Everyone experiences skin damage from time to time as a result of an accident, surgery or various skin conditions. These cuts, wounds, burns or other inflammatory ailments can result in scarring. A scar is a mark left on the body after a wound or injury. They are a natural part of the body’s healing process. The body works hard to reconstruct your cells, and when skin tissue is damaged it causes a protein called collagen to be produced. Collagen builds up where the tissue is injured, helping to rejuvenate and strengthen wounds. Because the body prioritizes repairing quickly, the collagen is often of a different texture and quality than the texture and quality of our skin causing a scar to form. There are several important tips to keep in mind when treating a wound or young scar, in order to avoid long term damage.There are a few key steps to treat young scars:
1. Keep The Wound Clean At All Times. Always keep damaged skin and open wounds clean. Gently wash the wound with water or mild soap to remove germs and debris. It is important that you wash your cut/wound/damaged skin area from the center towards the outer edges of the given area in order to avoid pushing germs and bacteria back towards the open wound. 2. Drink A Lot Of Water. You need proper hydration for your body in order to ensure faster healing. You should prioritize drinking plenty of fluids (water is highly suggested) every day, your wound will have a better chance of healing quicker. 3. Don’t Pick At It. Try to avoid scratching or touching your wound/young scar. Irritating it and touching it with your hands full of germs will slow down the healing process. 4. Petroleum Jelly. Use petroleum jelly to keep the wound moist. Wounds often dry out and form scabs which take longer to heal. Additionally scabs tend to be itchy which if picked at can leave large scars. 5. Change The Dressing Regularly. In order to keep the skin area clean, change your bandage regularly. If you have a sensitive skin, try a non-adhesive bandage with paper tape. If you decide to use hydrogel sheets, follow the instructions on the package to see how to change the covering. 6. Avoid Sun Exposure. When you have a young scar, try not to expose it directly to the sun. If you must be outdoors, cover it and/or use sunblock. Sun protection may help reduce red or brown discoloration and help the scar fade faster. Always use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least an SPF of 30 or higher and reapply frequently.
As with any medical issue, consult a doctor if necessary. And if a wound is severe enough to require stitches, follow doctor’s advice.
Scars are a natural part of the body’s healing process, but there are steps one can take. Treating a scar while it is still young is crucial to minimizing the chance that they remain long term.