Scars can be painful reminders of a traumatic injury. While scar tissue is a natural process, many individuals are uncomfortable or embarrassed about prominent scars. By following the tips below, avoiding scars can be easy.
1. Keep Your Injury Clean
Smaller cuts and scrapes, without proper cleaning, can result in visible scars. Proper wound care, such as gently washing the surrounding area with water and a mild cleansing agent, can not only prevent infection but also minimize the risk of scarring. Part of the scarring process is scabbing forming over your wound. A scab is a natural way to protect the injury from further damage or infection. After you’ve cleaned the wound, consider using a thin layer of petroleum jelly to keep your skin moist and prevent scab formation. This moisturizing process may go a long way toward avoiding scars.
2. Protect Your Injury
A clean wound, whether from surgery or an accidental injury, can become infected or form scar tissue without proper protection. After you’ve covered your wound with petroleum jelly, an adhesive bandage can further promote scar healing. While preventing scars and promoting healing, remember to routinely change your bandages. Since continuously changing adhesive bandages can cause your skin to become irritated or inflamed, consider using hydrogel sheets, silicone gel or paper tape and gauze pads.
3. Follow Your Doctor’s Instructions for Stitches
The techniques for avoiding scars may change if your wound requires stitches. Washing, covering and protecting your injury will necessitate unique steps. Ask your doctor about proper wound care and scar prevention for your injury involving stitches. Improper care of sutures can cause your injury to become infected, to promote further scar tissue or to damage the stitches. These considerations also apply to larger wounds. If you have a large gash or a wound requiring stitches, ask your doctor about ways to prevent scar tissue while still promoting a healthy healing process and avoiding scars.
4. Use Sunscreen to Promote a Faster Fade
As your injury is healing and new skin is growing, it’s particularly susceptible to sun damage. Scar tissue may initially discolor your skin with red or brown tones. Apply sunscreen as new skin forms over your injury. Choose a product with SPF 30 or higher. Be sure to apply sunscreen frequently, but stop immediately if it becomes painful or causes inflammation around your injury.
Of course, every injury is unique, so the most effective steps to take for avoiding scars may vary. Certain injuries, such as larger scrapes on your knees and elbows, are more likely to form scars. Others, like minor cuts, are more likely to heal with smooth, flawless skin.
These steps for preventing scars are simple ways to encourage natural skin growth and prevent scar tissue from forming on most minor cuts and scrapes. However, if these steps aren’t working, or you need a more powerful, professional way to reduce your scar visibility, contact Windsor Dermatology. As the best dermatologists in New Jersey, we’re happy to help you find effective solutions for your particular scar tissue. Whether you need advice on an old scar or want help for properly healing your current injury and avoiding scars, schedule an appointment today for friendly and efficient dermatology services.