Can A Scar Cream Help Heal Old Scars?
As is the case with most things, "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!" So is the case with scars. While early injury, lacerations or incisions during surgery are most easily repaired (and made to look smooth and healthy), older scarring takes more work and in some cases may only be treated with additional surgery.
However, with advancement in cosmeceuticals and scar creams, in particular, disciplined treatment and application can heal even the most stubborn scars.
Almost everyone has at least one or two scars on their body they would like to hide or remove. They may have a story to go along with the scar but more likely they would choose not to wear it with pride. Some will suggest dermabrasion or laser treatment. These will minimize scars but won’t often get rid of the scars entirely. These treatments are sometimes referred to as painful and often are quite pricey.
What Causes A Scar?
When an injury to a person happens, fibrosis (fibrous tissue) grows in to replace the skin that would normally be found there. It is the result of the natural process to repair the wound along with other tissues within the body. While small cuts or scrapes might not have a scar all others will have some form of scarring. These scars are made up of collagen, the protein found in skin, but with a different composition.
How Do Creams Work?
Products with the right ingredients aid in skin cells and the healthy regrowth of them. The creams will help to flatten, soften and smooth the skin that is scarred. This will make the scarring less noticeable. They are generally used on a regular basis to soften and therefore blend it into the surrounding tissue.
Creams like Strimedix-SM (see product to the right) combine several ingredients that work well for healing old scars. Matrixyl 3000 is a polypeptide blend that encourages healthy, smooth tissue growth while improving cell development of collagen and elastin fibers that allow tissue to stretch and remain pliable. Other ingredients such as Aloe, Emu Oil, and Jojoba Oil are well known for penetrating deep into tissue and improving moisture content and "spring and pliability" that inhibits further tearing as new cells develop. As time passes (and sometimes with old scars this can take 3-6 months), new, healthy cells are created that replace old, torn or damaged cells.
What To Look For...
You can find a wide selection of skin creams over the counter and if you choose the right one you will be surprised at how well it removes your scars. Vitamin E is important if you want to help reduce your scars. To get an effect from creams with vitamin E you will need to make sure to massage the area often with the cream. There are some that will tell you these creams can cause irritation and redness.
Vitamin A is also important in aiding in the removal of scars. It softens the tightness of the scarring and therefore allows it to appear like the rest of the skin. Recently there have been results with removing scars by using onion extract. Though this cream is very popular, many suggest that creams that have their base in petrolatum are better.
There are quite a few creams that use bio oil and many people swear by these. They are made from different herbs such as lavender, rosemary and chamomile. The reason they work on scars is because they have a very high level of vitamins A, C and E along with many other important nutrients. It is meant to create a layer over the skin, locking in properties.
Different scars respond to scar creams differently. The older the scar the longer you will need to follow a treatment. Most creams, including those with bio oil will need to be used at least twice a day, often even several times a day. Regardless of what kind of cream you decide to go with start with small uses of it to make sure it doesn’t irritate your skin.
Learn more about stretchmarks and scars here.