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  • How Does Scar Reduction Work?

How Does Scar Reduction Work?

  • Neodyne
  • March 14, 2022

When faced with a wound or injury, your body begins the miraculous process of healing itself. Damaged skin is gradually replaced by new tissue that covers up the original wound and protects against infection. While this can be a great way to protect your body from further harm, the body’s natural healing process can also lead to the development of scars. 

Scar tissue can develop in response to things like an injury, a burn, or surgery. And, while some scars may be so small they’re barely noticeable, other scars can have a significant impact on one’s quality of life. Conditions such as keloid scars can expand beyond the site of the original wound and potentially contribute to future health problems or limited mobility. 

The good news is that you have options when it comes to treating scars. Scar reduction treatment describes an array of methods that can be employed to prevent scar tissue formation or reduce existing scar tissue. To learn more about scars and scar reduction treatment, read this article from top to bottom. Alternatively, you can use the links below to jump to any section in the article.

Can A Scar Be Reduced?

Yes, with the appropriate treatment method, the size and prominence of a scar can be reduced. While a scar can never be completely eliminated, the size, texture, and color of the scar can potentially be altered as a result of treatment. 

Some types of scar reduction treatment methods focus on minimizing the amount of scar tissue that develops as a wound heals. Controlling the healing site has the potential to significantly reduce the amount of scar tissue that develops, which can prevent large, raised scars from forming on your skin. At the same time, other scar reduction treatment methods are geared towards treating fully developed scars and altering their size or appearance. 

Why Do We Scar?

In order to better understand how scar reduction treatment works, it may help to start by understanding scars themselves and why they form. Scars can develop for different reasons, but always as a response to physical trauma. Injuries, wounds, burns, and surgical procedures are all incidences that commonly lead to scarring. Scarring is part of your body’s natural healing process and the size and shape of a given scar will depend both on the type of trauma you’ve sustained and your body’s particular immune response.

All scars are the result of cells dividing and producing collagen. This creates what we know to be scar tissue, which protects a wound from external germs and bacteria. However, different types of scars can develop as a result of this process. Some common scar types include: 

  • Contracture: Contracture scars often arise as a result of burns and they can cause the skin to tighten. This can affect muscles, joints, and tendons, and negatively impact movement. 
  • Depressed or atrophic: Atrophic scars typically appear as small indentations spread across the skin. This type of scar is often present on the face and can stem from acne or chickenpox. 
  • Flat: Flat scars are typically pink or red and will often be raised on the skin after they first develop. This type of scar tends to flatten out over time, yet darker or lighter discoloration will likely remain. 
  • Keloid: Keloid scars are characterized by raised clumps of tissue that expand beyond the site of the original wound. Keloid scars form due to an overly aggressive response from the body’s immune system and, in some cases, can be painful and negatively impact movement. 
  • Raised or hypertrophic: Hypertrophic scars are raised, thick patches of tissue, similar to keloid scars. However, hypertrophic scars don’t extend beyond the site of the original wound. 
  • Stretch marks: Stretch marks are caused when the skin quickly expands or shrinks. Stretch marks can be caused by things such as pregnancies, changes during puberty, abrupt muscle gains, and rapid weight gain or weight loss. These sudden changes can damage connective tissues in the skin, which in turn leads to stretch marks. 

The most effective scar repair method will likely depend on the type of scar you have. If you’re not sure what type of scar reduction treatment is right for you, use our personalized treatment tool to get a better idea of the right solution for your circumstances. 

Scar Reduction Treatments

When it comes to scar reduction treatments, there are a wide variety of available options. The best scar treatment option will ultimately depend on the type of scar you have, how developed your scar is, and your own personal preferences. Continue reading for a detailed look at several common scar reduction treatments. 

Dermabrasion

Dermabrasion is a procedure that uses a specialized device to sand the outer layers of skin around a scar. This can help with the appearance of scars by making the affected area appear smoother and softer. Dermabrasion is commonly used to treat acne scars but can treat scars stemming from other injuries as well. 

While dermabrasion is a versatile treatment, it has drawbacks as well. For instance, if you’re on the older side, then it might take a little longer to recover from the procedure. Factors such as your skin type and medical history can impact the effectiveness of dermabrasion. 

If you have a dark complexion, then dermabrasion can potentially cause permanent discoloration of your skin. Additionally, if you have ongoing acne or have experienced chemical burns or radiation treatments, the dermabrasion procedure presents a risk of infection that may outweigh the benefits it provides. 

Injection

Certain medications—such as corticosteroids, bleomycin, and fluorouracil—can be injected into a scar to alter its size and appearance. In some cases, medicated injections may also be used to provide relief from pain or itching related to a scar. 

Keep in mind that medications such as corticosteroids may come with certain side effects. Some potential side effects of steroid treatments include weight gain, mood swings, muscle fatigue, and acne, to name a few. 

Laser treatments

Laser treatment, also known as laser skin resurfacing, is a scar reduction procedure that uses concentrated beams of light to remove the outermost layers of your skin. Laser treatments utilize certain wavelengths of light to target blood vessels or disrupt excess collagen fibers that cause scars to become discolored or raised. Proper laser treatment can make the color of a scar less pronounced and flatten its appearance. This type of treatment may also be used to treat scars that are painful, itchy, or otherwise sensitive. 

Laser scar reduction treatment isn’t the best option for everyone. Those with very dark complexions, sagging skin, pronounced wrinkles, or acne may experience adverse effects as a result of this procedure. 

Pressure therapy

Pressure therapy treatment involves applying regular pressure to a wound through the course of the healing process. Pressure can be applied via tight-fitting garments such as elastic bandage wraps, compression sleeves, and compression stockings. Compression therapy can prevent a scar from becoming raised and minimize its size overall. 

In addition to wearing specialized compression garments, massage therapy can be effective in reducing the size of scars. Massages during the healing process can help to prevent scar tissue buildup and improve skin elasticity. 

Scar-revision surgery

In some cases, surgery may be the best solution when it comes to altering or removing a scar. Procedures such as skin grafts and tissue expansion can be used to improve the appearance of scar tissue. Scar-revision surgery may be used to treat especially large or deep scars, as well as remove keloid scars that have grown to be problematic. 

Topical creams and ointments

Topical creams and ointments can be used as a non-invasive scar reduction treatment. Items such as silicone scar cream and corticosteroid ointments can minimize scar growth. Silicone creams in particular work by preventing collagen overgrowth, thereby addressing the root cause of scarring. These creams and ointments may also contain other ingredients that hydrate the skin and soothe the area surrounding the wound. 

Another topical option for scar reduction treatment is embrace®. With embrace®, you can effectively minimize scar tissue formation by applying our pre-stressed dressing to the site of the healing wound. Our Stress-Shield™ technology helps to control the injury site throughout the healing process, resulting in a lighter, smoother scar. 

Scar Healing Tips

While scar reduction treatment can go a long way in altering the size and shape of a scar, proper care during healing is also necessary. While your scar heals, it’s essential to look after your scar and your physical health in general if you want to minimize the scar’s impact. Below, we share some of our top tips for managing your scar while it heals.

How to manage your scar as it heals: 

  • Wash your hands and follow good hygiene practices before you touch your scar. 
  • Resist the urge to scratch, pick at, or disturb your scar in any way. Even if it itches, leave it alone while it heals. 
  • If your clothing must come into contact with your scar, make sure clothing items are loose and light so that they don’t irritate the scar. As we mentioned above, compression garments may be used in pressure therapy, but speak to your doctor before wrapping your scar in tight-fitting clothing. 
  • Carefully pat your scar dry after bathing. 
  • Apply a moisturizing cream containing vitamin E to the area surrounding the wound site on a daily basis.

How to optimize scar healing results:

  • Maintain a healthy diet: A balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins enables your body to perform at its best. Following a healthy diet and drinking plenty of water can give your immune system the boost it needs to properly heal around the site of the wound. 
  • Exercise regularly: Exercise benefits your physical health, immune system, and mental health. If you’ve recently undergone surgery or sustained a major injury, consult with your doctor before exercising to make sure it’s safe. 
  • Massage your scar: As we mentioned above, regular massages during the healing process can help prevent scar tissue buildup and improve skin elasticity. You don’t even need to visit a masseuse—instead, you can gently massage the area around your scar to break up scar tissue and relieve itchiness. Consider using a moisturizing cream as you massage around the scar. 
  • Avoid smoking: Smoking can negatively impact the healing process, which can complicate scarring. Avoid smoking during the healing process to achieve optimal results. 
  • Keep your scar out of the sun: Scars are vulnerable to burns and this can further damage your skin. To prevent sunburns, make sure to regularly apply sunscreen before going outside, even on cloudy days. While your scar is in the healing process, use SPF 50+ sunscreen to protect it. 

Following these tips can help minimize the size and discoloration of your scar as it heals. Additionally, following proper hygiene practices will lower the risk that your wound becomes infected. Infections can lead to more serious health problems, so, whether you’re dealing with liposuction scars or mommy makeover scars, make sure to take care of yourself during the healing process. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How common are scars?

Scars themselves are extremely common. Almost everyone gets a scar at some point or another, whether it’s from a fall on the playground as a child or a surgery as an adult. Yet, not all scars are the same size or heal the same way. 

Certain scars may develop to be painful or sensitive to the touch. The scar may expand outside of the original site of the wound and impede movement. In cases like these, many people want to take action and seek out scar reduction treatment. 

Do scar reducers work?

Yes, scar reduction treatment can absolutely be effective in changing the size or shape of scars. In some cases, scars can become large, thick, discolored, or unsightly. The appearance of these scars may bother you or affect your wellbeing, especially if your scar is in a highly visible area or an area that can affect your movement. This is where scar reduction treatment can help. 

There are a large number of options when it comes to scar reduction treatment. At embrace®, we offer a variety of scar reduction treatments that are specially suited to different procedures. Whether you want to reduce scarring from breast augmentation or treat stretch marks, our treatment methods can help improve the color, appearance, and texture of scars. 

Can scars be removed permanently?

Although you can use scar reduction treatments to significantly alter the appearance of scars, it’s rare that treatments are able to completely and permanently remove scars. Some treatment options, such as laser removal, can provide a somewhat permanent solution by removing the outermost layers of skin, yet this requires repeated treatments over a long period of time. 

Can I prevent scars?

You can’t predict everything that will happen in life. A sudden injury or necessary surgery may result in unavoidable scars. But the good news is that you can improve the appearance of scars through proper care. Follow the care tips listed in this article to facilitate an effective healing process for your scar and prevent further skin damage. 

Final Notes

Painful or unsightly scars can end up being a burden on one’s health and wellbeing. Whether your scar is the result of a wound, an injury, a burn, or surgery, you may not like the appearance of a scar or it may cause you discomfort—luckily, you have options when it comes to scar reduction treatment. 

Ointments, injections, laser treatments, and even surgery are just a few of the options available to those who want to remove their scars.  At the same time, scar prevention solutions like the ones offered by embrace® can prevent unsightly or painful scars from developing in the first place. 

The embrace® Active Scar Defense system is the only scar therapy system cleared by the FDA to relieve tension around incisions, cuts, and lacerations. This helps to prevent visible, raised scars from developing after an injury or surgery. Just take a look at the science behind embrace® to understand why we’re the preferred scar reduction solution for doctors and patients. Order an embrace® product today to access the scar reduction treatment you deserve.