Reducing the Appearance of Scars


I am a 38-year-old woman; and I was working in the yard and cut my thigh on a limb. It bled for several minutes; but the cut did not seem very deep, and I did not get stitches. I kept the area clean, and it did not get infected. I now have a red scar that feels bumpy. How can I make the scar disappear?


The body’s natural healing process of wounds caused by an accident or surgery is a scar. The more the skin is damaged, and the farther the wound is away from the heart, the longer it takes to heal and the greater the chance of a noticeable scar. Generally, the scar is most prominent within the first few weeks of the injury and gradually improves over several months. Based on a combination of these types of factors, many wounds that heal, although quite healthy, appear cosmetically undesirable.

Obviously, the initial treatment of a cut has a major impact on its healing and residual scar. Several techniques can alter or camouflage the appearance of the resultant scar. However, no scar can ever be completely eradicated. Conservative measures include sun protection, scar massage and good skin care of the injured area. Ultraviolet ray damage from the sun or tanning beds can darken scars and should be avoided. Sunscreen and covering the area can accomplish this goal. Scar massage with various topical products has been shown to improve scars. A list of these products includes:

· Vitamin E preparations

· Mederma

· Vitamin C topical products

· Protein moisturizers

The gentle scar massage process with any topical moisturizer tends to improve thickened scars. It is important to avoid trauma or skin stretching to new scars, as this tends to increase the size and thickness of the scar.

After several months, if scars remain a cosmetic problem, dermatologists and plastic surgeons have several techniques that can be performed to alter the appearance of scars. Modern techniques can change the length, width or thickness of a scar; but no technique can be expected to return the skin to its original appearance before the scar.

Lastly, there are certain cosmetics which can be used to cover scars. This is an excellent option for new scars, as it camouflages the scar while allowing the natural healing process to improve the final appearance of the scar.

It is important to evaluate all options for scar treatment. You do not want to create a larger scar with the treatment. A good question to ask the consulting physician is what he would do for the scar if it were on his body. Remember, scar treatment should begin when the skin is initially injured, and the best way to treat a scar is trying to prevent its formation when the skin is injured or cut.

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