How to make scars heal fast: Dos and Don’ts of Scar Prevention – Skin and Beauty Center
Unlocking the secrets of scar-free skin healing
The body’s largest organ might seem barely more than cellular wrapping paper, but skin has roles that range from fending off microorganisms to regulating body temperature. It also has a considerable flaw: severely damaged skin can heal, but it can’t regenerate. Instead, it forms scars. These marks are not just cosmetic defects. Scar tissue can inhibit a person’s movement and, because it lacks sweat glands, prevent the body from cooling off. Although scars seem to be thicker than normal skin, the tissue is actually weaker.
Scarring seems to be an inevitable part of being human. But three decades ago, it became clear that the youngest patients don’t scar. When Michael Harrison, a paediatric surgeon at the University of California, San Francisco, began to perform the first ever surgeries on fetuses, he noticed something curious about the babies who survived. Incisions he had made in them in the womb seemed to heal without scarring.
Harrison asked Michael Longaker, a postdoctoral researcher in his laboratory, to investigate the phenomenon. Longaker was sceptical. Because his boss was the only physician who was performing fetal surgeries, he says, “My first reaction was, ‘Gosh, that doesn’t seem like a big health-care problem because you’re the only one making [fetal] wounds.’” But it didn’t take long for Longaker to understand the potential implications: by deciphering what drives this in utero healing, he might discover ways to prompt scar-free healing outside the womb. “My reluctant one year in the lab became four,” Longaker says. “I became obsessed with scarring.”
Longaker, now a plastic surgeon with a focus on regenerative medicine at Stanford University in California, has not yet unravelled the mystery completely. Nor have other researchers. Although many studies have provided valuable insight into how scarring occurs, they have yielded few clinically useful treatments. “There’s been some improvement,” says Stephen Badylak, deputy director of the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania. But it’s still far from the expectations raised by the hype of the work that began in the 1980s.
Yet many researchers are cautiously optimistic that a better understanding of the mechanisms that lead to scarring will pave the way for innovative strategies for reducing the formation of scar tissue. In September, the US Food and Drug Administration approved the first treatment to involve a ‘spray-on’ skin, and numerous other skin-healing products are in clinical trials. The field of skin regeneration is moving in a different direction, Badylak says. Rather than growing skin in Petri dishes in the lab, and then transplanting it onto people, researchers are using the body as a bioreactor and encouraging skin to do what it did during fetal development — regenerate. They want to find out more about how scarring occurs, as well as how it might be stopped.
Cut the skin and it will bleed. And then it will heal. Initially, a clot forms to staunch blood flow, which kicks off a massive inflammatory response. Immune cells flood the region to clear bacteria and debris, while cells called keratinocytes in skin’s outer layer divide rapidly in a race to close the wound and prevent infection. Next, the wound begins to fill. Spindle-shaped cells known as fibroblasts migrate to the damaged area and churn out collagen and other proteins that provide tissue with structure. Within three weeks of the injury occurring, the wound has healed.
But such speedy healing has a major downside. These quick repairs often result in scars, particularly when the wound is deep. In healthy skin, collagen fibres form a lattice. But during wound healing, fibroblasts lay down collagen fibres parallel to each other, which creates tissue that is stiff and weak. That’s because evolution has selected speed over perfection: before the discovery of antibiotics, slow healing would probably have meant acquiring an infection or experiencing prolonged bleeding. “It’s really a matter of survival versus aesthetics,” says Jeff Biernaskie, a stem-cell biologist at the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada.
When such repairs to skin are small, they don’t pose much of a problem. But large scars can be life-changing. Scar tissue “doesn’t have the stretch and the mobility and the range of motion that normal skin does,” says Angela Gibson, a burn surgeon who studies wound healing at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health in Madison. That can be especially problematic when scars cover joints. Imagine, Gibson says, not being able to hold a fork or to raise your arms to wash your hair.
But scarring might not be inevitable. Fetal skin begins to scar only late in gestation, which suggests that human skin possesses at least some regenerative capabilities. All researchers have to do is to work out how to unlock them.
Fetal wounds are not the only wounds that are resistant to scarring. Thomas Leung, a dermatologist at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, noticed that older people often develop thinner scars than do younger adults. To understand why, Leung turned to mice. He and his colleagues compared wound healing in young and old mice by punching holes in the rodents’ ears1. In one-month-old animals, such wounds healed with a thick scar and never closed fully — similar to earring holes in people, Leung says. In 18-month-old mice, which are roughly equivalent to 65-year-old people, healing took longer, but the holes closed completely, and with less scarring. The same observations held for wounds on the backs of the mice.
Fluorescence micrograph of human skin fibroblasts.Credit: Vshyukova/SPL
Leung and his colleagues wondered whether a component of the blood of young mice promotes scar formation. To test the idea, they joined together old and young mice, giving them a shared circulatory system through a surgical technique called parabiosis. The team found that exposure to the blood of young animals caused wounds in elderly mice to scar1. Further experiments revealed the probable culprit: Cxcl12, a gene that encodes a protein called stromal cell-derived factor 1 (SDF1). When the team knocked out SDF1, even wounds in young animals healed with minimal scarring. This discovery suggests a route towards scar-free wound healing in people: suppressing the activity of CXCL12.
In fact, there’s already a drug on the market that interferes with the SDF1 pathway — plerixafor. The drug is used to mobilize stem cells from bone marrow in people with certain types of cancer. Leung and his colleagues hope to test whether plerixafor can minimize the recurrence of keloids — thick, raised scars that tend to keep growing — in a clinical trial. The team is also looking at how SDF1 promotes initial scar formation.
Scarring is a complex process, and SDF1 is only part of the story. Fibroblasts are another prominent player. These cells have long been blamed for scar tissue. “We’ve had this assumption that fibroblasts are all the same,” Biernaskie says. But research in the past five years has revealed that fibroblasts comprise a diverse group of cells, and that some seem to have a larger role in scar formation than do others.
In 2015, Longaker and his colleagues conducted an inventory of the fibroblasts on the skin of a mouse’s back2. When they created a wound on the back, they found that only one of two lineages of fibroblast — expressing homeobox protein engrailed-1 — was responsible for the formation of most scar tissue. And when the team disabled those cells in mice, wounds healed more slowly but also formed less scar tissue, similar to what happened in mice that lack SDF1. Longaker thinks that if he and other researchers can find a way to identify and block the same fibroblasts in people, it might be possible to prompt wound healing to follow a more regenerative pathway. “I would be disappointed if we’re not doing something like that in humans in the next five to seven years,” he says.
Although some fibroblasts are clear drivers of scar formation, other research suggests that fibroblasts also contribute to regenerative healing. About a decade ago, George Cotsarelis, a dermatologist at the Perelman School of Medicine, and his colleagues were trying to develop a mouse model to understand the role of stem cells in hair follicles. Scientists had long thought that when an adult hair follicle is lost, it is gone for ever. But then the team noticed something odd: when they made a large wound on the back of a genetically normal mouse, hair regrew in the middle of the wound3.
Even more strangely, skin around hair follicles seemed to be normal, and a layer of fat formed beneath — something that doesn’t usually occur under scar tissue. In 2017, a team led by Cotsarelis showed in mice that new hair follicles secrete growth factors called bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) that can transform fibroblasts into fat cells4. “The really cool part,” Costarelis says, is that “once you get a hair follicle, it kind of normalizes the skin”.
Human fibroblasts also seem able to make the leap from fibroblast to fat. When the team took such cells from a keloid scar and exposed them to a BMP, or placed them near a BMP-secreting hair follicle, they too turned into fat cells. These findings suggest that it might be possible to prod injured skin towards regeneration rather than scar formation. But translating the work into a treatment protocol poses considerable difficulties, Cotsarelis says. Skin regeneration will require the right signals to be delivered at the right time, and at the right dose. For example, “When hair follicles form, their spacing is determined by gradients of growth factors,” he says. Altering those gradients, even slightly, might alter the follicle pattern or even function. “Precision is really required,” he says.
A more perfect model
The mice in which most research on wound healing is performed differ from people in important ways. Their skin is loose, whereas that of humans is tight. Furthermore, mouse wounds heal by contraction: such wounds pull together rather than filling in. “I don’t know how you can even begin to think you could test something there and then translate it to humans,” Gibson says.
In search of a better model, in 2009, Ashley Seifert, a developmental and regenerative biologist at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, travelled to Kenya and began to study African spiny mice (Acomys kempi and Acomys percivali) — species with a unique defence mechanism. Because their skin tears easily, these mice can escape the jaws of predators. Seifert expected to find that such mice had speedy wound-repair processes or ways of preventing infection. But what he and his colleagues found was much more intriguing: spiny mouse wounds heal relatively scar free5.
The spiny mouse is one of only a few mammalian models of skin regeneration. But such mice provide a comparative framework. Seifert can punch a hole in the ear of a spiny mouse, which regenerates, and another in the ear of a conventional lab mouse, which does not, and then evaluate how the healing process differs. His team is now beginning to define those differences.
Reindeer antler velvet has regenerative properties.Credit: Ron Niebrugge/Alamy
Some seem to involve the immune system. Researchers tend to view inflammation as an impediment to regenerative healing. Accordingly, the difference between scar formation in adults and the fetus might be that adults mount a strong inflammatory response after injury whereas a fetus does not. But a connection between inflammation and regeneration has been difficult to establish. Efforts to prevent scar formation by suppressing inflammation haven’t panned out, Seifert says. And he and his colleagues have found, at least in spiny mice, that inflammation does not preclude regenerative healing. In the wild, these mice mount a strong inflammatory response yet still manage to regenerate skin.
“We know that too much inflammation is bad. And we know that no inflammation isn’t helpful either,” Seifert says. In 2017, he and his colleagues showed that macrophages, immune cells that are a key orchestrator of inflammation that is typically associated with scarring, are also required for regenerative healing in spiny mice6. Now, the team is trying to determine which factors might tip macrophages and other immune cells away from scarring pathways and towards regeneration.
A much larger mammal — reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) — is also providing insight into the regenerative potential of skin. Both male and female animals sprout new antlers each year. The downy velvet that covers the antlers as they grow is remarkably similar to human skin — thick with blood vessels, hair follicles and sebaceous glands. But it differs in one important way. “If we wound the velvet, it regenerates perfectly,” Biernaskie says. “It’s really a beautiful and powerful model for skin healing.”
That capacity for regeneration seems to be inherent to the velvet. Biernaskie and his colleagues are now comparing changes in gene expression during wound healing in two anatomical areas of reindeer — skin on their backs, which doesn’t regenerate, and antler velvet, which does. They hope that the comparison will help them to better understand the signals that prompt velvet to regenerate, and perhaps lead them to treatments that promote regeneration and prevent scarring. “We could start to develop cocktails of drugs where we could mimic those signals,” Biernaskie says.
Bench to bedside
Skin regeneration is still a distant goal, but several companies are working to bring wound-healing therapies to market. The spray-on skin system approved by the Food and Drug Administration earlier this year, and marketed as ReCell by biotechnology company Avita Medical in Valencia, California, is an example of an early success.
To prepare the treatment, surgeons remove a piece of skin about the size of a postage stamp from the patient and douse it with an enzyme that liberates skin’s component cells: fibroblasts, keratinocytes and pigment-producing melanocytes. These cells are then loaded into a nozzled syringe and sprayed onto the patient’s wound. People with burns who require skin grafts typically receive pieces of skin that are harvested from unaffected parts of their bodies. Surgeons take only the top layers of skin to create these grafts, which are known as split-thickness grafts. One clinical trial showed that in people with second-degree burns, which affect both skin’s epidermal and dermal layers, the ReCell therapy works as well as do conventional grafts, but requires much less donor skin7. Although split-thickness grafts can be cut into a mesh that covers an area about three times their size, ReCell can treat skin wounds that are 80 times larger than the donor piece of skin. ReCell can also be combined with meshed grafts to treat deeper burns.
Gibson is testing an alternative treatment for burns, a skin substitute called StrataGraft. It comprises two layers of collagen: a bottom layer that is seeded with human fibroblasts and a top layer that is seeded with cells that give rise to keratinocytes. The therapy originated at the University of Wisconsin, but is now being developed by Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals in Staines-upon-Thames, UK. One of the first clinical trials of StrataGraft, published in 2011, showed that it did not induce an acute immune response8, and the substitute is now being tested in a phase III trial.
Such therapies could be a boon for people with burns. Other companies are working on treatments for tricky-to-heal wounds, such as ulcers in people with diabetes or bedsores. “The market size is just gigantic,” Badylak says. But the main goal of these treatments is to promote better healing, rather than to prompt skin to regenerate. Achieving that next step — scar-free healing — is “a tall order to fill”, Gibson says. However, she is optimistic that if clinicians who treat skin wounds collaborate closely with researchers who are working to understand scarring, the problem can be solved. “That’s when the science will move forward,” she says.
Researchers find drug that enables healing without scarring | News Center
The results were astounding, Longaker said. The healed skin looked completely normal. “There must be three things for wound healing to be true skin regeneration,” Longaker said. “The skin needs to have normal hair follicles and glands, it needs to have a normal appearance under a microscope, and it needs to be just as strong as normal skin.”
“The first thing we were shocked by was the all the hair in the healed wound,” he said. “We were also able to see normal glands and showed that the skin was just as strong as unwounded skin.”
Mascharak developed an artificial intelligence algorithm that compared microscopic images of skin to see if there were subtle differences that the human eye could not pick up. The algorithm was unable to find any differences between normal skin and skin regenerated with the assistance of verteporfin, Longaker said.
“These results are exciting because we have shown that we are able to intervene and stop fibroblasts from sensing mechanical force when healing a skin wound,” Gurtner said. “Now we need to see if the same approach will work in preventing other kinds of scarring.”
It’s possible that many other medical afflictions, such as liver fibrosis, burns, abdominal adhesions, scleroderma and scarring to heart tissue after a heart attack, can be treated with the same approach, he said.
“It’s estimated that 45% of Americans die from a disease that involves scarring in some form,” Longaker said. “So there are potentially many more applications.”
The next stage will be preclinical work in other animals. If those results are successful, a clinical trial could follow, the researchers said.
Other Stanford scientists who contributed to the work are MD-PhD student Heather DesJardins-Park; former postdoctoral scholars Mimi Borrelli, MBBS, Sun Hyung Kwon, PhD, and Alessandra Moore, MD; postdoctoral scholars Michael Davitt, MD, Michael Januszyk, MD, and Kellen Chen, PhD; former California Institute for Regenerative Medicine Scholar Bryan Duoto; medical students Malini Chinta and Abra H. Shen; postdoctoral medical fellow Deshka S. Foster, MD; assistant professor of pathology Gerlinde Wernig, MD; professor of surgery Derrick Wan, MD; and professor of surgery Peter Lorenz, MD.
The work was supported by the National Institutes of Health (grants R01-GM116892, R01GM136659, R01DE027346 and U24-DE26914), the Stinehart/Reed Foundation, the Gunn/Olivier Research Fund and the Hagey Laboratory for Pediatric Regenerative Medicine. Approximately 40% (or about $1.43 million) of the project’s funding came from federal sources, and approximately 60% (about $2.15 million) came from nonfederal sources.
7 Tips for Caring for a Scar
Scars can form on areas of the body for a variety of reasons such as a surgery or something as simple as a skinned knee. As the body works to repair itself, it occasionally results in scarring. The sooner you can try to heal the injury, the better chance you have of a scar being less visible. These tips from the dermatologists at Dermatology & Mohs Surgery Institute can help you heal and disguise current scars you have or any new ones you may get.
Caring for a Wound
Whether a wound has appeared because of a surgery or an injury, it is important to always keep the wound and the area surrounding the wound as clean as possible. This helps to prevent infection. If the wound is from an injury, gently remove any debris from the area first. After it’s cleaned out, wash the area with soap and water to keep the germs out. To help the skin heal properly and hopefully with minimal scarring, use petroleum jelly to keep the wound moist. This prevents a scab from forming. Next, cover the wound with a bandage. A bandage keeps the wound from becoming infected. Be sure to change the bandage daily so you can continue to clean the wound. Once the wound heals there may be apparent scarring. The following tips will help you care for your scar after the initial wound.
Caring for Scars
After a wound has completely healed, scarring may be present. Taking care of your scars is just as important as taking care of the original wound. One tip for taking care of scars is to use a topical ointment. Cocoa butter cream and Vaseline are most often used to help reduce the appearance of scars. Applying the ointment daily will help heal scars but will not make them invisible. Another tip for caring for your scars includes surgery. Surgery will not eliminate the scar but can change its shape or make it less noticeable. Keep in mind that not everyone with scars will qualify for surgery. Additionally, steroid injections may be used to soften the appearance of scars. It may even help reduce the size of the scar and ease itchiness scars often cause. Another option is dermabrasion. Dermabrasion removes the surface of the skin to blend in the irregularities of your scar. Like dermabrasion, laser resurfacing is a similar procedure. It removes less skin than dermabrasion but provides similar results. If you prefer not to go “under the knife” microneedling may be an option for you. Small holes are made into the scar to increase collagen production which will help the scar reduce in appearance. Lastly, cryosurgery can be helpful. In this procedure, the scar is frozen and will reduce itchiness, hardness, and any discoloration. All options for caring for your scars should be examined until you find one or more that you are comfortable with.
Those with scarring can reach out to the dermatologists at Dermatology & Mohs Surgery Institute for clarification on these tips or with any questions they may have about taking care of scars. If you are located in Bloomington, Illinois or the surrounding area, complete this form to get in touch with a dermatologist.
8 Ways to Reduce Scar Formation & Increase Mobility
Scar formation is a natural occurrence after surgery as scars help to strengthen the tissues that are healing. However, too much of a good thing may not actually be beneficial. Scars can become bothersome and limit movement.
Your body has an amazing ability to assist in healing by laying down collagen fibers that make up the substance of a scar. Research shows that scar formation can last up to 1 year after surgery. At first, the fibers are laid down randomly. This causes the scar to become thick and firm. If left this way, the scar becomes very rigid and acts like glue. The scar may stick to muscle, tendons, and even bone. When this happens, you may notice that it is difficult to move the joints near the surgical area. It may also become uncomfortable and painful to put pressure directly on your scar. You may also experience sensitivity to different textures.
Luckily, we have the ability to manipulate scar tissue to decrease the effects of scar adhesion. Although we can’t change the amount of scar tissue our body creates, we can impact the flexibility of the scar. Imagine you had a lump of bread dough on your kitchen counter. This is what your scar is like in the early stages of formation. If you knead the dough or use a rolling pin, you can soften it and thin it out. Likewise, several techniques may be used on your scar as soon as the incision is healed. Try some of the following activities:
- Scar Massage: Apply a small amount of lotion or Vitamin E oil to the scar. Using firm pressure with your thumb or fingers, massage the scar in a circular motion. Next move your thumb across the width and length of the scar. This should not be painful, but may be slightly uncomfortable at first.
- Active Motion: Simply bending and extending the joints closest to your scar will assist in minimizing scar adhesion.
- Retraction: Place your thumb or fingers at the end of your scar. Move the body part in the opposite direction, as you place constant pressure. For example, if the scar is in your palm, place thumb and end of scar closest to your fingers, then bend your wrist backwards.
- Skin Rolling: Start at one end of the scar and pinch the skin between your thumb, index and middle fingers. Now roll the skin back and forth.
- Scar Activities: Consider massaging your scar in the following ways:
- Roll your scar on a golf ball and/or marker with mild to moderate pressure
- Rub scar with a marble.
- Use an electrical massager on/around the scar
- Silicone Scar Pad: Use of 100% silicone gel has been shown to reduce redness and improve the texture of the scar by forming a seal to keep moisture in, promoting greater flexibility. Gel sheets are available at most drug stores. Liquid silicone gel is also effective.
- Scar Sensitivity: If your scar is hypersensitive, gently rub different textures on your scar daily for 2 minutes each. Begin with soft textures (cotton, silk) and progress to rough textures (denim, Velcro, towels). You can also desensitize your scar by immersing the scar in a container of dried rice or pinto beans. Rotate the body part while immersed in the material.
- Sun Sensitivity: Apply sunscreen over your scar to minimize color changes. Your scar is more sensitive to sunlight and may turn a deep purple color without protection. Sunscreen should be applied to the scar for approximately 2 years to reduce the likelihood of discoloration.
If you continue to have issues following surgery, contact your physician to discuss treatment options. You may be referred to the Occupational or Physical Therapy department for an evaluation and treatment to restore the quality of your daily activities. Manual massage and other exercises may be just what you need to regain range of motion and reduce discomfort at your surgical site.
Learn more about the diverse range of therapeutic treatments offered through our Physical and Occupational Therapy clinics.
Managing scars – After Trauma
What is a scar?
Scars are areas of fibrous tissue that replace normal skin or other tissue after injury or surgery. Scarring is a natural part of the healing process of the body. No two scars are the same and each person’s scars heal differently. Your scar may be reddened at first and then settle down to become smoother and paler in colour. It can take up to 12-18 months after your injury or operation for a scar to heal.
A normal scar will become darker initially and after a period of time this will start to fade. Dark scars can remain for years or indefinitely in people with darker skin.
How should I look after my scar following surgery?
- Always wash your hands before touching your scar.
- Pat dry your scar after a bath or shower.
- Use a non-perfumed moisturising cream, preferably with vitamin E, to moisturise the skin surrounding your scar twice a day.
- Avoid picking or scratching your scar.
- Keep clothes loose around your scar to avoid tension or friction which may irritate it.
How can I help my scar to heal?
Eat a balanced diet, especially food rich in vitamins, minerals and protein, such as milk, yoghurt and green leafy vegetables. Also, try to drink at least eight glasses of water a day, unless otherwise advised.
Smoking delays the healing process. Scars in people who smoke do not heal as well as those in people who don’t smoke.
- Protect your scar from sunlight
Your scar is very susceptible to strong sunlight and can burn easily, so please try to avoid exposing your scar to the sun. You should use a very strong sun block (SPF 50 or higher) on your scar for 18 months after the injury/surgery that caused the scar. Afterwards, a normal SPF 30 or higher should be used before going out in strong sunlight. Apply it one hour before going outside and reapply it frequently and generously. Wearing long-sleeved shirts and shorts will also give you some protection. If you have facial scars, wear a hat to shade your face.
Your doctors will advise you when it will be safe to resume exercise before you leave hospital. This also includes what type of exercises you need to take.
Massage your scar
Massaging may relieve itchiness and help to flatten the scar. We advise the use of a non-perfumed moisturising cream as this will help reduce friction on your skin when you massage the area.
What changes might I notice in my scar?
- Scars can itch or tingle from time to time.
- Scars go through a phase of becoming pinker or slightly red.
- You may experience a little numbness in the area of the scar and in some situations this numbness may be permanent.
When should I seek medical advice?
- If your scar is excessively swollen, red or painful or there is discharge or odour.
- If your scar becomes quite raised and itchy.
- If you are concerned about your scar.
Concealing your scar?
You can use cosmetic make-up or skin camouflage cream to disguise your scar, provided it is completely healed. In hospital, you can ask to speak to the scar management clinical nurse specialist for advice.
Scar management and camouflage techniques
Scarring is an inevitable result of the natural healing process that occurs when the skin repairs itself after wounding. As noted above, the scar initially appears red and raised but will usually fade over time. In many patients it will flatten as it matures over a twelve to twenty four month period.
Healing is a long process and unfortunately for some people, as the scar matures, it can become highly visible, especially if it is not managed appropriately. However timely and appropriate care can minimise its appearance.
Management of scars is usually a staged process. Once the wound is closed and healed, good scar management can involve:
- Ensuring the scar is kept clean and well hydrated using a non-perfumed moisturiser. This helps the scar from drying which causes increase itchiness and discomfort.
- Massaging the wounded area. This can help reduce rigidity, desensitise the affected area and improve numbness.
- Use of scar management products such as silicone sheets or gels. This helps in hydrating the scar.
- A pressure garment can help at the initial stage of wound healing when the scar is hypertrophic (ie raised).
- Use of sunscreen SPF 50+ is highly recommended to protect the scar from becoming permanently hyperpigmented (brightly coloured).
- Use of water resistant camouflage products to help conceal the scar during the maturation period which is within 12 to 14 months.
Scar management clinical nurse specialists advise patients on appropriate care and management, and can help with identifying the most suitable camouflage if this is required. Below are some examples of scars pre and post camouflage:
Information on this page has been provided by Flordelyn Selim, Scar Management Clinical Nurse Specialist, Royal London Hospital.
Keloid Scars | Michigan Medicine
A keloid (say “KEE-loyd”) is a scar that grows bigger and wider than the original injury. Keloids most commonly grow on the breastbone, shoulder, upper chest and back, earlobes, and face.
Keloids do not become cancer. But they can be bothersome or painful enough that you seek treatment. Keloids often grow back after treatment.
It’s possible to prevent a keloid from forming if you take steps to protect the skin after it is damaged.
What causes a keloid?
Keloids can form where the skin is damaged, such as by a surgery cut, a piercing, a burn, chickenpox, or acne. Thick tissue grows up and out from the healing area, making the scar bigger than the original injury. For some people, even a scratch can lead to keloids.
Keloids do run in families, and they rarely grow in light-colored skin. Experts think that keloids may be linked to a gene that is linked to dark skin pigment.
What are the symptoms?
Keloids look like firm, raised, hard scars. They grow larger over time. Their colors vary from slightly pink to very dark.
Keloids can rub against your clothes and become irritated, itchy, or painful. When exposed to the sun, they may turn darker than the rest of your skin. The dark color may stay.
How is it treated?
There is no sure cure for keloids, but treatment sometimes improves how they look and feel. It is common for keloids to grow back after treatment.
When trying to treat a keloid, your doctor may need to use more than one type of treatment. Based on a keloid’s size and location, and how soon it is treated, your doctor may:
- Freeze it. This is called cryotherapy. It is best used for small keloids, such as from acne. Cryotherapy can lighten the skin.
- Inject it with medicine.
- A corticosteroid is the most commonly used medicine for reducing keloids. It is most likely to work well with cryotherapy or right after surgery.
- Other medicines may improve keloids. These include verapamil, fluorouracil, bleomycin, and interferon alfa-2b shots. They are not as well studied as corticosteroid shots, but your doctor may recommend trying one. They are most likely to work when used with another treatment.
- Cut it away. Surgery is sometimes used to remove larger keloids. But removing keloids can lead to more keloids. So it’s important to treat the area after surgery. Treatment may include laser or medicine injections.
- Cover the area with a silicone gel bandage after surgery. You can buy these at most drugstores. Keep the silicone bandage on the skin for 12 to 24 hours a day for 2 to 6 months. Your doctor will tell you when you can stop treatment.
- Keep pressure on it with a wrap or bandage.
Radiation tends to be reserved as a last option for treating keloids. There is a chance that it can cause cancer.
Your health insurance may cover some keloid treatments, but not others. Your treatment also may not be covered if the insurance company thinks it’s being done only to improve how the scar looks (cosmetic reasons).
How can you prevent keloids?
If you tend to get keloids, it’s best to avoid body piercings, tattoos, or any surgery you do not need. Keloids can grow after these procedures.
To prevent keloids after a minor skin injury, start treating it right away. This may help it heal faster and with less scarring. Using the following tips to treat the area may help prevent keloid growth.
- Cover a new wound with a thin layer of petroleum jelly, such as Vaseline, and a nonstick bandage. Hold the bandage in place with tape so that there is even pressure on the wound. Wash the area with soap and water every day.
- After a wound is healed over, use a silicone gel bandage. Keep even pressure on the area. This may prevent keloid growth. Keep the bandage on the skin for 12 to 24 hours a day for 2 to 3 months. (It takes 3 months for a keloid to grow).
- After ear piercing, use pressure earrings. These are also called Zimmer splints.
Tips for healing surgical scars
This article is part of the Complete Guide to Wound Care.
Whether it’s a rough tumble onto the pavement or a deep cut with a kitchen knife, there’s always a chance for scarring when you damage your skin during the healing process.
The same risk of scarring is there when you have surgery (matter how skilled your surgeon is) because your surgeon can’t control all of the factors—such as your age, race, genetics, chronic illness, and size/depth of your scar—that will impact your healing. That’s why post-surgery scarring and how you heal is typically so different from person to person.
Your scar will continue to change and grow during your entire recovery process. Inflammation is the first stage of scar healing. During this short initial period, your incision will be tender, red, and swollen.
Inflammation is followed by proliferation, and this is the longer phase during which your body repairs your skin. Remodeling comes after proliferation, and this is when your scar becomes more mature.
Good incision care
Though scar will fade as time goes by, proper wound care from day one after you have surgery will lessen your chance for complications from infection and impact how your scar appears after it finishes healing.
Your surgeon may recommend other treatments to heal your incision. Options like silicone wound treatment gels, steroid injections, massage, and prescription medications can help make your scar less visible, but there are also things you can do on your own, too.
How to prevent and minimize scarring
Smoking: Smoking slows healing and increases your risk for scarring so much that surgeons always strongly recommend that patients quit before surgery.
Sleep and rest: Avoid exhaustion.Getting enough rest will help your body do the work of healing.
Alcohol: Surgeons also advise patients to avoid caffeinated beverages and alcohol because these drinks dehydrate your body and skin.
Nutrition: Your surgeon may also recommend that you eat healthy foods and increase your protein intake because protein helps your skin heal.
Weight: If you’re overweight, try to work on improving your health because fat found under your skin can keep your surgeon from closing your incision seamlessly, and this may increase your risk of scarring.
Activity: Avoid movements that may risk pulling your incision apart and reopening your wound.
Sunlight exposure: Cover your incision while it is healing because getting a sunburn may darken your scar. During the first year after your surgery, keep your scar away from sunlight by wearing protective clothing or using at least a 35 SPF sunscreen after it’s healed.
Infection Good wound care will prevent infection and lessen your chance of scarring after surgery. If you notice signs of an infection, contact your surgeon immediately.
Bathing: Follow your surgeon’s instructions for showering. You may need to use a waterproof dressing for the first few times you take a shower. Whatever you do, avoid soaking in a bath or putting soap on your wound until your incision is healed, and take care when patting it dry.
If you’ve had surgery and are concerned about wound healing and scarring, Logansport Memorial Wound Care Center can help.
For more information about the Center and the services provided locally, call (574) 753-1331 or visit our website.
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90,000 types, stages and methods of treatment
Diseases affecting the rate of healing of scratches and abrasions
If first aid for abrasions is provided correctly, healing usually proceeds without complications. But there are situations when a scratch on an arm, face or body does not heal for a long time – it looks inflamed for more than 3-5 days, is painful to the touch, bleeds, a ichor and pus are released from it. Some diseases can lead to such complications:
- diabetes mellitus;
It has also been noticed that modern remedies, for example, creams that heal wounds and abrasions, do not always have the expected effect if the patient has a low level of hemoglobin in the blood, the immune system is greatly weakened after a previous illness, lack of vitamins and minerals, exhaustion.
Treating and treating abrasions and scrapes on the arm, body or face
The sooner first aid is provided, the lower the risk of germs entering the wound. Required:
- Wash damaged skin with cold boiled water with baby or antibacterial soap.
- Blot the abrasion with a sterile gauze pad.
- Apply wound healing cream to hand, body or face.
- Apply a sterile swab, fix it with a bandage. You can also cover the scratch with a germicidal plaster.
If the wound or scratch does not heal for a long time, it hurts, you need to consult your doctor about taking antibiotics. In some situations, the patient is prescribed laboratory tests in order to establish the true cause of the slow healing of abrasions on the face, limbs, and trunk.
To accelerate the healing of scratches and abrasions, it is important to follow all medical recommendations, timely change the sterile dressing, and reduce physical activity. It also makes sense to use special wound-healing creams that have a regenerating effect, for example, “Bepanten Plus”.
Provitamin B5, which is part of the product, has proven its effectiveness in the healing of abrasions, skin irritations, cracks, minor burns, and chronic ulcers. The antiseptic chlorhexidine in Bepanten Plus cream is responsible for the destruction of bacteria usually present on the skin or getting on it as a result of wound contamination.
Features of healing of abrasions on the face
Not knowing how to quickly cure scratches on the face, some begin to mask the skin defect with the help of cosmetics – powder, foundation, all kinds of correctors. Doctors do not recommend doing this, especially in the first days after injury. The components that make up the cosmetics can slow down the process of skin regeneration, prevent the applied wound-healing creams from acting in full force.
It is necessary to wait until the abrasion on the face is covered with a thin scab, and only then resort to tonal foundations.
“After hospitalization in Bakulevka, the child has all his hands in scars from catheters, and in Germany even a scar healed from probing”
My daughter was born with a complex heart defect. We had two operations in Bakulevka, but one more was required. In Bakulevka, they were ready to operate on us, but they said that the chances of a successful outcome are only 20%. And one doctor tete-a-tete advised me to look for clinics abroad (in Germany or the States). But at first we started to contact Israeli clinics through intermediaries.From the announced prices, I just lost the gift of speech and began to look for options in Germany on my own and through charitable foundations. First, we wrote to the Berlin Heart Center, but they did not give any guarantee. And we turned to the Center for Heart and Diabetes at the Ruhr University in Bochum. A charitable foundation helped us find this clinic. They invited us for an examination. The Center at the Ruhr University issued us an invoice for € 36.5 thousand (the Berlin Heart Center asked for € 49 thousand), and we made a 100% advance payment (€ 20 thousand).we collected € 16 thousand – funds). Moreover, the Berlin Center does not return the money, and Ruhrski immediately warned that the possible balance would be returned to us. So, by the way, it happened, and the second time we came to this clinic for examination already free of charge.
The operation was successful. There was a very welcoming atmosphere, the child quickly and easily recovered from anesthesia. He had no fear at the sight of doctors, and the seam turned out to be very beautiful. After hospitalization in Bakulevka, the child has all the catheter scars on his hands, and in Germany even the scar from the probing healed.I remember how the catheter was inserted: the child was given an injection, she fell asleep, and the catheter was placed in the operating room – the femoral one – right during the probing. I saw other cases when doctors were unable to insert the catheter the first time, but at the same time they always gave the child a sedative. I was impressed by the postoperative care: five people are watching the child in the intensive care unit, a nurse is attached to you. The director of the children’s department himself does an ultrasound scan for each child.
You can find many clinics on the Internet yourself.And intermediaries work with a limited number of hospitals and, as a rule, with the most expensive ones. When choosing a place of treatment, I would advise you to clarify the statistics of these operations in a particular clinic. For me, the death rate was important. Our clinic gave me a figure of 3%. In the States – 1%. But it was necessary to fly there, and the child could not move the road.
Surgery (Burn department) – Novosibirsk regional hospital
Surgery (Burn department) – Novosibirsk regional hospital
Can I sunbathe after suffering a burn?
Undesirable for at least one year after the burn.
Ultraviolet light can stimulate the growth of scar tissue.
Burn with plant sap (cow parsnip), cement, medicines (Dimexidum, fastum-gel, etc.), what is it?
Strictly speaking, this is not a burn, but dermatitis (toxic or allergic). For treatment, you should consult a dermatologist.
Can I lubricate burned areas with grease or oil immediately after a burn?
Do not, the fatty film will slow down the cooling of heated skin, and the burn may deepen.The burnt areas must be cooled as early as possible, preferably with running water.
Can burned areas be lubricated with KMnO4 solution (potassium permanganate)?
Before being examined by a doctor, this should not be done, as it will cause a change in the color of the victim’s skin and complicate the diagnosis.
Do scars (scars) always remain after a burn?
No not always. After burns of I and II degrees, scars, as a rule, do not occur.After burns of III and IV degrees, scars remain.
Is a skin graft always necessary after a burn?
No not always. It is often possible to heal a burn wound without surgery. But if the wound does not heal for a long time, surgical intervention is necessary.
What is a skin grafting operation for burns?
With a special tool, the top layer of skin in intact areas is removed and placed on the wound.The thickness of the removed layer is 0.2-0.4 mm. When closing wounds of a large area, special cuts (perforations) are made on the skin flap, which allow it to be stretched 2-3 times. The area from which the skin was taken heals on its own.
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90,000 Long-term wound healing – causes of occurrence, in what diseases it occurs, diagnosis and treatment methods
The information in this section cannot be used for self-diagnosis and self-medication.In case of pain or other exacerbation of the disease, diagnostic tests should be prescribed only by the attending physician. For a diagnosis and correct prescription of treatment, you should contact your doctor.
Long-term wound healing: causes, diagnosis and treatment methods
Regeneration (restoration) of skin and tissues is an important and complex physiological process. It depends on the area and depth of damage, concomitant diseases and many other factors.
Long-term non-healing wounds bring significant discomfort to everyday life, since they are accompanied by pain, swelling, discharge of clear liquid, blood or pus from the wound, an unpleasant odor from the wound, and a feeling of fullness in the damaged area.
Varieties of non-healing wounds
Depending on the cause of the occurrence, all long-term non-healing wounds can be divided into traumatic (resulting from mechanical injury, burns, etc.) and trophic (resulting from circulatory disorders in the affected area).
Possible causes of prolonged wound healing
Prolonged wound healing is a symptom of many pathological conditions characterized by disruption of the normal physiological processes of tissue regeneration.
Factors affecting wound healing:
- Age has a direct influence on the process of tissue repair. In children, wounds heal much faster than in older people. This is due to the more active metabolism in the child’s body compared to adults.
- Body weight affects metabolic processes in the body. Adipose tissue does not need intensive blood circulation, therefore, an increase in its amount several times relative to the norm (obesity) leads to a slowdown in tissue regeneration and frequent complications of the course of the wound process. With extremely low body weight, a slowdown in metabolism in the body is observed due to a decrease in the amount of energy, therefore, all wounds heal more slowly.
- Adequate blood circulation in the damaged area provides the tissue with sufficient nutrients and oxygen to regenerate.Insufficient flow of arterial blood and impaired outflow of venous blood significantly slow down the course of the wound process and contribute to the development of various complications. Prolonged squeezing of tissues when in a forced position (for example, in bedridden patients) leads to the development of pressure ulcers, which are also characterized by prolonged healing.
- Wound infection disrupts the regeneration process due to the active multiplication of microorganisms, their effect on tissues and constant activation of a pronounced inflammatory process.A large amount of purulent exudate is formed, areas of necrosis are formed and general intoxication increases.
- The adequacy of the inflammatory response and the body’s ability to resist the attachment of a secondary infection depend on the state of immunity.
- Concomitant diseases, such as diabetes mellitus, severe infections, disorders in the hematopoietic system, heart and respiratory failure, slow down regeneration by disrupting the formation and delivery of necessary substances to the wound area, as well as removing toxic metabolic products from the body.
- The use of certain drugs and treatments can have a significant impact on the normal course of the wound healing process. Thus, the uncontrolled use of painkillers (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) can lead to a slowdown in regeneration due to the suppression of inflammatory processes that normally occur in any wound. The use of radiation and chemotherapy can also cause delayed wound healing, since not only tumor cells die, but also cells responsible for tissue regeneration.At the same time, the malignant tumor itself takes a large amount of nutrients for its growth, which negatively affects all processes in the body.
Diseases leading to long-term wound healing:
- Chronic venous insufficiency (also manifested by varicose veins) is one of the most common causes of non-healing leg wounds. The venous outflow from the lower extremities and the delivery of nutrients to the tissues are impaired, hypoxia increases (a decrease in the flow of oxygen to the tissues).Subsequently, metabolic disorders occur in the tissues and long-term non-healing trophic ulcers are formed.
People suffering from chronic venous insufficiency require constant careful skin care, and in the event of a trophic ulcer, prevention of an increase in the wound surface and its infection.
- Atherosclerosis of the arteries leads to the closure of the lumen of the vessels and a decrease in the flow of oxygen to the tissues. In atherosclerosis, the metabolic processes of proteins and fats in the body are disrupted, the vascular wall is damaged with the accumulation of cells in its layers filled with protein-cholesterol complexes.In the future, the damaged vessel grows with connective tissue. The arteries become stiff and rigid. Conditions arise for the formation of blood clots (blood clots) in the lumen of the vessels, which disrupts tissue nutrition and leads to a long wound healing process.
- Diabetes mellitus is an endocrine disease characterized by an imbalance in the delivery of glucose and its use in the body. When blood glucose levels are high, the vascular wall is damaged and many systems malfunction.
With diabetes mellitus, any wounds heal for a long time, even the smallest.
Most dangerous are wounds located in the area of the foot. These wounds are often the result of accidental minor injuries. Chronic or non-healing wounds in diabetes mellitus are characterized by impaired growth of the epithelium (the upper layer of the skin) and prolonged inflammation.
- Chronic heart failure occurs with various heart diseases, can develop imperceptibly for many years.The work of the heart gradually deteriorates, edema and the need to increase the concentration of oxygen in the blood appear, then shortness of breath, palpitations.
There is a slowdown in blood flow and a decrease in the flow of oxygen and nutrients to the tissues.
Swelling also slows down the process of tissue regeneration.
- Anemia is a decrease in the number of red blood cells (erythrocytes) and hemoglobin in the blood. The disease is characterized by oxygen starvation of tissues.
- Cancer is another reason for prolonged wound healing. The tumor grows and takes on a part of the circulating blood with all the nutrients and oxygen. Also, with tumors, intoxication syndrome is often present, which affects all processes in the body, including the process of tissue regeneration. At present, chemotherapy and radiation therapy are widely used in the treatment of oncological diseases. Both methods have long-term non-healing wounds as a side effect.
- Chronic lung diseases are accompanied by impaired gas exchange in them. As a result of this pathological process, oxygen saturation of hemoglobin worsens, oxygen transport to tissues decreases, which slows down wound healing.
- Because of immune problems, wounds heal very poorly in HIV patients.
Which doctors should I contact for prolonged wound healing
Long-term healing of wounds forces the patient to seek medical help.First of all, a consultation with a surgeon is required. If you have chronic diseases, you may need a consultation
Diagnostics and examinations for long-term wound healing
In most cases, the doctor will prescribe the necessary set of laboratory and instrumental research methods.
- Clinical blood test: general analysis with platelet count, leukoformula, ESR (with microscopy of a blood smear in the presence of pathological changes).
What to do with prolonged wound healing
- Consult a specialist – self-treatment can lead to irreversible consequences, up to the loss of a limb or the development of sepsis.
- Provide a nutritious diet with sufficient essential nutrients and micronutrients, taking into account the presence of co-morbid conditions such as diabetes mellitus.
- Limit alcohol and smoking. Both bad habits cause vasospasm, disrupting blood circulation in the wound area.
- In the absence of contraindications, moderate physical activity to normalize blood circulation.
Treatment for long-term wound healing
Independent attempts to treat long-term non-healing wounds are in many cases unsuccessful and can worsen the prognosis of the disease.
If signs of inflammation appear: pain, swelling, redness and a rise in the temperature of the surrounding tissues, the outflow of pus and blood, you should seek medical help.
After examination, the doctor will perform a surgical treatment of the wound, give recommendations on how to perform dressings. According to the doctor’s prescription, you can use special healing dressings, apply antibacterial and regenerating ointments. In some cases, a course of treatment with platelet-rich blood plasma is prescribed (growth factors are released from platelets, which promote wound healing). In difficult cases, the surgeon may recommend autodermoplasty – an operation to transplant your own skin flap into the wound area.
- S.V. Petrov General surgery: textbook. 4th ed., Rev. and add. – M. GEOTAR-Media, 2014.832 p.
- Prosyannikova N.V., Lipova N.E., Pokrovsky K.A., Tarasenko G.N. Modern methods of treatment of long-term non-healing skin wounds. Russian Journal of Skin and Venereal Diseases. No. 6, 2012. P. 47–51.
The information in this section cannot be used for self-diagnosis and self-medication.In case of pain or other exacerbation of the disease, diagnostic tests should be prescribed only by the attending physician. For a diagnosis and correct prescription of treatment, you should contact your doctor.
Information checked by an expert
Lishova Ekaterina Alexandrovna
Higher medical education, work experience – 19 years
90,000 Scientists have figured out how to heal wounds without scars.As if they never existed | by Funscience
We all have a scar that we regret. After a surgery, a bad shave, or a fall from a bike, it doesn’t matter. I want to get rid of this.
The magic wand for existing scars has not yet been invented, but now we have the opportunity to heal fresh wounds so that they turn into ordinary skin, rather than a scar. Previously, this was considered impossible in mammals. “Basically, we can manipulate wound healing so that it regenerates the skin rather than scarring,” said team member George Cozzarelis, chair of the Department of Dermatology at the University of Pennsylvania last year.
“The secret is to first regenerate the hair follicles, after which the fat will be regenerated in response to signals from these follicles.”
Wondering why scar tissue looks different from normal skin? Because it does not contain fat cells and hair follicles.
If you carry out the healing process with the help of adipocytes – fat cells, over time, the healing site will simply merge with the rest of the skin without a trace.
But scar tissue is almost entirely composed of cells called myofibroblasts, and contains no fat cells at all.Thus, instead of penetrating the surrounding tissues, it looks completely different after healing.
The same goes for aging skin: with age, we lose our adipocytes, which leads to discoloration and deep, irreversible wrinkles.
But scientists have found that existing myofibroblasts can actually be converted into adipocytes, suggesting that as the wound heals, scar tissue will turn into regenerated skin – something that scientists believe is only possible in fish and amphibians.
“The results show that we have a little time after injury to influence the tissue so that it regenerates rather than scarring,” said one of the teams, Maxim Plikus of the University of California, Irvine.
Previous research by the group has shown that fat cells and hair follicles develop separately in regenerating skin, but not independently – and hair follicles will always develop first.
Suspecting that hair follicle growth actually promotes the growth of fat cells in regenerating skin, the researchers wanted to see what would happen if they caused hair follicles to grow in newly formed scar tissue in mice and in skin samples grown in the laboratory.
This is something that would never have happened in nature because there are no hair follicles in the scar tissue.
They found that hair follicles released a signaling protein called Bone Morphogenetic Protein (BMP) as soon as they started to form, and this actually turned myofibroblasts into adipocytes.
“Previously, myofibroblasts were considered incapable of becoming another type of cell,” says Kotsarelis.
“But our work shows that we are able to influence these cells and that they can be efficiently and stably converted into adipocytes.”
It is important to remember that the experiment is just a proof of concept at this stage. It has been shown to work on mice and human skin samples, but it is quite different to achieve the growth of a hair follicle in a wound on a living person.
But this is very important, because until recently scientists thought that the transformation of myofibroblasts into adipocytes was biologically impossible in mammals.
If the team can somehow replicate the results in a human trial: for example, figuring out how to manipulate a morphogenetic protein in bone in scar tissue, this could lead to entirely new ways of healing wounds that would be indistinguishable from naturally regenerated skin.
We still have a lot to learn about the largest organ in the human body.
Hopefully some of this knowledge will lead to a treatment in the future that will help wounds heal without scarring, that would be really cool.
Prepared specifically for the project Science from Fansaens
How to get rid of scars at home once and for all? Tattoos covering scars. Peeling: acid movement
Scars can result from any kind of injury to the skin – burns, cuts, surgery, and even a pimple.Fortunately, today there are a huge number of methods to get rid of them. However, first you have to understand what kind of scar is lurking on the skin. Indeed, due to a number of factors (individual reaction of the body, the depth of damage, etc.), they are not the same – scars differ in appearance. For example, normotrophic scars are whitish, flat and do not change the relief of the skin. Atrophic – flabby, located below the surrounding tissues. In contrast, hypertrophic scars protrude above the surface of the skin and are usually pink in color.Keloids, as a rule, bulge strongly: they are clearly delineated, elastic, with an uneven surface. They differ from the rest of the scars by their ability to grow constantly, as a result of which the volume of the scar can be several times the size of the wound.
Cryodestruction: fast freezing
You may be surprised, but some scars – keloid and hypertrophic – can be frozen. This method is called “cryodestruction”. The procedure is as follows. A special applicator is moistened in a coolant (usually liquid nitrogen is used) and pressed several times against the scar until icy drizzle forms around it.The freezing and thawing phases are very painful, so the operation is performed under anesthesia. After deep cooling, the treated skin area swells greatly, becomes wet and looks like a burn bladder. After a few days, it becomes covered with a dry crust, which in most cases disappears after a week. In place of the scab, a pink scar remains, which eventually becomes almost invisible.
To achieve the maximum cosmetic effect, ice treatments often have to be repeated 2-3 times.
Filling: additional volume
Atrophic scars, as if drowning in the skin, can be filled with collagen, adipose tissue taken from other areas of the body, or special preparations with hyaluronic acid, which are used to increase the volume of lips, cheekbones, cheeks, chin. After local anesthesia, several subcutaneous microinjections are made into the area of the scar, and it is instantly pulled up to the level of nearby tissues. Unfortunately, the cosmetic effect does not last long.None of the “fillers” can permanently get rid of a scar. They only fill the voids in the skin for a while, and then they are absorbed and excreted from the body.
On average, the result of collagen injections lasts for 3-6 months. Gels with hyaluronic acid last from 6 months to a year, and adipose tissue – from six months to one and a half years. After the product has dissipated, the procedure can be repeated.
Dermabrasion: erase at the root
In the fight against hypertrophic scars that have taken root in the deep layers of the dermis, the dermabrasion method is used.With special rotating brushes, or cutters, the specialist grinds the scar tissue. There is little pleasant in this procedure, therefore it is carried out under anesthesia. If you are afraid of the sight of blood, it is better to close your eyes. Scarlet spots will certainly appear, because the specialist will remove not only the epidermis, but also the upper layer of the dermis. Fortunately, it does not take long to “bleed”. It stops after 10-30 minutes. Over time, a scab appears on the site of the worn out skin, which disappears after a week. After that, the scar becomes almost invisible.Until the crust forms, the wound needs to be looked after so as not to infect. You may need to make bandages. The most unpleasant moment of dermabrasion is that it can aggravate a visible skin defect.
Keep in mind: if the scar is wider at the base, then after the procedure it will become more pronounced.
Microdermabrasion: delicate grinding
An alternative to dermabrasion can be microdermabrasion – a more gentle procedure. But with its help, it is possible to change the appearance of only those scars that have appeared as a result of injuries affecting the upper layer of the skin, for example, shallow atrophic or normotrophic ones.In this case, alumina powder is used as exfoliating particles. A stream of crystals is directed to the scar zone, which polish the surface layers of the epidermis. The process takes place so rapidly that it does not even have time to deliver unpleasant sensations. But this is not the only positive point. With such grinding, the risk of earning a bacterial infection is minimized, since all materials are disposable. In addition, abrasive particles are often used in combination with oxygen, which has an antibacterial effect and promotes rapid skin regeneration.To obtain the best result, a course of procedures will be required, which makes sense to carry out in 7-10 days, during which time a new layer of skin is formed.
Be prepared for unforeseen expenses. Most likely, you will have to spend money on needleless mesotherapy sessions using anti-scar serums. But an integrated approach provides a truly magical result.
Laser: release steam
The skin is 70% water – this feature allows you to correct scars using lasers.In the treated area, the temperature rises to several hundred degrees, and the heated layer of skin instantly turns into steam. In this case, you cannot do without preliminary anesthesia. Erbium and CO2 lasers are widely used in the fight against scars. When resurfacing with the latter, the epidermis is removed almost to the entire depth and the dermis heats up, as a result of which an active synthesis of collagen occurs. Erbium works more delicately. It penetrates only one thousandth of a millimeter and grinds the surface layers of the epidermis without thermal damage to the surrounding tissues.In this case, the thermal effect does not apply to the dermis, and therefore, collagen is not synthesized so actively.
There is no consensus among experts as to which of the lasers is preferable. Some believe that CO2 has a better effect on deep hypertrophic and atrophic scars, while others note that after erbium resurfacing, the skin heals faster and fewer complications are observed. In any case, these procedures are non-contact, so the wound is sterile.
Peeling: acid movement
Surface peeling with glycolic acid is used to correct small normotrophic and atrophic scars.It works at the level of the epidermis. Gently penetrates the skin without injuring it, and exfoliates keratinized scales. As a result, old cells are destroyed, and young ones begin to work actively, creating new tissue. In the fight against deep scars, medium and deep peels with trichloroacetic or phenolic acid are necessary. They dissolve the epidermis and cause necrosis of the surface layers of the dermis. The skin in the treated area darkens and becomes crusty. Then comes the healing phase. The restorative mechanisms of cell life are triggered, enhanced collagen synthesis occurs, as a result of which the scar depth decreases.
To achieve the maximum effect, experts recommend several mid-peelings with an interval of 1-3 months. But, before doing this, it is necessary to undergo a course of superficial peels, which will adjust the skin for the procedure.
Surgical: go under the knife
One of the radical ways to deal with scars is to visit a surgeon. This method is suitable for the correction of all types of scars except keloids. The latter often give relapses. If the scar is not wide, it can be excised and an intradermal cosmetic suture applied.As a result, only a barely noticeable thread-like mark will remain from the scar. Scars of impressive size are eliminated with the help of plastic surgery with skin grafts. The damaged area is excised and a skin flap taken from the healthy area of the patient is implanted in its place.
As an alternative method, operations are performed with silicone bags or tissue expanders. Such a structure is sewn under the skin next to the scar and periodically added to it with sterile saline to increase the volume.The pouch grows, and with it the skin stretches. When a sufficient surplus of healthy tissue is formed, the slipper is removed, the scar is excised, and the edges of the skin are sutured.
Ekaterina Pozdeeva, director of clinical work of the Linline network of laser medicine clinics:
It is difficult to say when is optimal for scar correction. Some experts believe that it is necessary to remove the scar no later than a month from the moment of injury. Others are sure that it is possible to effectively fight only with formed scars, which are more than a year old.At the same time, both sides are unanimous in the opinion that much depends on the localization of the wound, the blood supply in its walls, the nature of the damage, its extent and characteristics of the patient: age, heredity, tissue immunity.
Women respect male scars, but they do not perceive skin defects on their face or body so optimistically and carefully hide them under makeup and clothes.
The question – how to get rid of the charms of acne, after surgery, burns, cuts and other injuries, is relevant for 80% of the fairer sex.There are many ways – from simple and affordable ones that can be used at home, to high-tech procedures performed in cosmetology offices and surgical cliques.
Simple and proven recipes of traditional medicine
Smoothness of the skin has been attractive at all times, so there are many proven remedies and methods in the collection of traditional medicine. However, all of them are most effective for eliminating skin defects of minor size and depth, resulting from household cuts and burns, after chickenpox and acne.
The safest home remedies
The safest way to get rid of scars at home is with the foods that are in every kitchen:
- Grind dry peas in a blender or buy ready-made pea flour. Pour it with warm milk in equal proportions and knead the dough. Apply a pea compress to the lesion on the skin, leave it on for an hour. Repeat every day until the scar is gone.
- Grind white cabbage into gruel, add honey (a tablespoon of honey for three cabbage leaves).Apply compresses twice a day for two hours. Good for fresh acne marks, scratches, small cuts.
- Finely chop melon seeds and egg shells taken in equal proportions and dilute with olive or flaxseed oil to make the mass mushy. Apply to affected areas for at least an hour daily.
- To get rid of the charms after acne, wipe your face with a cucumber and do cucumber masks, gradually the complexion will even out.
- Cover minor defects from household burns on your hands with banana pulp while relaxing or watching TV several times a day.
- Regularly wipe the area with the old darkened scar with a piece of lemon, gradually it will become invisible.
- Rub with a slice of raw potato to remove acne and acne scars.
Vegetable oils in the fight against the effects of trauma and burns
The oil obtained from plants is ideal for getting rid of scars and scars at home, as it has a structure similar to human skin.
Prepare an ointment from two glasses of unrefined vegetable oil (preferably olive oil) and 100 g of beeswax. To do this, put the oil in a water bath, heat it up, then add the wax and continue heating, stirring occasionally, to dissolve the wax. Apply the cooled mass twice a day. Suitable for removing postoperative scars, cuts, deep scratches.
Flaxseed oil is rich in vitamin A and alpha-tocopherol, making it an effective remedy for quick relief from burn scars, especially fresh ones.It can be applied neat directly to the skin by simply lubricating scars or using compresses. The addition of sea buckthorn oil enhances the healing effect of fresh scars (for 100 ml of linseed oil, 50 ml of sea buckthorn oil).
Coconut oil can be used not only for hair, but also as an effective and safe weapon for scars at home. If the scar is old, then it is recommended to rub it a little with a washcloth or make a scrub before the procedure. Then just rub the remedy into the desired place until it is completely absorbed.It is advisable to do this at least twice a day. Suitable for the face after chickenpox and acne.
Traditional methods and new possibilities of surgery
If scars and scars appeared as a result of serious injuries, accidents or burns and represent extensive skin lesions, folk methods and gels will not help here. Modern medicine offers several types of radical disposal of scars, even old ones formed many years ago.
90,104 scars are based on excision of scar tissue followed by a cosmetic suture.As a result, a thin strip remains, which, with proper care, can become almost invisible. In case of extensive lesions, for example, on the face, body, hands, a transplant of healthy tissue from inconspicuous areas is used.
Laser scar removal
is carried out in several ways, depending on the nature of the origin, size and condition of the scar. The laser destroys the collagen fibers that form the scar. Several procedures are required to get the result.
is a tool used to remove scar tissue under local anesthesia.The result depends on the initial state of the scar; with shallow lesions, the scars disappear without a trace.
Some types of scars are removed by the introduction of absorbable drugs. Clinics often offer Fermenkol, a Russian drug from the Kamchatka crab hepatopancreas for administration by electrophoresis or microcurrents.
Injection therapy is suitable for the elimination of scars (including retracted ones) after trauma, burns, appendicitis removal and other operations. For injections, Longidaza, Lidaza, hormonal drugs are most often used.The injections prevent the formation of connective tissue and reduce its volume.
Folk remedies can be used at your own discretion, but it is better to decide how to get rid of a scar in a clinic right away together with a good specialist in a trusted center.
Sometimes it happens that your own body is no longer happy. And the reason is not at all in physical form or ideals of appearance. The thing is that, for whatever reason, scars or scars have appeared on it.
Can the scar be removed
Removal of scars is a delicate issue related to both medicine and cosmetology.For a long time, it was almost impossible to get rid of the scar once and for all. But now cosmetologists are able to correct any flaw in the body. Modern medicine provides more than one way to get rid of scars. Among them are:
- Surgical intervention. It is a plastic surgery to remove scars or scars by excising them. This method is painful, with a long rehabilitation period. And not always with the result that is expected.
- The simplest and most affordable – ointments for resorption of scars.Unfortunately, they only work well on fresh scars. If your scar is more than 5 years old, it is unlikely that it will completely dissolve.
- Cryodestruction of scars. Removal of scars with liquid nitrogen. The procedure is present and provided in many clinics or beauty parlors. However, it is highly undesirable. The scars after it do not disappear completely, but are smoothed out and spread wider.
- Chemical peeling. The procedure is more suitable for getting rid of small scars left, for example, from pimples.
- Removal by laser. One of the most delicate and precise operations to remove stitches on the body.
How to remove acne scars
In order to remove acne scars from the face, a peeling procedure is most suitable. The result is achieved in several sessions. It cleans the upper layer of the epidermis from old cells, helping to regenerate new ones. As a result of the skin renewal process, acne scars will gradually disappear.
There are several types of peeling:
- chemical: carried out with acids;
- laser: almost painless procedure, with a rehabilitation period of a couple of days;
- Coral: Based on the addition of coral chips to the peeling mixture.
The application of one or another type of peeling depends on the condition of your skin, as well as the density and age of the scars.
Laser scars or scars are best removed. In the clinic, under the supervision of a doctor.
The laser removal procedure is divided into two types:
- Laser treatment. With its help, the scar is converted into a normal skin. The treatment process is an impulse effect on the mutilated area of the skin, as a result of which it softens and compares to the skin.
- Erbium laser resurfacing. That is, layer-by-layer scar removal. This method allows you to remove any kind of scars.
Has a number of advantages:
- it is possible to remove any kind of scar;
- already after the first procedure, the result is visible;
- allowed to carry out the procedure in the decollete area, neck, face;
- as a result of the operation, the tissue around is not damaged;
- procedure does not require special preparation, suitable for all skin types;
- absence of a difficult postoperative period.
The number of procedures will directly depend on how badly the skin is damaged. Experts recommend not to rush to get the result and go to it gradually, making the intervals between procedures a month or two long.
Contraindications include: sunburn, diabetes, cancer, pregnancy.
Tattoo covering scars
Not every scar can be easily removed, and sometimes the procedure is so expensive that not everyone can master it.Another way to get rid of the annoying scar is to cover it with a tattoo. It is reliable, but not for everyone. Not everyone is ready to put a drawing on their body that will have to be worn all their life. However, those who nevertheless decided on such a thing should get down to business seriously.
First you need to decide on the pattern. The master can make any sketch for you according to your wishes. A good tattoo artist will always tell you worthwhile options and help you decide. After the preparation is over, you can proceed directly to transferring the pattern to the body.
How to disguise a scar
Scars for girls are sometimes worse than an atomic war. But you don’t want to decorate your body with a tattoo, especially if it’s on your face. And the operation is even worse. Then nothing remains but to disguise it with the help of cosmetics. It is worth considering that this method can work only with small scars, but not with rough scars or postoperative stitches.
To work on the scar you will need:
- set for applying makeup.
First, cleanse the scar with toner. Apply a primer to help hide the scar. Next, use a concealer. It will correct the scar. After the concealer is a little dry, use a sponge to remove any excess by simply blotting the scar. And the final step is to apply the foundation. Remember that for the best effect, it must be matched exactly to your skin tone.
How to remove scars at home
It is completely impossible to get rid of a scar at home.You can smoothen the scar a little or lighten it, making it less visible. Even if you decide to deal with this issue on your own, resorting to grandmother’s recipes, still consult your doctor.
Check out some ways to remove a scar at home:
- Bodyaga will help to dissolve the scar.
- Ointments helping skin regeneration. The most common “Contractubex”.
- Small scars can be helped (jojoba, rosemary, almond).
- Use different kinds of masks. For example, from scarlet leaves. Just squeeze the juice out of them, let it brew for a day. Apply to the scar a couple of times a day. Or a mask with honey and. You will need 1 tbsp. l. of each product, stir, ready to use. The mask should be kept for about an hour.
Scar removal: before and after photos
We present to your attention photos of scars before and after various procedures.
Laser elimination of scars
Scar masking with cosmetics
Scars can appear on any part of the body and as a result of many influences: temperature (burns, frostbite), mechanical (surgery, cut), physiological (acne, acne), etc.And if the scars of men decorate, then the girls, after finding such a defect on their skin, are everywhere looking for a way to get rid of the scars. This is what we are going to talk about today.
Salon and medical procedures
Doctors cannot yet agree on when it is easier to remove scars: some believe that while they are still fresh, that is, no later than a month, some believe that the scar must first heal, that is, a year after the appearance.
In any case, experts agree on one thing: before getting rid of a scar on the face and other parts of the body, it is necessary to consider a number of factors.These include the size of the lesion, its depth, localization, cause of occurrence, as well as the age, individual characteristics and heredity of the patient.
Exposing the scar to cold (usually liquid nitrogen) for 1-3 sessions can remove the scar. First, it becomes covered with an ice film, then the skin swells and grows, like a burn, after a couple of days, a dry crust appears, which soon disappears, leaving behind a pink trail that merges with the surrounding skin over time.
The procedure is performed in the presence of anesthesia.
- Scar filling
This procedure is suitable for you if the scars you would like to get rid of are burrowing in the skin, for example, if you are looking for a way to remove cut scars. Scars are filled with collagen, hyaluronic acid or own adipose tissue taken from other places. The result is noticeable instantly, but it does not last forever. Usually, a second procedure is necessary after six months, but the effect may persist for 1.5 years.
How to remove old scars medically? Erase at the root. The procedure is as follows: the patient is anesthetized, and then the scar tissue is grinded with rotating brushes. In this case, blood is inevitably released and the deep layers of the skin are touched.
After the procedure, the skin must be regularly disinfected to avoid blood poisoning, after a while a crust will appear, which falls off within a week and leaves behind the skin with practically no initial signs of scar.
The most radical method of getting rid of scars is surgical. It is suitable for all types of scars except keloids. After the operation, at the site of the scar, of course, not ideal even skin will remain, but a thin threadlike trace.
To correct extensive scars, skin from a healthy area of the patient or a silicone bag is transplanted in their place.
Is it possible to remove deep scars in this way, the doctor decides.
How to remove scars at home
Despite the fact that usually the treatment of scars and scars at home is based on the use of natural ingredients, they should be handled with the utmost care and work according to the instructions.
- Green clay and rosemary oil
Prepare the following ointment: Mix 1 teaspoon of clay powder with 3 drops of oil and the amount of water necessary to form a not too liquid gruel. Apply the composition to the scarred area for 15-20 minutes, then rinse with water.
Regularity of the procedure: every 3 days. Lubricate the skin with rosemary oil 6 times a day between applying the ointment.
- Apple cider vinegar
Fruit acids, such as those found in apple cider vinegar, can help as home remedies to remove scars and scars.Vinegar itself is too aggressive, so dilute it with clean water in a 1: 3 ratio before use. Soak a gauze or handkerchief in the solution and apply to the scar (s) for 10 minutes.
This ointment can be purchased at the pharmacy for little money. Lubricate scarred areas with a thin layer. Helps with getting rid of keloid scars. Before getting rid of scars with hydrocortisone ointment at home, it will not be superfluous to consult a doctor, since it has contraindications.It is also not recommended to use it for more than a week.
Regularity of the procedure: 3 times a day.
Bulky scars can be tried to be sanded down. We are talking about home peels using natural products: salt, soda, badyagi, algae.
Wet, or rather steam, the scarred skin and rub one of the selected products into it. Rough materials can easily damage your skin, so be careful and gentle with your skin.
Badiaga is sold in pharmacies in the form of an ointment or powder, which must first be diluted with water. It improves blood circulation, which is used to heal bruises and visible capillaries.
Regularity of the procedure: once a week.
- Oil use
Essential oils help fight, perhaps, with all skin imperfections, it all depends on which oil to choose.
One of the following essential oils can help you to get rid of scars at home:
- Tea tree;
- Grape seeds;
- Wheat germ oil;
- Sea buckthorn;
The main advantages of this method of removing scars at home are their low cost and the possibility of long-term treatment.
The ideal mixing ratio is 30 drops of base oil to 1 drop of essential oil. The product should stay on the skin for at least half an hour, then you can wipe it off with a napkin or rinse it off with warm water.
Regularity of the procedure: once a day.
If you are interested in how to remove scars from cuts on your arm or face, it is very convenient to make weekly masks.
Ripe banana puree, apply for 10 minutes and rinse with water. The same fruit acids that were mentioned earlier go into battle.
The aloe Vera plant is also famous for its healing effects on the skin. How to lighten a scar with it? Quite simply, keep the aloe leaves on the scarred skin for 15 minutes several times a day. You can also squeeze juice from the leaves or make gruel, it all depends on your convenience.
The action of the oatmeal and kefir mask is aimed at getting rid of acne and acne scars. Although more of a scrub than a mask, it is also suitable for sensitive skin.
For cooking you will need 50 ml of kefir and 1 table.a spoonful of oatmeal, you can pre-grind them in a blender.
Wait 10 minutes until the flakes swell and apply the mask all over the face or pointwise on problem areas. Rinse off with water after 10 minutes.
Regularity of the procedure: 2 times a week for 2 months.
How to remove chickenpox scars
A separate story with scars after chickenpox, they appear mainly if a person experiences smallpox in adulthood or if he scratches the skin a lot, this is typical for children.
It is advisable to start home treatment as soon as the chickenpox pimples crust over and disappear.
Pharmaceutical gel containing onion extract, which heals the wound. On fresh scars, the gel should be applied in a thin layer, rubbing in movements. Apply on the old one with a margin and leave for 6-12 hours, at this time, avoid the sun’s rays and temperature effects.
Any medical product has analogs and contraindications, so before buying it is best to consult a doctor so that you do not have to pay twice in the end.
If the scars are shallow and not so numerous, cocoa butter can be used to remove chickenpox scars on the face. How? – you ask. It is enough just to rub it on the affected skin several times a day. This product will accelerate cell regeneration, reduce inflammation and tighten the skin.
Actually cosmetic, medical and home remedies, how to remove a scar from a burn, cut, disease, etc. many, but you should choose them carefully and taking into account your skin.Do not hesitate to heal if the scars bother you very much. It is possible that by waiting you are complicating the future process of treatment more and more.
Hello, dear friends, you are on the site. Enjoy reading! Everyone has more than once encountered injuries, wounds, and cuts, after which noticeable scars remain. Scars and scars on the body give men masculinity, but they do not decorate the female body at all.
Small scars left after abrasions or acne may not cause inconvenience to their owners, but large postoperative scars, scars that are in prominent places, can cause a lot of worries and embarrassment for the fair sex.How to get rid of old scars? More details below.
Getting rid of old scars is a long and difficult process. To get rid of them completely, you can only resort to plastic surgery, which involves the transplantation of a part of the skin. Sometimes a small portion of the scar will dry out and become much narrower and less visible. The operation is performed in a hospital, under local or general anesthesia. As a rule, the rehabilitation period in this case is no more than a month.
There are other methods of getting rid of.
The choice of treatment method largely depends on the origin and depth of skin lesions (choose one method or a combination). One of the most common is dermobrazich (chemical peeling). This method involves removing a layer of skin (top layer) with special milling brushes. This method allows you to completely get rid of small scars. However, this procedure is very painful and traumatic, since some of the capillaries are removed along with the upper layer of the skin, which can cause bleeding.
Less painful method – microdermabrasion
. With it, the treatment of the damaged area of the skin is done not so deeply and does not affect the blood vessels. This method is most effective in treating acne scars. It is strongly not recommended to carry out this procedure at home. It should only be carried out by a specialist in the beauty parlor in the salon.
Laser resurfacing can help get rid of old scars.
Its action resembles a peeling.This procedure is performed to get rid of shallow scars.
Sometimes it can be removed with special ointments and creams
(available in pharmacies without a prescription), which are absorbable.