Scars

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Question

Are there any treatments for scars?

Answer

Scars are the tough, fibrous tissues that replace normal skin during the natural process of healing. They may form as a result of acne, surgery, burns, or other injury. Fortunately, the appearance of scars improves over time. Frequently scars start out thick and pink in color, then shrink and fade to a whiter color over a period of several months.

Many people use herbal, over-the-counter, and prescription products to treat scars, but few have been proven to noticeably improve the appearance of scars. There are also surgical methods including laser surgery and surgical scar removal that may help in some situations.

Alternative therapies for scars

There are alternative therapies to treat scars and help lighten and lessen the appearance of them. Scars themselves are the tough, fibrous tissues that replace normal skin during the natural process of healing. Scars can occur as a result of acne, surgery, burns, or other injury.

Applying vitamin E and cocoa butter in the form of cream, lotion, or oil to scars can help keep the skin soft and pliable. Although there is no evidence that these products lessen the appearance of scars, they may help prevent hard scar tissue from forming. Some people have also used vitamin K creams to reduce the appearance scars. But, there is no proof that these creams are effective for this purpose.

Over-the-counter treatments for scars

There are over-the-counter treatment scars to lessen their appearance. You can try a product called Mederma«, which may help soften scars and make them less noticeable. It's a combination of onion extract and allantoin in a gel base that is applied directly to the scar and the skin around it. Mederma« can help improve the appearance of both new and existing scars. For new scars, you should begin treatment as soon as the wound heals. Apply and massage Mederma« three to four times a day for eight weeks. For existing scars, you should apply the product three to four times daily for up to six months.

Silicone scar sheets

Silicone gel sheeting (ScarAway«) is another over-the-counter option for scars. Silicone gel sheeting may improve the thickness, color, and texture of scars. These products are particularly helpful for treating thick scars. You apply silicone gel sheeting to the scar for 8 to 24 hours per day. Keep in mind that it may take several months to see improvement. Although early treatment is ideal, silicone gel sheeting may still be beneficial for older scars.

Prescription treatments for scars

The prescription medicine tretinoin (Retin-A« and Renova«) may improve the appearance of scars. In one study of 28 people with acne scars, the scarring showed obvious improvement when treated with tretinoin 0.05% cream twice weekly for three months. Be aware of increased sun sensitivity while on these products. For thick scars, your doctor may inject your scar with steroids such as triamcinolone (Kenalog«). These injections are given at regular intervals every 4 to 6 weeks. For scars that have a sunken appearance, your doctor may inject substances such as collagen or silicone into the scar to improve its appearance. There are also surgical methods including laser surgery and surgical scar removal that may help in some situations.

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