No matter how careful you are, there will be situations when you just cannot avoid accidents. You may sustain injuries because of these accidents, and these injuries with cuts may leave scars. It is usually not possible to prevent a scar totally after a cut, but you can definitely take some steps to lessen the severity of those unsightly marks.
How Scars Form
The second layer of your skin has a protein called collagen, which becomes exposed when you cut through that second layer. When it comes out and shows, it usually does not go away completely. It is more likely when the collagen bond to the top layer of your skin. In order to learn how to prevent scarring, you need to learn how you can prevent the collagen from bonding to the top layer of your skin.
It is also quite important to understand that the appearance of your scar usually depends on a number of factors including the size, shape, and depth of the wound. Other important factors contributing the look of your scar is the amount of blood flowing to the affected area, your skin thickness, and your skin color. The scars you have can be of three types, such as the following:
- Normal scars: These scars are usually small, thin, and flat.
- Hypertrophic scars: These scars are thick and raised with a red tinge to them.
- Keloid scars: These are raised scars often red or dark in color and expand beyond the boundaries of the actual wound. Keloid scars are usually genetic and are the result of an overproduction of collagen. You may have to inject steroid medication into these scars to treat them. It is important to talk to your doctor to figure how to deal with a keloid scar.
How to Prevent Scarring
It is natural to feel concerned about scarring from a scrape, cut, or stitches. To prevent scarring, you need to understand how to take the right care of your wound. Here are the steps to follow:
1. Clean It Properly
Use cool water to clean and soothe your wound. Make use of alcohol-sterilized tweezers to remove any splinters or pebbles from the wound. You should use a washcloth and soap to wash the area around your wound. Never use harsh soap or anything that contains irritants such as iodine, hydrogen peroxide, and alcohol. They can delay healing and lead to complications.
2. Cover Your Wound
Covering your wound will help it heal by barring dirt, bacteria, and other irritants. This will also maintain a degree of moisture in your wound that will accelerate healing. It is also a good idea to use an antibiotic ointment or cream to keep your wound moist and clean.
3. Apply Gentle Pressure
When you have a cut, you should use your fingers to apply gentle pressure on it. You can now find special pads that you need to place over your wound to help flatten a scar. They work by keeping collagen in place.
4. Keep It Moist
As mentioned already in the steps you need to take to learn how to prevent scarring, it is of immense importance to keep your wound moist or else a scab will form. Once a scab does form, there will be a noticeable delay in healing. Keeping your wound moist also prevents a scar from getting too deep, large, or itchy.
5. Massage the Wound
You should massage the wound once you notice new skin growing again. This will ensure that there are no dense bonds of collagen. It is important to ensure that collagen does not take hold to make the appearance of your scar less noticeable. ‘
What to do: Use some lotion to massage. Move your fingers in a circular motion for about 30 seconds a few times a day. Several nonprescription ointments are also available for massage. You can use one that contains onion extract because it proves extremely effective in inhibiting the formation of collagen.
6. Avoid Picking at Scabs
If a scab develops on your wound, you should keep yourself from picking it. A scab develops when white blood cells fight infection-causing bacteria and let the combination of fibrin, red blood cells, and platelets to create a clot over your wound. This clot later turns in a scab and you should not pick at it or else you may introduce bacteria and end up dealing with a larger scar.
7. Avoid Exposure to Sun
Any exposure to ultraviolet rays will hamper the healing process and may even discolor the scar. Your damaged skin is already quite sensitive and exposing it to sun will stimulate production of pigment. This leads to discoloration. You should use a product with SPF higher than 15 to cover the affected area.
8. Avoid Irritating Your Skin
Another important point in the list of how to prevent scarring is to avoid irritating the skin. Your skin is already inflamed because of a wound, so you should not do anything that will make matters worse. Do not use harsh soaps because they are too drying. Avoid highly fragrant products because fragrance can cause skin irritation. Similarly, avoid using alcohol, clove, eucalyptus, citrus, and any type of mint.
9. Maintain a Balanced Diet
While taking steps to accelerate healing, you need to ensure that you eat a well-balanced diet that provides you with all-important nutrients. You should eat more of fruits and vegetables that contain protein, vitamin C, and zinc because these nutrients help your body heal damaged tissues.
Check out the following video to learn how scar forms and how to prevent scarring.