Like most women, you may have a number of “battle scars” from falling off a bike when you were seven, pricking pimples that became full-blown acne in high school, knee surgery as a result of playing intense volleyball or tennis in college, and run-ins with vegetable peelers, stretch marks, and cellulite. According to Yale University School of Medicine dermatology professor David J. Leffell, skin injury that is more than superficial curs or scrapes will leave scars. While some scars fade over time, some don’t. This is when you need the best scar treatment available on the market.
What are Scars?
Scars – composed primarily of the protein fiber found in the second layer of your skin called collagen — are a natural response from your body, a way to self-repair. For those whose scars don’t show a sign of fading, there are several procedures that are capable of minimizing them considerably such as laser resurfacing treatments or dermabrasions.
According to Leffell, however, prevention is still better than cure. Treating your wounds immediately and properly goes a long way in reducing the development and subsequent development of scars. Most scars can be prevented with perhaps the exception of acne. When left untreated, acne can cause scarring that is deep and visually obvious.
Do’s and Dont's of Scarring Prevention
Do: Cover Cuts
Allowing a cut, especially one that is fresh, to “breathe” like you probably have heard, is just one of the many old wives’ tales that have no scientific basis. In fact, not covering cuts can delay the healing process by 50%. According to dermatologist and Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, Bruce Katz, moisture actually prevents hard scab formation which is a barrier to new skin tissue development.
Do: Use Silicone Sheeting or Special Bandages
Maintaining consistent pressure on wounds help flatten not only scars but keloids, those ropy tissues that can grow uncontrollably over their boundaries. Use pads made of silicone sheeting or special bandages to help in constant pressure maintenance for fresh scars.
Do: Look Out for Itchiness or Redness
Never ignore scars which have suddenly become itchy or red because these may be signs of infections or allergic reactions to any scar removal topical treatments you may have applied. Timing is the key for this kind of scar condition in order to treat it successfully.
Don’t: Use Hydrogen Perxoide
Leffell cautions against cleaning wounds with the ubiquitous hydrogen peroxide. Forget the bubbles, which can make it appear that something remedial is happening, because what really happens is that it destroys new cells of the skin which promptly begin to grow.
Don’t: Take to Vitamin E
A University of Maryland study has shown that vitamin E actually impairs the progression of a wound to heal, not to mention the possibility of developing allergic reactions to it like the study’s subjects did. Most skin care products, especially those that claim to help in reducing acne scars, advertise the use of vitamin E as an ingredient because of its purported effectiveness. Not true.
Don’t: Expose Scars to the Sun’s Ultraviolet Rays (UV)
Another factor that slows down the healing process is exposure of new or fresh scars to UV rays which are known to stimulate melanocytes, the skin’s cells which produce pigmentation and cause dark discolorations in the skin.
How Scars Develop
Scars are formed when there is an accumulated deposit of connective tissue substances known as collagen. The process of this accumulation is called fibrosis. Following an injury or skin disfigurement, skin tissue may be disrupted with their cells dying in this particular area.
This disruption may also be caused by skin conditions or diseases. Skin cell regrowth may have difficulty filling the injured or wounded area, with any remaining space being filled by collagen tissues. In some cases, the deposited collagen is more than the damaged area’s size.
The deposited collagen has the texture of fibrous tissue that is attached loosely to become evident as a scar. Although laser resurfacing treatments are effective, they are also expensive. A good scar removal cream should be able to fade acne scars by dissolving the fibrous tissue without irritating the skin.
Scar Removal Treatments
Scars brought about by acne tend to be the most stubborn and no one treatment is suitable for everyone who has them. Some of these treatments include:
The skin’s outer layer is destroyed by laser beams. The point is to let the resulting wounds heal in order to allow the formation of new skin. It is important to remember that while lasers with less intensity cause less damage to the skin, they also have less capability to be effective.
Pulsed Light and Radio Frequency Devices:
These are capable of creating new skin without damage to its outer layer. Acne scars have been shown to be less noticeable after several treatments using either or both of these procedures.
Scars that are deeply indented may need surgery like punch excision in which individual scars are cut out and then stitched or skin grafted to repair the holes at the site of the scars.
Acne scars may be made less noticeable with collagen or fat injections – called tissue fillers — underneath the skin. The results of this procedure, however, are temporary, and therefore require repeated injections periodically.
Surface scars could be completely eliminated and deeper ones will appear less visible with this procedure. It involves the removal of the skin’s top layer with a fast rotating wire brush.
Silicone Gel Sheets:
These are known to hasten scar healing and their use have resulted in softer, thinner, less painful, and less reddened scars. Silicone gel sheets have been used since the 80's to treat burn victims.
Scar Removal Creams and Ointments:
Least expensive of the lot, these creams and ointments are also the most convenient to use. Simple application to your skin’s external surface manages to achieve considerable improvement.
The Drawbacks of Some Treatments
Laser resurfacing, fillers, and dermabrasion are not only expensive but may almost certainly be painful, cause swelling, irritation, redness, photosensitivity, and loss of color in the treated area, and infection during the healing period, which could also take longer than desired.
The acne scar removal cost of laser resurfacing, for instance, was around $2,300 three years ago as reported by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. With the current economic inflation, this amount could already have increased several times over.
Additionally, there will be costs for post-laser resurfacing medications. Costs also depend on who does the procedure and where it’s done. The less inexpensive option, as mentioned, is scar removal treatments which, for all intents and purposes, also happen to be readily available on the market and are more convenient to use.
Ingredients of a Good Scar Removal Treatment
You would obviously want a scar removal treatment that is suitable for your particular skin type, tone, and texture. You would also prefer that it contains ingredients that are potent against scar removal but not so much that your skin is subjected to potential dryness, flaking, dehydration or further scarring.
Most scar removal formulations contain two or more of these ingredients:
This is an important scar removal cream ingredient that works by lightening the skin, resulting in the removal of any darkened scars. Not only does hydroquinone get rid of scars, it gets rid of the tissues which cause it. It also eliminates blemishes, fine lines, and wrinkles which occur from skin dryness.
A.K.A. DMAE, is a compound found in sardines, salmon, anchovies which helps enhance brain function. This function improves acetylcholine formations in the body to prevent skin pigmentations. As a preventive ingredient against skin blemishes, DMAE is capable of rejuvenating old or damaged skin back to its healthy state.
It is basically an antioxidant that promotes healthy skin development and has been proven to be an effective ingredient as a face scar removal treatment because of its capability to facilitate skin regeneration after injury or damage. Copper peptide enables the skin to achieve a natural “glow.”
A derivative of vitamin A, Retinol deeply penetrates into the skin’s lowest and most stubborn layers to generate compounds known as elastin and collagen. Skin becomes less dull and smoother because of the hydrating and moisturizing effects of these compounds. Retinol maintains the skin’s firmness, returns it to its original coloring, and ensures correct texture development.
One of the most effective and clinically proven scar removal treatment is Revitol Scar Cream Removal. Those who have used the product reported it to be highly effective. Dramatic results as seen in “before and after” photos were provided by users. Customers who applied the scar removal cream regularly according to directions found that Revitol’s potency works on both new and old scars which have varying severity.
Revitol, however, is not the so-called “quick fix” or “miracle” treatment that some may expect it to be, inasmuch as it does offer a permanent solution on how to remove scars. Skin care experts have advised its use for around four months or so to experience its visibly effective results. Revitol works better in flattening the scar, even the tiniest ones, to disappear completely and improve the appearance of those that are deeper and larger, in a sufficient period of time.