A fall down the stairs, a car accident or surgery: many of life’s events leave their marks as small or large scars. Nearly everybody has one or even more scars to remind him or her of such situations. Scars may not only cause discomfort and pain or hinder mobility, but can also reduce self-confidence particularly when located on visible parts of the body.
How do scars form?
Different types of scars
Hypertrophic scarHypertrophic scars appear red and raised and can be itchy. They are characterized by an excess of collagen which is caused by a dysregulated healing process. Hypertrophic scars raise above the surrounding skin level but are limited to the original wound area.
Keloid scarSimilarly to hypertrophic scars, keloids appear red and raised and also exhibit an excessive amount of collagen. However, unlike hypertrophic scars, keloids extend beyond the original wound area. Keloids impact quality of life as they can interfere with movement, cause pain and itching. They are more likely to develop among people with darker skin type and they do not resolve or fade with time.
Atrophic scarAtrophic scars are characterised by recesses or pits in the skin and are most often formed as a result of acne or certain illnesses such as chickenpox. Histologically they are characterized by a loss of collagen in the dermis.
What are the risk factors?
How to reduce the risk of scarring
Scars are formed in the last phase of wound healing. In order to reduce the risk of unsightly scars and ensure a safe and fast healing, it is recommended to follow some basic wound care principles:
- Wound cleansing: As infections may increase the risk of abnormal scarring, always make sure that the wound is properly cleansed from particles, dirt and bacteria. Use the Elastoplast Wound Spray to cleanse the wound pain-free.
- Wound protection: Make sure the wound is covered with an appropriate plaster or sterile wound dressing from Elastoplast. This will protect the wound from germs and bacteria which might enter the wound, delay wound healing and possibly cause wound infection.
- Moist wound healing: To reduce the risk of scarring and support a faster wound healing, experts recommend moist healing conditions. Apply the Elastoplast Wound Healing Ointment to create optimal healing conditions and support a fast wound healing with reduced risk of scarring.
Also note the following tips to additionally prevent scars:
- Protect wounds and newly formed scars from the sun rays.
- Do not expose wounds and newly formed scars to extreme temperatures.
- Avoid exercises or activities that cause tension to the scar tissue.
How to treat and reduce scars
As scars are often perceived as unattractive and can significantly impact quality of life, we often seek to reduce or hide their appearance. In the event of severe scarring, there are a number of medical procedures that can be performed by dermatologists, surgeons, and other medical experts. More invasive techniques can involve corticosteroid injections, chemical peels for keloid reduction, or surgery, among others.
Also, the visibility of scars can often be aided with non-invasive, topical products such as the Elastolast Scar Reducer. This product is clinically proven and helps to flatten, lighten and soften scar tissue. Clinical studies have shown a positive trend in visible scar reduction when used on raised and coloured scars for 8 consecutive weeks for at least 12h a day.
Always see a doctor if the wound is deep, bleeds heavily or shows signs of infection like reddening, swelling or warmth.
Although compiled with great care, please note that the tips and advice given on this website by no means substitute medical advice and treatment. If you have or suspect a health problem, consult a doctor and follow medical advice regardless of what you have learned on this website.
Always read carefully and follow the instructions for use or the leaflets of our products. For further information about our products, please contact us via email at Hansaplast@Beiersdorf.com