Infections, surgeries, and accidents can all result in lasting Scarring that may serve as painful reminders to your patients. Latest innovations in compounded scar formulations may help improve the healing process.
What Are Scars?
Scars are a part of the skin’s natural healing process after being exposed to cuts or damage. The skin restores itself by growing new tissue to fill the wound and any gaps produced due to the injury. The scar tissue consists mainly of a protein called collagen.
Scars may develop in every shape and size. Some scars can be big and painful, while some are barely visible. People with dark skin or red hair are more prone to developing keloid scars. Keloids are elevated scars that grow and develop beyond the affected area. Depending on their size, location, and type, your scars may look ugly and may even make it difficult to move.
Not all scars require treatment. Many fade away with time. If a scar is troubling you or causing pain management, treatments can help.
How Common Are Scars?
Almost everyone develops some scar from a surgical procedure, an accident, acne, or a disease like chickenpox (varicella). Scars affect all people regardless of age and gender.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of A Scar?
A scar usually appears in pink or red color on lighter skin. With time, the scar color turns slightly darker or lighter than the skin color. On darker skins, scars often appear as dark marks. These scars may be itchy sometimes. And other, they may be tender or painful.
A scar’s physical appearance depends on multiple factors, such as:
- The event that caused the scar, such as injury, burns, surgery, or extreme acne.
- The location, severity, and size of the wound.
- The type of treatment you received for healing the wound, for example, bandages or stitches.
- Your genes, age, ethnicity, and overall health.
How Many Types Of Scars Are There?
Scars can occur anywhere on the skin. There are several types of different scars, such as
These often develop after a burn. A contracture scar causes the skin to contract and makes movement difficult for a person, especially when it occurs over joints or gets into the muscles and nerves.
- Depressed (atrophic)
These depressed scars are actually sunken and often result from conditions like chickenpox or acne. These are also known as ice pick scars and mostly develop on the face. Depressed or ice pick scars appear as small indentations or rounded pits in the skin. Scars resulting from acne may become more noticeable as one age as the skin loses collagen and, ultimately, elasticity over time.
Flat scars develop just like regular scars; slightly raised nuts flatten out as they heal. These are often red or pink. As time passes, these may become slightly lighter or darker in color than the surrounding skin.
Keloids are scars that are elevated from the skin surface and extend beyond the wounded area. The outgrown scar tissue can get bigger and may affect a person’s ability to move.
- Raised (hypertrophic)
You can notice a hypertrophic scar when you move your fingers over it. These scars can get smaller with time but never completely vanish. Opposite to keloids, they do not grow or spread beyond the affected area.
- Stretch marks
When skin expands or shrinks quickly, it can damage the connective tissues under the skin. Stretch marks mostly develop during pregnancy, puberty, or after gaining or losing weight. These usually occur on the stomach, breasts, upper arms, and thighs.
Scar tissue may also grow inside the body. Internal scar tissue can result from surgeries and certain health conditions, like Asherman’s syndrome and Peyronie’s disease. Autoimmune diseases such as scleroderma cause change like scarring in the skin resulting from inflammation.
What Causes Scars?
Scars are very much part of the natural healing process. As a part of an immune system, the skin acts as a barrier to protect the body from the intervention of germs and other harmful substances. If the skin gets injured, the body seals itself by creating new tissue made of collagen.
Collagen plays several essential roles in one’s body. These roles include flushing up your skin and making your cartilage to protect your joints. These collagen fibers repair the damaged skin and close any open areas in damaged skin. The new tissue protects you from infection.
How Are Scars Diagnosed?
You can easily diagnose most scars by observing the part of the previously injured skin that has healed now. Scars usually look pinker, lighter, or darker than the surrounding skin.
Your healthcare provider will carry out a physical examination to evaluate a scar causing problems. They will look at the scar’s location, texture, color, and size, to determine its type.
How Can Scars Be Prevented?
Even though you can’t always prevent injuries that cause scars, you can minimize the risk of a scar forming after an injury. Care and caution can make the scar less prominent if it does develop. To lower the risk of scarring, you must:
- Talk to your healthcare provider
If you have an injury that might leave a scar, get it examined by your healthcare provider. The healing of some injuries may require stitches or bandages to hold the skin together. Stitches can reduce scarring. Make sure to follow your doctor’s guidance when taking care of the stitches. You may need topical or oral antibiotics to prevent infection, depending on the type and location of the wound.
- Clean the wound
Wash the area thoroughly with soap and water. Clean the wound properly and cover it with a bandage to keep the germs out. Also, change the dressing regularly to ensure rapid healing.
- Keep the wound moist
It is important to retain moisture in the wound. You can apply petroleum jelly or moist burn pads to prevent them from drying out and developing a scab. Scabs make scarring worse.
- Protect it from the sun’s rays
Try to protect the scar from sun rays by using sunscreen as direct exposure to the sun can make a scar darker. However, increased exposure to the sun also means an increased risk of skin cancer.
- Keep up your nutrition
Having low levels of vitamin D or C in your system can make scarring worse, and you need adequate high-quality protein in your diet to help your skin make what is needed to heal.
What Are The Available Treatments For Scars?
The available treatment options vary depending on the type of scar, its location, what caused it, and how long you’ve had it. Treating a car can reduce its size or appearance, but the scar will never completely disappear. Some treatments may prevent a healing wound from forming a scar. The available treatments for scars include:
It is a prevalent treatment for acne scars in which the top layer of skin is removed by gently “sanding” it. The treatment smooths and softens the skin and improves the appearance of scars.
The healthcare provider may inject medication directly into the scar to make it smaller. Corticosteroid injections help reduce the size of keloid scars. Drugs that treat cancer, such as fluorouracil (Adrucil® or 5-FU) and bleomycin (Bleo 15k™), can be used to flatten scars and reduce itching and pain.
- Laser treatments
Different types of laser and light treatments can make scars less noticeable. Laser treatments use a specific wavelength of light to cause a particular action in skin care. It can also help with itching, sensitivity, and pain. Laser treatments can cause hyperpigmentation (skin darkening) in people with light skin or hypopigmentation (skin lightening) in people with dark skin. Have a chat with your healthcare provider about any side effects before starting treatment.
- Pressure therapy
Things like elastic bandages, dressings, or stockings are used to put pressure on a wound during the healing process, which prevents a scar or decreases its size. Massage can also help break up scar tissue and allow it to reduce.
- Scar-revision surgery
A range of surgical procedures can remove a scar, improve its appearance, or transplant skin from another area (skin graft). This is an exchange of one type of scar for a different, preferable scar.
- Topical creams and ointments
Creams and ointments help make a scar smaller or prevent it from forming. Also, your doctor might recommend applying a silicone gel, corticosteroid cream, or a sheet to the area. In people with dark skin, doctors may prescribe using a skin-lightening cream with hydroquinone to lighten scars.
Best Option For Treating Scars
PracaSil-Plus is a special topical anhydrous silicone base that is used to rejuvenate and repair your skin. It is ideal for old and new scars, surgical scars, keloids, stretch marks, acne scars, and any skin condition that would advantage from barrier protection.
Pracasil-Plus contains Pracaxi oil that is obtained from the seed of the Pracaxi tree found in the Amazon rainforest. Pracaxi oil contains anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antibacterial, and antifungal properties that make it beneficial for various dermatological conditions, including skin spots, severe acne, acne scars, psoriasis, and rosacea.
For more information regarding this medication, please feel free to contact Harbor Compounding Pharmacy. At Harbor, we have taken an oath to make sure that all our patients receive the best treatment out there.