Do you want to find out how to treat scars? Then you should first understand how they are produced and what types exist. Scars are formed when we injure our body in such a way that the causative agent passes through the epidermal layer of the skin, reaching the dermis.
After an injury, the body’s first step in healing is to stop the bleeding. The blood clots and the body goes through an inflammatory phase in which white blood cells fight bacteria. Once that threat is overcome, the beginnings of scar tissue, like a scab, form.
The skin consists of an outer layer called the epidermis, the subcutaneous dermis and fat. If the cut is deep enough to reach the dermis, it is likely to scar. This is due to the different types of collagen that make up this layer of tissue.
When the dermis is damaged, the proportion of collagen changes and the skin heals unevenly, losing homogeneity and leaving scars.
Types of scars
The likelihood of having a scar and its subsequent appearance varies depending on the age of the person and the location of the wound. Younger skin, which is more able to regenerate, tends to produce larger and thicker scars than older skin. The most common visual sign of scarring is discolouration, although reddish or dark scars may occur; they also stand out from the rest of the skin because they are raised.
Several factors, such as injuries, burns, acne, allergies and medical treatments, can leave scars that are difficult to treat. Scars on the face, for example, are more difficult to remove completely, although they can become lighter over time.
If you want to know how to treat scars, you will be interested to find out what the most common types are. They are as follows:
– Keloid scars: these raised scars move away from the edges of the original wound, taking on a lumpy, uneven appearance, where distinct bumps may stand out.
– Stretch marks: when the skin shrinks or grows rapidly due to weight changes or physical changes such as pregnancy, the connective tissue breaks down and creates what are known as stretch marks. They appear as white, dark brown, purple or red lines.
– Atrophic scars: also known as wavy scars, they often have a sunken appearance, resulting in an uneven texture that makes them more visible.
– Hypertrophic scars: these are usually thick and occur after injury or trauma. They are more common than keloids.
– Surgical scars or lacerations: wounds on the skin from surgery or accidents can cause this type of scarring.
– Hyperpigmented and hypopigmented scars have too much or too little melanin or haemosiderin. Hyperpigmented scars will appear darker than the surrounding skin, while hypopigmented scars will become lighter as they heal.
– Complex scars: scars that arise as a result of extensive burns or trauma are referred to as complex scars and are often notable for the complexity associated with the healing stage.
– Post-inflammatory erythema: although not medically classified as scars, many skin care experts treat them as such. Signs of erythema appear immediately after an outbreak and can be red, pink or purple in colour.
– Consequences of tattoos: if someone suffers an abrasion or blast injury, foreign bodies can penetrate the skin and leave a scar.
Before choosing one treatment or another to treat scars, it is important to be clear about what type of problem you are dealing with. To begin with, the type of scar should be determined, as each type of scar has a treatment plan that will work best.
How to treat old and new scars
Some treatments work well for all types of scars. This is the case for the following:
– Coconut oil: This tropical oil has several benefits for the skin. It is a moisturiser that can help wounds heal faster. It also has fatty acids that promote cell reproduction. One of these fatty acids, monolaurin, has been shown to protect against bacteria.
– Zinc supplementation: Zinc is an important mineral to help wounds heal. It helps to reduce inflammation and generate cell growth, which can help heal scars.
However, there are ways of treating scars that are especially suitable for more recent scars, such as massage. The way to apply it is, once the wound has healed, gently, with circular movements and light pressure. The aim is to break down the collagen build-up in the tissue underneath. Some types of scars can develop cords or tight strands of rope-like tissue just under the skin. Massaging and pulling the strands can stretch and relax them, which helps to improve the texture and evenness of the scar.
In the same way, there are other strategies that work better with older scars, such as applying rosehip to promote the adoption of a homogeneous skin tone. If the natural cosmetic product used is enriched with silica, the results are improved as this component stimulates the production of collagen, something that is lacking in the skin suffering from the problem.
How to treat scars and improve skin appearance
The best time to treat a scar is as soon as possible, when the post-inflammatory mark is still red. The reason is that delaying treatment and allowing time for complete healing can cause scars to turn brown from oxidation, essentially turning them into iron deposits that are more difficult to treat in the future.
As well as taking this into account, it is important to remember that there are certain nutrients that promote the skin’s regenerative capacity and its natural repair process, such as zinc and silica. Therefore, in addition to the recommendations to follow to know how to treat scars, it is positive to incorporate supplements in the diet that include them. For example, G7 Beauty, which benefits the health of the skin in general by hydrating it, eliminating blemishes and slowing down the degenerative process of the tissues associated with ageing.
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