What Is Scars?
A scar can be described as a mark left on the skin after the wound has healed. Scars are fibrous tissues which appear after an injury to the skin. Scars result from the natural process of healing. It is called as scarring.
Types of scars:
- Hypertrophic: Results from overproduction of collagen and forms red raised lumps on the skin.
- Keloid: Results from surgery, acne, accidents or body piercing. These are like large tumorous neoplasm and occur mainly on the darker skin.
- Atrophic: Results from loss of fat or muscles.
- Stretch marks: Results from stretching of skin rapidly as in case of pregnancy.
- Umbilical: All placental animals and humans have umbilical scar called as navel which occurs which occurs when the placental cord is cut after birth. It begins to heal after birth.
What Are The Symptoms Of Scars?
Symptoms of the scars are:
- Dark, itchy patch on the skin
- Lumps formation on the skin
- The area continues to grow with scars over a period of time
- Red coloured raised lumps
- The pitted appearance of the skin
What Are The Causes Of Scars?
Scars occur when the second deepest layer of the skin is damaged which is dermis. Causes of scars are:
- Accidents or injuries
- Bites or deep scratches
- Due to skin disease such chicken pox, acne
- Fat loss
- Stretching of the skin such as in case of pregnancy
What Are The Things One Should Do To Manage Scars?
- Immediately pay attention to deep cuts. Some cuts may require surgery to avoid infection and for faster healing. Surgery may result in scars
- Keep the affected area away from sunlight. UV rays damage the skin and stimulate the hyperpigmentation of the skin.
- Massage your skin to improve the circulation and fasten the healing process. The decreases the risk of getting scars.
- Allow your wound to heal completely and apply photoprotective agents only.
- Keep the wound dry. Wetting of the wounds stimulate the inflammation and results into scars.
- Let the wound heal naturally.
- Always keep the area around wound clean and moist.
What Are The Things One Should Avoid To Manage Scars?
- Don’t scratch the scar crust formed on the wound.
- Don’t expose the affected skin to extreme temperatures.
- Avoid stretching of the affected area.
- Do not apply oil-based remedies to treat the wounds.
- Avoid wearing tight clothing over the affected area.
- Don’t pick at scabs as this will delay the healing process and increases the risk of developing deep scars.
What Are The Best Foods For Scars?
- Protein: Protein is broken down into amino acids which are very much important for wound healing. These help to build the collagen and provide the strength to the skin. Seafood, milk, cheese, yoghurt, beans, eggs, soy etc are rich in proteins.
- Vitamin A: This is an important antioxidant needed for your skin post surgery. Vitamin A is an anti-inflammatory agent which helps in preventing infection. This helps in stimulating the production of connective tissues by increasing the growth of new blood cells which prevent the scar formation. Eggs, fish, green leafy vegetables, butter, raw milk, apricots, berries are good sources of vitamin A.
- Vitamin C: Citrus fruits and green leafy vegetables are full of vitamin C. Vitamin C helps to form collagen and speed up the wound healing process. It is important for the development of new blood vessels and transport of nutrients to the wound.
- Vitamin B: Increases the wound healing by increasing the synthesis of proteins. This increases the numbers of fibroblasts that are helpful in the secretion of collagens. It helps in strengthening of scar tissues. Fish, red meat, eggs, cereals, soy, milk products, legumes, etc are rich sources of vitamin B.
- Iron: Iron is important to deliver oxygen to the damaged area. Lack of oxygen leads to infection in the cut or wounds. Green vegetables, beans, nuts, pulses, seeds, liver, brown rice, etc are rich in iron.
- Zinc: The synthesis and production of proteins and collagens are not possible without zinc. Zinc speeds up the recovery and reduces the healing time after surgery. It improves the scar formation. Meat, eggs, poultry, fish, wheat germ, pumpkin seeds, etc are rich in zinc.
What Are The Worst Foods For Scars?
- Sugar: Sugar causes the degradation of collagen and removes elasticity, both of which are important to keep skin soft, supple and springy. Sugar affects the level of collagen making skin fragile and thus makes skin vulnerable to injury. Sugar delays the healing process.
- Skimmed milk: It increases the insulin production and inflammation also. Inflammation increases the risk of infection and delays the healing process.
- Nitrate-rich food: Excess intake of nitrate can damage the blood vessels which supply oxygen and nutrients to the wound. This results in a delay in the healing process.
- Alcohol: Alcohol affects the absorption of nutrients required for the healing process. It inhibits the breakdown of nutrients. Breakdown of protein to from amino acids is impaired and thus healing process is delayed.
What Are The Medicines For Scars?
What Are The Tips To Manage Scars?
- Scars can be treated by opting out some home remedies. Here are some natural home remedies to treat the scars:
- Lemon: Lemon is a natural bleaching agent and it contains an alpha hydroxyl acid which helps to lighten the scars. Apply one tablespoon of lemon with the help of cotton ball to the scar and keep it for 10 minutes. Then was with lukewarm water.
- Onion extract: This is an anti-inflammatory agent and makes scars light and less noticeable by inhibiting the production collagen in the scars. Apply the extract onto the scar directly. It may take a long time to show the results.
- Aloe Vera: It helps to remove dead skin cells by anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. It promotes the growth of healthy skin. Apply Aloe Vera gel over the scar and keep it for 30 minutes. Rinse it off with water. It can be applied several times a day.
- Coconut oil: This is a super ingredient to remove the scars. It contains vitamin E, the lauric, caprylic and capric acid which helps to reverse the free radical damage and promotes the healing process of the skin. Massage the affected area with warm coconut oil and leave for an hour.
- Honey: This is a natural moisturiser which is very much effective in removing scars. It stimulated the regeneration of the new skin and removes the dead skin. Apply honey to the scars and leave it overnight. Then wash in the morning with lukewarm water.
- Vitamin E: This is a powerful antioxidant which fades the scars. It provides hydration to the skin and helps in repairing of damaged tissues. Apply vitamin E oil to the scar and massage gently. Leave it for 10 to 15 minutes and then wash with lukewarm water.