Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Scars vary greatly in quality, depending on the individual and sometimes race, the nature of the trauma, and the conditions of wound healing. They frequently determine how one sees themselves aesthetically. 

They also contribute psychological stress including post traumatic stress reactions, lower self esteem, leading to a diminished quality of life.This may manifest in sleep disturbance, anxiety, depression and disruption of daily activities. 

Sometimes you think you need something "stronger" and "faster", and most people are under the impression natural remedies are always topped by a medical treatment, hence medical remedies as part of the series. You pick what you think works best for you.

A little caveat though before I go ahead. Please make sure you follow the instructions on the labels or as advised in store. Make sure you're well hydrated and stay off the sauce until your skin has healed.

Also remember this...

According to one Dr. Sobanko, (a dermatological surgeon at the University of Pennsylvania Health System speaking to Time magazine) - The only thing really shown to help the healing process and minimize scarring is keeping a wound moist and covered. Most scar products do that. But there’s little evidence that they work any better than inexpensive petroleum jelly.

Basically the one thing shown to really work with ANY scar treatments is keeping it covered and moisturised. Whether you decide to use good old Vaseline or an over-the-counter gel, lotion, cream or ointment. These can be crazy expensive as scars take between (depending on the treatment) 6 months to two years to lighten or disappear (well become less noticeable). So remember, whatever you decide to treat your scar with - keep it covered and well moisturised.

Here's a list of medical treatments that you can try at home...  


No. 3 PMD Personal Microderm, $179
With dermabrasion, a dermatologist or plastic surgeon "sands" your skin using an abrasive device. The procedure makes way for a new, smoother layer of skin to replace the skin that's been treated by encouraging cell-turnover. Scars become flatter and less noticeable during the course of treatments. 

If that isn't an option for you, microdermabrasion is a good alternative. There are now at-home personal microdermabrasion kits on the market. The one above is the PMD Personal Microderm which is pricey but a great investment. Olay has the cheaper version in the Pro-X.


Microdermabrasion uses tiny exfoliating crystals that are sprayed on the skin. It works best on problems such as dull skin, brown spots, and age spots. You can easily find these at most pharmacists or beauty supply stores. As you know I'm inclined to make my own .Microdermabrasion is a nonsurgical way to remove the outermost layer of skin, leaving the fresh layer underneath visible, and potentially hiding scars, sun damage and discolouration

Do not drink alcohol for 48 hours after the procedure. Ditto that for aspirin or any products that contain aspirin or ibuprofen for one week afterwards. Don't smoke. Smoking deprives your skin of oxygen and you won't heal fast or well. You should avoid sunlight for a few weeks after the pinkening effect of the treatment has gone away. When outdoors, use a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more, and wear a wide-brimmed hat.

Don't be tempted to overuse home microdermabrasion machines, as this leads to broken capillaries or irritation giving you that reddened tinge that alcohol gives pale people. 

Silicone Sheeting and Topical Gel

Silicone scar sheets are a type of treatment used to prevent the formation of new scars and to reduce the appearance of existing scars. Silicone gel lines one side of the sheets. The other side is often lined with a smooth fabric or a transparent film. These were first used on burn victims in the U.S in the 80s. 


Several articles reviewing 30 years of research suggest that it can speed up healing and lead to thinner, softer, redder or painful scars; depending on the study. The exact action of the silicone itself is still being researched, although it's clear the sheets do a great job of keeping the scar covered, and that prevents water from evaporating from the skin. Some people prefer to use silicone gel on its own.

Self drying silicone gel is appealing because it is effective, no fixation is required; it is invisible when dry; and sun blocks, makeup or both can be applied in combination. Aside from taking ages to dry (which is easily remedied by a hair-dryer), silicone gel may help the minimise the size of a scar. 

Chemical Peels

Though these are best administered by a professional - chemical peels that are not as strong as the ones given at spas or by a dermatologist are now readily available as overnight treatments or serums. They're more reasonably priced and relatively goof-proof.

The professional peel is a treatment in which a controlled acid solution is used to remove the damaged outer layers of the skin. In performing chemical peels, alpha hydroxy acids (AHA), trichloroacetic acid (TCA), or phenol are applied to the skin. The at-home peels will contain glycolic acid which is already found in a lot of face washes and cleansers.

Typically administered as a facial peel, a chemical peel enhances and smoothes the texture of the skin. It is an effective treatment for facial blemishes, wrinkles, and uneven skin pigmentation.  They exfoliate the outer layers of dead skin, revealing a new skin layer with improved tone, texture, and color. In addition to full facial rejuvenation, certain types of skin peels can also be used for spot treatments and as a way to remove stretch marks or rejuvenate skin elsewhere on the body.

This is one of the best treatments for facial scars from acne or lacerations, especially when it's an in-office treatment done by a dermatologist. Remember the in-office one will make your face look like despair before the "burnt" skin begins to peel and reveal the new, smoother skin below.

Good luck with these, and email me if you have any questions. 

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