Treating Scars / Skincare Tips

Scars 101 - Causes, Types, Treatments & Prevention

Scar Treatments 101

Scar formation is a natural part of the healing process that occurs when the skin repairs wounds caused by accident, surgery or disease. Scars are formed by the over production of a naturally occurring chemical in the body called collagen. In the normal healing process, once the wound has healed, collagen stops being produced and the skin returns to normal. The time skin takes to heal will vary depending on the degree of damage, and the longer it takes to heal the greater the chance of a noticeable scar. Normal scars will develop during the first 48 hours after wound closure and can fade within 3 months, whereas abnormal scars can occur up to 18 months later.

Different Types of Scars

Hypertrophic scars are the most common type of scar and usually follow a trauma such as a burn or accident, or after surgery. Hypertrophic scars will follow the line of the injury, which means it will follow the line of the surgical wound, where the burn has been or where the original cut was. Some scars get better by themselves but if the scar is still red and raised after a couple of weeks then it will need to be treated. Some people prefer to prevent scars forming and there is good evidence that early use of treatments such as silicone gels can prevent hypertrophic scars forming. Hypertrophic scars can be treated with simple non-invasive therapy.

 

Keloid scars are found in about 15% of the population and are more prevelant in people with dark (African or Asian) skin. The cause of Keloids is not entirley known, but they usually (but not always) follow an injury. Keloids tend to occur from the age of 10 and 30 and occur mainly on the chest, ear or shoulders. The main way to tell if the scar is hypertrophic or a Keloid is that Keloids extend away from the area of the injury and can be quite large. More than 80% of Keloid patients complain of itching, and 50% complain of pain associated with the Keloid. Treatment is normally complex and best done under the supervision of a specialist. Simple therapies such as silicone gels will help, but there may be the need for additional treatments.

 

Burn scars are formed when the skin is burned on the top layer (superficial burn) or through to the second layer of skin (partial thickness burn). Burns tend to be complicated and are slow to heal. As a result, a great many burns end up with scars. If the wound does not heal properly within two weeks then there's a more than 80% chance that a scar will develop. The size of the scar depends upon the size of the burn and tend to be hypertrophic scars but spread over a large area. Burn scars can be treated and tend to be treated under a specialist with several different types of treatment used, including silicone gels.

 

Atrophic scars are small pitted indentations in the skin. These usually occur after acne, chickenpox, insect bites or in some cases after injections. The scars are sometimes red but this can fade over time. The redness of atrophic scars can be treated, by simple convenient therapy such as silicone gel, microdermabrasion, microneedle therapy, but the indentation is slightly harder to treat and may require a physical process such as dermabrasion or a chemical peel.

The main causes of scars are

Genetic: Some people are just prone to scarring. This can be partly due to skin type but can be just related to the fact that some peoples genetic makeup, meaning they produce too much collagen when they are healing.

Skin Type: Dark skins (Afro-Caribbean and Asian) tend to scar badly and are particularly susceptible to Keloids.

Hormone: Some women develop scars when they are pregnant but not at any other time. Also, Keloids, tend to occur during or just after puberty, implying that there is a hormonal link to scar formation

Size of wound: The larger the wound the more likely you are to develop an abnormal scar. This is related to the time to heal

Time to heal: It's been proven that the longer the wound takes to heal, the more likely that you are to scar. The time to heal is dictated by the severity of the wound, wound infections, number of dressing changes and how deep the wound is.

Scar treatment

The best form of treatment for scarring is prevention and careful management of the wound. Even with the best care possible some people will just scar and will need to treat the scars. If you have a history of scarring or you know someone in your close family that scars, you will need to treat it early with therapy such as scar gels to prevent scars from forming.

 

Science of Skin Solutions for Scars is clinically proven to reduce the appearance of scars.

science of skin solution scar

Clinically proven to reduce the appearance of scars, Solution for Scars is a specialist scar cream with a difference. Working at a cellular level to actively support your skin and improve the appearance of your scar by reducing the thickness, redness and soothing the skin.

Contains breakthrough naturally active Green Tea Phytochemical (EGCG), which helps to combat the thickening and redness that contribute to the prominence of scars.

Paraben, alcohol and fragrance-free.

  • Improves the appearance of scars
  • Reduces Thickness
  • Reduces Redness
  • Increases scar mobility
  • Improves scar hydration
  • Soothes the skin

 

ALHYDRAN - Medical aftercare for the skin

ALHYDRAN is a medical cream specially developed for:
• Aftercare of the skin immediately after wound closure
• Treatment for disrupted skin barrier

 

Medical aftercare for skin problems such as:

  • Scarring - ALHYDRAN repairs and improves scar tissue on both old and new scars.
  • Burn wound - ALHYDRAN repairs the skin, makes it more supple and reduces itching.
  • Radiation - ALHYDRAN relieves and speeds up the repair of skin problems caused by radiotherapy.
  • Dry skin - ALHYDRAN cares for red and dry skin. It protects and hydrates the skin.
  • Laser treatment - ALHYDRAN cares for skin that is red and delicate following laser treatment.
  • Itching - ALHYDRAN cools and calms the skin. It rapidly reduces itching and irritation.

ALHYDRAN is a revolutionary product designed to help care for scars and improve the appearance of damaged skin. With its unique formula, ALHYDRAN speeds up the repair process of newly closed skin, making it more supple and reducing the discomfort associated with scarring. Whether you're dealing with recent surgery or old scars from previous injuries, ALHYDRAN can help improve the health and appearance of your skin. By promoting collagen production and reducing inflammation, ALHYDRAN can help prevent scar formation and reduce the visibility of existing scars.

- Protection and softening of the skin
- Less itching, pain and redness
- Helps prevent scar formation

 

iS CLINICAL Sheald Recovery Balm

IS CLINICAL BALM

A powerful reparative formula to calm, hydrate, soothe and protect the skin during recovery.

Oat extracts to soothe and calm irritation and redness. Panthenol and ceramides attract and hold moisture to keep skin nourished. Effectively treat and nourish dehydrated or post-procedure skin. Controls pain due to local anaesthetic effects and limits itching.

- Soothes, nourishes and calms irritation and redness

- Minimize scar tissue formation

- Faster healing in all types of wounds

- Protects the skin barrier

 

Silicone scar treatment

Silicone is recommended by leading specialists worldwide for the treatment and prevention of scars.

To reduce the likelihood of the scar becoming problematic you can apply a silicone-based gel or sheet after massage. The silicone gel and sheet will help to keep the scar hydrated, provide a barrier and normalise the growth factors, which means that it will help to reduce the collagen production in the skin and allow the scar to flatten, soften and reduce any redness. Silicone has been clinically proven to improve the look of the matured scar.

 

Silicone Sheets

   

 

Silicone sheets are simple yet effective self-adhesive sheeting recommended for the long-term treatment of problem scarring.
Designed to reduce the size and colour of hypertrophic, keloid, surgical, acne, burn, traumatic and old scars. This easy-to-use sheet adheres to the skin to provide daily anti-scar treatment. It neutralizes the scar's colour, flattens raised scars and makes the skin soft and smooth.  The sheets contour to any part of the body and are available in a wide range of sizes to accommodate your individual needs. They are also available in fabric or clear, the fabric ones have a flesh-coloured backing to blend in with surrounding skin.

Our silicone sheet brands are:

 

 

Dermatix

Available in two forms:
Dermatix® Silicone Sheet Clear
Virtually invisible! Apply on exposed skin.
Perfect for body, face & hands - you can even apply make-up over it.

Dermatix® Silicone Sheet Fabric
A silky fabric backing provides an optimal level of comfort and convenience under clothing and pressure garments.

Various sizes to choose from 

 

bapscarcare

BAP SCAR CARE  is the new generation silicone gel & sheets for the treatment of old and fresh scars. 

BAP ScarCare is a comprehensive range of silicone scar treatment products designed to provide the best possible aftercare for your scar management.They are made to exacting medical device standards and are used in clinics and hospitals throughout Europe to help flatten and diminish the appearance of all types of scars. 

The BAP ScarCare system includes 3 product formats, designed to best suit your needs.

Bapscarcare Gel

BAP ScarCare Gel is a revolutionary product designed to minimize the appearance of scars. With its easy-to-apply formula, this gel dries quickly into a smooth matte finish, making it perfect for use on any healed and sealed incision site. Whether you're looking to reduce the visibility of scars from previous surgeries or accidents, BAP ScarCare Gel is the solution you've been searching for. And for those who are prone to scarring in more exposed areas, our BAP ScarCare SPF 40 is the perfect addition to your skincare routine. 

Bapscarcare T 

BAPSCARCARE T Silicone Sheet is a revolutionary product designed to provide long-term clinical occlusion for a variety of medical conditions. 

Made from ultra-thin silicone sheeting measuring 0.3mm in thickness, these sheets are flexible enough to conform to body contours and flex with the body, yet strong enough to provide reliable occlusion. 

Each sheet can be cut to size and shape to suit the individual's needs and can be worn continuously for up to 7 days without the need for removal or washing. 

After 7 days, the sheet can simply be removed, washed, and replaced with a fresh sheet for another 7 days. 

The rounded corners of the sheet reduce the risk of it being rolled off, making it ideal to wear under clothing. 

 

How to use Silicone sheets:

You can start using silicone sheets once the wound is completely closed and as soon as the sutures have been removed.

Before every use wash and dry the skin first.

Silicone sheets can be cut to size and should overlap the scar at least 1 cm on all sides. 

Silicone sheets are durable and reusable. Keep in place for at least 12 hours and up to 23 hours. 

At least once a day, wash the scarred area and both sides of the silicone sheet with mild soap and water. Rinse thoroughly and allow the silicone Sheet to dry before re-applying.   

A piece of gel sheeting if care taken can last between 8-12 weeks.         

After a while, some surgical tape may be needed to keep it in place.

Silicone Gels

Silicone gels dry like a sheet and have all the benefits of silicone sheets without the problems - Tape allergies, the difficulty of use for awkward areas & the face,

and having to wash them daily.

 

Silicone gels & creams available:

- Kelo-cote 15g (small areas)Kelo-cote spray & 60g tube Ideal for larger areas

- DermaTix 15g (small areas)  & DermatIx 60g Ideal for larger areas

- Silderm scar gel 15g

- BAPScarCare Silicone Gel 20g - Enriched with nourishing vitamin E

- SKINUVA Scar

Skinuva Scar Cream is a revolutionary new product designed to improve the appearance of scars. Using highly selective synthetic Growth Factors in addition to other clinical proven ingredients, this scar cream has been developed to provide superior results compared to traditional scar treatments. The unique formulation of Skinuvá makes it suitable for use on all types of scars, including old and new ones, as well as those caused by surgery, accidents or burns. With regular use, Skinuva Scar Cream can help reduce the visibility of scars, making them less noticeable and improving the overall appearance of the skin. 

Key Ingredients: Growth Factors, Silicone, Centella Asiatica, Hyaluronic Acid, Vitamin C & Aloe Vera.

 

Silicone Gels with SPF - Provides added sun protection - Available with Kelocote SPF30 & Bapscarcare SPF 25

 

SilDerm Dual Action Scar GEL 15gOffers a unique roller ball to apply the treatment. The massaging action of the roller ball during application enhances the action of the silicone ingredients.

 

Biodermis Pro-sil -  Pro-Sil stick is easier to apply and less messy than ordinary scar gels or creams. Easy to carry and apply any time of the day. (size of a lip balm) Suitable for all skin types & especially kids

 

How to apply silicone gels & creams:

Apply a very thin layer of silicone gel or cream twice daily (morning and evening) on clean dry skin for 60-90 days.

Larger and older scars may take longer and continued use is recommended if the improvement is still seen after the initial 90 days. 

Should you become concerned about your scar you need to contact your GP in the first instance. Your GP may refer you to a specialist where your scar will be assessed on an individual basis and a treatment plan agreed upon.

Further Reading : 

What's better for scar treatment – silicone gel or sheets?

For further advice before purchasing from us please email [email protected]

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Andrea Patel Dermatology Nurse Practitioner & Director Author
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