Some people where there scars like badges of honor on their skin, a roadmap that shows the troubles they have gone through in their life and the injuries they received. However, the vast majority of people do not want unattractive scars marring their skin. There are many products and cosmetic procedures designed to help minimize the appearance of scars after they form. Your best defense against having these unsightly marks is to stop scars from forming in the first place.
Can You Stop a Scar Before it Forms?
The most honest answer to this question is "sometimes." So many factors go into scar formation such as the type of skin you have, your overall health, the position, size, and shape of the wound, and more. Smaller wounds are less likely to scar, which makes it easier to prevent scars from forming. Some large wounds may scar no matter what preventative measures you take.
What to Do To Prevent Scars When You Are Wounded
From the moment you get a cut, puncture, or burn, you must take action to prevent the future formation of scars if you do not want one. Of course, tending to the wound is the most important thing to do so you do not bleed excessively or get an infection. The same things you do to achieve these goals also help prevent scarring in the long run.
Follow these steps to stop a scar before it forms:
- Clean out the wound with water and mild soap right away. Do not use hydrogen peroxide as this can kill healthy cells near the wound and dry out your skin too much for proper healing. Proper cleaning is necessary to not only get debris and bacteria out of the wound but also to discourage scar formation.
- Use proper antibiotic ointment. This is the essential for killing bacteria and preventing infection, but can also help prevent scarring as well. This is mostly because of the moisturizing properties and the protection that this ointment provides to the new developing skin cells. Some people say you can put petroleum jelly over the wound to keep it moist, but it is not an ideal option for keeping it healthy as well.
- Cover the wound tightly. Again, this helps keep the cut or scrape clean. A bandage that is reasonably tight but does not interfere with circulation or cause numbness or discomfort will actually help it heal smoothly because the new cells and collagen working to repair your skin will not have space to bump up.
- Protect and nurture the new skin properly. The first protection of the wound has is a scab. This is the body's own bandage and should never be picked off if you want your wound to heal without scarring. After it falls off naturally, gently massage or rub the new skin to prevent thick collagen buildup. Also, always use sunscreen on the scar to stop it from becoming more obvious.
With proper care of your cuts and scrapes, you can minimize the chances of developing an unsightly scar. If these steps do not work, you can always consult your dermatologist.