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Scars are a common problem. How to prevent scarring and what treatments you want to avoid.

Scars are a common problem. How to prevent scarring and what treatments you want to avoid.

Scars are extraordinarily frequent, however there are methods to deal with — and forestall — scars while you get a severe wound. Here is what you need to do.


Many sufferers seek out their local Emergency Department throughout the nation every day for administration of open wounds that normally embrace main closure with both sutures or staples. Open wounds make up approximately 4.5% of ER visits annually. We see the majority of this quantity within the hotter months of the spring and summer season when persons are spending extra time outdoors.

Wound administration for my sufferers entails a number of complicated decisions. Within the ER, I’ve to resolve which kind of wound closure materials to decide on – steri-strips, glue, staples or sutures – based mostly on the wound location, measurement and stage of contamination. If I select sutures, there are further choices together with measurement, thickness and absorbability. Sufferers are then instructed to return to the ER at a later date – once more, relying on the placement of the wound – to have the suture materials eliminated.

Know earlier than you go: The dos and don’ts of going to the ER

These are all crucial steps in wound administration within the ER. However maybe an equally necessary step, and one usually missed, is prevention and remedy of scar formation.

How do scars kind?

Pores and skin is the biggest organ within the physique and an necessary a part of the immune system as a protecting barrier in opposition to germs similar to micro organism. When it’s broken, our physique generates collagen protein to shut the wound and shield us from an infection.

Whereas aesthetically unpleasing, a scar is the physique’s pure method of therapeutic and changing misplaced or broken pores and skin. Scarring doesn’t at all times happen and depends on a number of components:

  • Measurement, severity and the placement of the preliminary wound
  • Whether or not you obtained immediate care together with stitches for the wound or let it shut by itself
  • Presence of an infection
  • Age, genes, ethnicity and general well being or presence of different medical issues like diabetes and hypertension

The first distinction between a scar and the tissue it replaces is the alignment. Whereas each characteristic collagen, scar tissue collagen is much less organized in a single route whereas the unique tissue had a extra complicated basket weave-type formation. Scar tissue collagen can be thicker and discolored.

The best way to stop scars

Initially, clear the wound when the damage occurs. Faucet water by itself is ample to scrub the wound. Keep away from extra poisonous, tissue-damaging antiseptics like hydrogen peroxide or alcohol.

Everybody places hydrogen peroxide on their wounds: They really shouldn’t.

Second, search medical consideration. Sutures, or stitches, to shut bigger wounds can reduce the danger of scar formation. As will treating with oral antibiotics in case your physician thinks the wound was contaminated and liable to an infection. I wish to keep away from topical antibiotics like Neosporin in my sufferers given {that a} not insignificant variety of them develop allergic contact dermatitis from its use.

Scar remedy: What is the newest?

So, you sought instant medical consideration, received some sutures and your wound is therapeutic effectively with out an infection. Nevertheless it seems like there’s a scar forming. Or you suffered a wound damage months in the past and there’s nonetheless a scar. What are you able to do?

First, keep in mind that scars can proceed to fade for as much as two years. After that point, sadly although, it’s unlikely there’ll further pure change in scar look.

Keep away from merchandise containing topical vitamin E. Lengthy-considered a well-liked addition to topical lotions to deal with scars, a number of research have constantly demonstrated that topical vitamin E is ineffective and may trigger contact dermatitis – irritation and itchiness on the scar web site – in roughly one-third of people that use it and should find yourself worsening the scar look.

Hold it easy and apply Vaseline with sunscreen. Scar tissue is extra prone to alterations in look by UV mild than regular pores and skin tissue so sunscreen is a should if you’re involved with the scar’s look. Each Vaseline and Aquaphor will shield the pores and skin and maintain the scar tissue hydrated.

It’s unattainable to take away scars fully with out extra superior surgical methods. However there are numerous so-called scar lotions to think about in the marketplace that may assist reduce the looks of a scar. There’s a scarcity of high-quality research to independently consider these lotions, however anecdotally merchandise with a few of the following energetic elements have garnered a number of constructive reactions:

  • Allantoin
  • Allicin
  • Panthenol

Silicone dioxide sheets soften and flatten scars and do have constant help within the analysis literature. These sheets mimic the pure pores and skin barrier to entice moisture in opposition to the pores and skin’s floor. This hydration, in flip, reduces the itching related to scars.

Extra intense remedy choices embrace dermabrasion, corticosteroid injections, laser remedy, cryotherapy, dermal fillers or scar-revision surgical procedure. Contemplate a seek the advice of with a dermatologist to discover these extra superior alternate options.

The underside line? Scar formation is a pure course of to exchange broken tissue. Scars can proceed to fade over years. Follow a mixture of plain Vaseline and sunscreen or silicone sheets to maintain scar tissue hydrated and shielded from UV rays that may additional alter its look. Keep away from merchandise with topical vitamin E – there’s no proof it really works and should trigger contact dermatitis on the web site. Seek the advice of your dermatologist for extra superior remedy choices.

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Michael Daignault, MD, is a board-certified ER physician in Los Angeles. He studied International Well being at Georgetown College and has a Medical Diploma from Ben-Gurion College. He accomplished his residency coaching in emergency drugs at Lincoln Medical Heart within the South Bronx. He’s additionally a former United States Peace Corps Volunteer. Discover him on Instagram @dr.daignault

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