Reduce scars

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You may not erase them completely but you can learn to live with them.

Scars are a girl’s worst nightmare. Worse than a cheating boyfriend. You can rid the boyfriend for good but scars? They become a part of you, the “ugly part” you’d never willingly agree to show the world. Despite what the advertisers may tell you, there is no product that can remove that pit off your face nor give you a clean slate; at least for those deep pitted scars that usually appear after a bad bout of acne or chickenpox. Flat scars or those with no obvious dents might be possibly lightened and healed completely. And even then, it’s not for everybody and it takes time. How fast a scar heals depends on a whole lot of factors like whether you’ve exposed it to the sun, picked at it incessantly, and used the correct skincare. What you eat – your nutrition intake – also counts towards the scar recuperation.

People get scars from many reasons; from cuts to injuries, from infections to diseases like chickenpox. If you had a bad bout of acne before, you might have a couple of scars to show too. When you have a cut to the skin, for example, the body repairs this damage to the dermis with collagen fibres within, forming a scar. This scar texture will differ from the rest of the tissues; thus, scars often stand out because they look different from the rest of your skin. The typical healing time for a scar is about a year, and that would also depend on how deep the scar is and how well it heals. How a scar would look in the end is anybody’s guess. It depends on factors that range from the severity of the scars to the constitution and age of the person. Common types of scars are as follows:

Flat scars are the least problematic except for its colour. This type of scars is levelled with the skin (not gravelled in or protruding) but they may appear in a different tone such as pink, white or tan. This happens when the new collagen that forms the scar has a lack of pigmentation resulting in it being white for example. Usually if the scar is not big, it can easily be touched up with makeup.

Indented scars are scars that are pitted in or sunken. These are usually the by-products of a serious acne breakout, diseases such as chicken pox, and some surgery. These scars are indented because the skin’s underlying structures are damaged; thus they don’t heal as well as other types of scars. Scars such as these are the most difficult to conceal and repair.

Raised or keloid scars are the exact opposite of indented scars in that they are raised. These scars occur because of excess collagen that is produced during healing. Too much collagen means that younger people as opposed to older folks (depleting collagen) are more prone to such form of scarring.

Most of us have some form of scarring since young. Some of these scars lighten over time till they’re unnoticeable. Some others may be harder to ignore because we see them every day when we look in the mirror. Though scars cannot be removed completely much as we want to, they can be lightened and minimised with dermatology procedures.

Dermabrasion or microdermabrasion is a process that aesthetic doctors do to even out the surface of your scar so that your skin looks and feels smoother. Dermabrasion is carried out with special equipment. The treatment is suitable for scars like keloid scars although it is also used to treat minor scars from surgery or acne breakouts. Dermabrasion involves removing the skin’s top layer to reveal smoother and even skin.

Chemical peels similarly are used to even complexions and reduce wrinkles and pigmentation problems. A chemical application is applied to the face and when the top layer is peeled and removed, new skin is revealed. Types of chemical peels vary; there are fruit acid peels such as alpha hydroxyl acids (AHA) or glycolic acids and beta hydroxyl acid peels among many others. A burning sensation is usually felt by the patient but it is bearable.

As scary as the name may sound, Laser resurfacing is perhaps one of the more effective scar treatments around. Lasers or high energy light are used to burn the top layer of the skin to reveal new, baby skin beneath. The older forms of lasers would often result in the patient’s skin being burned quite deeply, resulting in certain downtime for the patient. However, newer technologies like the non-ablative lasers work by stimulating collagen production from underneath the skin without damaging the skin’s surface. Thus, patients might feel a mild redness only and better skin conditions would surface in the next few days. This method as per others mentioned above might need a few sessions, depending on the severity of the scars, for effects to be visible.

Fillers are injections of collagen, fat (your own), hyaluronic acid to fill up your scar. These can help to raise pitted scars up such that they are even with the rest of the skin. Fillers can be temporary or permanent; temporary fillers usually last from a couple of months to a few years depending on what’s being used. Filler injections are popular because no downtime is required; most are able to go back to work after a lunchtime filler session for instance. Some however may feel mild redness and swelling. A little makeup can then be used to conceal it.

Various dermatology treatments are available if your scars bother you but these often do not yield permanent or immediate results say for laser resurfacing for example. Many sessions are necessary and that means a deep pocket is needed too if you want to undertake treatment. On top of such treatments, you might also note to take care of your scar by topical application of creams and lotions such as vitamin E and to also stay out of the sun so as to prevent pigmentation. While the scar is healing, some have reported that regular topical application & massage of vitamin E can help to speed up the scar’s recovery. In addition, taking vitamin E supplements during healing may also help.

Taking care of your scar while it is healing as well as making sure you’re fed with the right nutrition could contribute to strengthening your immune system and helping your skin to generate the necessary nutrients like collagen to help in the scar recovery. Skilful application of makeup may also help to conceal your scars. What is more important also is the attitude: take them with a pinch of salt and do not give them too much attention than they are due.

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