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Can You Stop a Scar Before It Forms?

Can You Stop a Scar Before It Forms?

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.

How to Prevent Surgery Scars

How to Prevent Surgery Scars

Many people will undergo surgery at some point in life, sometimes multiple times. Surgery may be needed for medical or cosmetic purposes. Regardless of the reason, scars are generally a part of the healing process after a surgery. Usually cosmetic surgeries hide or conceal scars, but they may sometimes show to a degree. Medical surgeries often bare obvious scars which can be quite unappealing.

It is also true that some people will experience different types of scars than others due to genetics, and this may also factor into how much a person scars. They may be raised, lumpy, pink, or even somewhat purple. Scars will also naturally fade over time and may never go away completely. Still, there are some things that you can do to prevent the appearance of scars after you have undergone surgery. If possible try to begin treating the area soon after the surgery because older scars may be harder to fade. You may still have to wait for the wound to heal, however, or it could aggravate the skin depending on what you are applying to it.

One of the first things you can do is make sure that you completely follow the doctor's instructions about taking care of the wound and avoid putting stress on the incision. You may want to have a talk with your doctor about how you are worried about scars, as they may be able to prescribe you certain medications.

You can also apply an antibiotic cream to the wound. This should be done after the incision has finished bleeding. Antibiotic creams keep the area from becoming infected and this will make it easier for your body to begin healing and repairing itself. Infections can also create worse scars, so keeping the area clean and free of infection can help to reduce damage to skin, and thus minimize scarring. If an infection does occur try to identify it quickly so you can begin treating it.

A few lifestyle changes may actually help to reduce scarring, though they may not be easy for some people to achieve. Smoking for example can prevent scars from healing and increase the risk of getting them, so you may want to stop smoking a couple of weeks before and after the surgery, if not longer. It is also suggested not to drink caffeine or alcohol when a wound is healing as they both dehydrate the skin, and that makes it harder to heal. This is also the reason that you should drink plenty of water and stay hydrated. Eat healthy and try to eat quite a bit of protein because it helps the skin heal.

After your wound heals use a scar treatment gel, usually about 2-6 weeks after surgery. There are a lot of products out there which help to reduce scars by flattening or lightening the scar and slowing down the production of collagen. After a few months, if the scar still hasn't faded very much, you can talk to your doctor about scar revision and surgery. There are noninvasive treatments like dermabrasion which you may seek out first.