it can be quite challenging to tell which laser is the best choice for a patient. Knowing which one to use is extremely important as using the wrong type can do more harm than good. As always, patients should consult with a board-certified dermatologist for proper evaluation and treatment of their acne scars. A dermatologist is the right person to determine which type of laser is suitable to use on patients.

Treating Scar Formations

Scars and scar formation are some of the most commonly misunderstood medical concepts. If a person undergoes surgery, for cosmetic reasons or otherwise, having a scar is one of the things they should expect. Most patients assume if the operation was performed by a plastic surgeon, there won’t be any scarring. Scars always form but some surgeons are better than others at hiding them.

Scarring is the body’s way of healing itself after an injury. In fact, it is the final phase of the body’s wound healing process. A scar is a direct result of damage from accidents, burns, skin conditions, surgery and trauma. Something as simple as having piercings in your body can cause scars to form.

The body’s wound healing process comes in multiple stages. The first phase involves the sealing of the wound by blood clots to prevent further blood loss and infection. This is followed by a series of events that lead to the formation of collagen to actually repair and fully heal the wound. Wounds that are left to heal on their own produce scars that are a bit worse than those which are closed through stitches. It can take at least a year for a scar to completely heal. Once healed, a scar may appear as a fine line that is minimally visible or as a thick scar like hypertrophic scars and keloids.

Scars are treated using various methods. The choice of treatment depends on how thick and big the scar is. Small and soft scars are best managed by massaging them with moisturizer once or twice a day for a few minutes. The moisturizer should contain ingredients like vitamin E and cocoa butter for maximum results. Sun exposure must also be avoided as much as possible to keep the scars from turning dark. On the other hand, thicker and more extensive scars such as hypertrophic scars, keloids and burn scars can heal properly by using silicone gel sheets.

In recent years, steroids have also been prescribed as a treatment for scaring. Topical steroids alone, or in combination with other scar treatment products, have been proven to improve scar formation in some patients. Steroids administered through injections are said to be effective on hypertrophic scars and keloids. A series of injections is required when using steroids in intervals ranging from six to eight weeks. The most common side effect of injected steroids is the formation of a dent on the site where it is administered. Steroids may be combined with surgical excision especially in cases involving keloids. This combination treatment is usually effective although there is still a possibility for recurrence.

If the treatments listed above fail to produce any response, the patient may try a less common treatment option like radiation therapy. Stubborn keloids respond well to low-dose radiation following surgical treatment. Radiation therapy does raise some concerns due to the risk of long-term complications. Laser treatment is another option but the results vary and some patients find using lasers to be an ineffective treatment.

Scarring should be expected by a patient no matter what type of plastic surgery procedure they are having performed. The key to effectively managing the lasting effects of a scar is knowing how to treat and minimize the long-term effects of any scar formations.

Scar Treatment and Removal Tips

Scars are unwanted things that can be a result of surgical procedures, burns, injuries and the removal of moles and acne. Scars develop due to any pull or tension that lasts for too long. Thankfully, there are a variety of methods to help reduce and remove scars.
Cosmetic surgery procedures can remove scars. There are a variety of methods and treatments that can be used to treat and remove scars including:

• A procedure called dermabrasion can lighten scars. An instrument called a wire brush is used to remove the upper layer of skin and, in turn, makes the scar light in appearance.

• Natural remedies used for dealing with scars include the use of lemon, aloe vera gel and onions. These items are rubbed on the scars and left on there for some time. Natural products like lemon, aloe vera and onion possess anti-inflammatory properties that help to reduce skin irritation. They are known to reduce scars and help new skin cells to develop. Natural remedy methods take more time to show their results.

• Silicone gel sheeting is known to reduce scars. It is applied to the affected area and should be used for 3 or 4 months to get rid of scars.

• Steroids are also known to lighten scars. Steroids are injected on the skin that has the scar and converts the raised part of the scar into a flattened one. This procedure takes longer than others to get rid of any scars.

• Laser procedures can be used to remove the upper skin that is affected by scars by making the scar lighter. The laser is also used to activate collagen that helps the new cells to generate and cover the scar.

• Concealers can be used to cover the scar temporarily. In this method, a concealer that matches the skin color is used to cover the scar. It will make the scar invisible for some time.

• Creams can be applied to the scars. If the scar is not very deep, it can lighten up in 3 or 4 months.

• Vitamin E is helpful in dealing with scars by regenerating the skin and redeveloping the treated area. Vitamin E supplements as well as creams and lotions that contain Vitamin E are available at almost any grocery store or drug store. After applying the lotion to the scar, the skin regeneration starts and the scar will disappear within some months depending on the deepness of the scar.

• Dermatologists can apply chemicals on the skin that peel the scar away and allow the new skin to develop. They lighten up the scar and it eventually disappears. Chemical peeling is the name of this method and the chemical used for peeling of the skin is light acid.

• Scrubbing is also a method for treating scars. Exfoliation with a scrub needs to be regularly performed on the scarred area. The scrub must contain alpha hydroxyl acid to help make the scar disappear. The scrubs should be used as directed by a physician after a careful examination of the scar and skin type.

Scars can be lightened, or even removed, by following the steps mentioned above. Sometimes it takes a good amount of time to diminish deep scars depending on the deepness of the scar and the regeneration ability of the skin. A patient should consult with a dermatologist before starting any scar treatments.

Mole Removal Scar Prevention Tips and Tricks

Mole removal surgery scar prevention While moles are generally harmless, there are times that moles can be irregular in shape as well as continue to grow on a consistent basis. This means there might be something happening in your body that needs to be examined by a doctor. While the mole itself might be harmless, there are many people who want to decrease the chances of the mole becoming harmful by having it removed.

Moles are removed by an excision procedure or by having them shaved off with a scalpel blade. No matter which way the doctor decides to remove the scar, there is still a chance of scarring after its removal. Want to prevent scarring from happening after the mole removal procedure? Here are some tips to help you prevent scaring:

1. Listen to your doctor because a mole can cause scarring no matter how big or small the size of the mole. The doctor will give you specific instructions on how to care for the wound including how to clean it and change the dressing. These aftercare tips are vital in reducing and even completely preventing scarring.

2. Keeping the wound clean stops bacteria, debris and infections from forming in the wound. Keeping the skin moisturized is also vital in preventing scars from forming where the mole was removed. Wait until the surgery wound has started to scab before you start the moisturizing process.

3. Massaging the surgical wound is a big help in preventing scarring. Massaging any area of the body actually increases the circulation of blood in the area of the body being massaged. Massaging the area where the wound is located will help prevent the formation of a scar.

4. Stay out of the sun after your mole removal surgery. Too much exposure to the sun following a surgical procedure can lead to scarring. It is best to either stay out of the sun, until the wound is completely healed. If that is not possible, keep the wound covered when going outside. The UV rays from the sun can damage the skin and also delay the overall healing process after surgery. If being out the sun can’t be avoided, be sure to wear a high SPF sunscreen no matter what time of year it is.

5. A healthy lifestyle is also important in preventing scarring from happening after the mole removal procedure. While eating healthy and drinking plenty of water is not guaranteed to prevent scarring, it certainly increases the chances of a scar not forming as well as helping you lead an overall healthy lifestyle. When it comes to your food intake, give yourself plenty of vitamins and minerals with each meal so the nutrients can help your body heal properly.

6. Exercise is not recommended immediately after surgery. The area where the mole was removed is also the home of the stitches that will be placed post-surgery. Too much exercise can cause the stitches to tear which can cause the wound itself to open again. Also, too much exercise can cause sweat that can enter the wound. The sweat can irritate the wound and also cause an infection.

Mole removal surgery is helpful in removing both elevated and flat moles. By following the proper post-surgery steps listed above, the chances of a scar forming are lessened. If you have any further questions or concerns about mole removal, please consult with an experienced doctor in your area.

The Fault in Our Scars AKA Summertime Sadness

It is finally summertime which means outdoor activities are on the rise. Family vacations are more frequent, kids are taking trips to the pool with friends and bike riding and baseball games are happening on a daily basis. Unfortunately, all of these fun activities come with the increased chance of injuries. During the summertime, people tend to get involved in small accidents that result in cuts, scratches and minor skin injuries which can also lead to scars.

There are a number of steps that you can take to help reduce the potential scarring that result from these small, to medium sized, accidents. According to Dr. Ellen Marmur, an associate clinical professor of dermatology at the Icahan School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, “The appearance of a scar often depends on how well your wound heals. While scars from surgery or over joints like the knees and elbows are hard to avoid, scars caused by minor cuts and scrapes can become less noticeable by properly treating your wound at home.” Dr. Marmur shared this info in a recent (June 9th) news release from the American Academy of Dermatology.

Some of the tips offered by Dr. Marmur for reducing the appearance of scars include:
• Gently wash the injury site with a mild soap and water to keep germs out and also to remove any debris from the injury.
• Apply petroleum jelly to stop the wound from drying out and then forming a scab. (Wounds that result in a scab take longer to heal and the petroleum jelly will help prevent the scar from getting too large or itchy.)
• Once you’re applied the petroleum jelly to the wound area, be sure and cover the wound with an adhesive bandage. Changing the adhesive bandage on a daily basis will help keep the wound clean while it heals.
• Depending on the size of the wound, you might need to use more than petroleum jelly to clean and care for the wound. Larger scratches and wounds could require hydrogel applied to them if they continue to have persistent redness.

Some summertime scrapes and wounds might be so severe that they require surgery. If this is the case, follow the advice of your doctor on caring for your wound. The initial care, and subsequent advice, from your doctor can help minimize the lasting impact of the scar.

One more piece of advice from Dr. Marmur involves the use of sunscreen on the wound area when you go outside. The sunscreen needs to be SPF 30 or higher to help prevent scarring. According to Dr. Marmur, no scar can be totally eliminated but most do fade over time. She also recommends seeing a board-certified dermatologist because “a dermatologist can answer your questions and talk about ways to make your scar less visible.”

Summertime can be a lot of fun but it’s also a season filled with scrapes and scratches thanks to people having rambunctious fun. The best thing you can do (besides be careful while having fun in the sun) is tend to your wound as quickly as possible. The faster you tend to your fresh wound, the less likely your chances of having a permanent scar as a reminder of the summer of 2015.

Chemical Peels

Chemical peels are a perfect solution for those who would like to remove sunspots, scars caused by acne, and other unsightly blemishes. Facial rejuvenation procedures, like chemical peels, are almost always outpatient procedures; this means that it can be performed in a doctor’s office, rather than a hospital. Additionally, having an outpatient procedure reduces costs (as patients do not have to pay an operating room fee). Lastly, it means that after the peel (which typically takes about an hour) the patient is able to relax and recover in the comfort of his or her own home.

Chemical peels can cause a light burning and stinging sensation, which, on average, only lasts about ten minutes, but varies depending on the intensity of the chemical peel and the sensitivity of the patient’s skin. Recovery time will also depend on the intensity of the peel. Those who need to have a superficial peel, can recover in as little as a few days. However, patients who opt for a deep peel will need approximately three weeks to recover. Since there are many different variations of chemical peels, procedure and recovery lengths will vary.

Doctors have the ability to customize the procedure to the patient’s needs, so this procedure is perfect for almost any person who is unhappy with his or her skin and would like a smoother, more even complexion.

If you feel this procedure is right for you, please visit a dermatologist or plastic surgeon that specializes in skin rejuvenation in order to find the best option for your skin.

Acne Scars: How to Prevent and Cure Them?

Acne scars can cause damage to one’s skin because of the intense, collagen damaging inflammation to the skin. Acne usually starts to disappear within a few days, but sometimes tends to leave scars. Atrophic, boxcar-shaped, and ice-pick shaped scars are all types of scars that can occur after acne goes away. Atrophic scars are mostly shallow, while ice pick-shaped scars are narrower and deeper.

There are some things that can make acne worse, including exposure to the sun, and picking and squeezing acne. When acne is exposed to direct sunlight, the scar it will leave can become darker and it will slow down the healing process. If you are going to be under direct sunlight it is best to use sunblock with SPF 30 or higher. Picking acne can lead to more inflammation, which will injure the skin adding to the discoloration and causing scarring. Squeezing acne will cause bacteria to go deeper into the skin damaging the collagen.

The best way to prevent acne scars is to have patience, don’t try to pick or squeeze acne, not touching acne you get, will prevent scars. However, if you already have acne scars, it can be treated by using cortisone in order to reduce the inflammation. For deeper acne scars, laser and filler treatments might be the best option. In order to find out what to do to reduce the appearance of acne scars, it is recommended to visit a dermatologist.