Scars and Your Skin
Science And Health
February 13, 2024
February 13, 2024
Scars are a natural part of the body's healing process. A scar results from the biologic process of wound repair in the skin and other tissues. Most wounds, except for very minor ones, result in some degree of scarring.
Scars can result from accidents, diseases, skin conditions such as acne, or surgeries.
Surgeries leave scars – it’s just a part of life. However, which surgeries are the most common and leave the biggest scars? In today’s post, we’re going to take a look at the surgeries that leave the biggest scars, and what you can do about them. We’ll also cover (not to give anything away!) how to heal a c-section scar, knee replacement recovery, and what mastectomy scars treatment looks like. Let’s dive right in.
1. How Do Scars Form?
Scars form when the dermis (deep, thick layer of skin) is damaged. The body forms new collagen fibers (a naturally occurring protein in the body) to mend the damage, resulting in a scar. The new scar tissue will have a different texture and quality than the surrounding tissue. Scars form after a wound is completely healed.
Some emergency c-sections will use a classic vertical incision, though – especially if you or your baby is in immediate danger. The vertical incision takes longer to heal and is more likely to scar poorly.
There are different kinds of scars. Most scars are flat and pale. However, in cases when the body produces too much collagen, scars can be raised. Raised scars are called hypertrophic scars or keloid scars. Both of these kinds of scars are more common in younger and dark-skinned people.
Some scars can have a sunken or pitted appearance. This kind of scarring occurs when underlying structures supporting the skin (for example, fat or muscle) are lost. Some surgical scars have this appearance, as do some scars from acne.
Scars also can appear as stretched skin. Such scars result when the skin stretches rapidly (for example, as in growth spurts or during pregnancy). In addition, this type of scar can occur when the skin is under tension (near a joint, for example) during the healing process.
2. How Can Scars Be Treated?
Silicone Scar Sheets.
Silicone scar sheets are a popular and effective treatment for reducing the appearance of scars.
Here's how they work:
Mechanisms of Action
Hydration: Silicone sheets create a thin, occlusive (moisture-trapping) barrier over the scar. This increases hydration within the top layer of skin (stratum corneum). The increased hydration signals the body to normalize collagen production, decreasing the excess that leads to raised and discolored scars.
Protection: The sheet acts as a protective layer for the scar, minimizing friction and shielding it from further irritation or bacterial infection. This promotes a better healing environment.
"Breathing" Permeability: Though they form a barrier, silicone sheets are designed to be semi-permeable, allowing skin to "breathe" and maintain normal functions.
Tension Reduction: Silicone sheets may gently reduce tension across the scar site, helping to prevent excess scar tissue from forming.
Growth Factor Regulation: Some research suggests silicone may help regulate growth factors within the skin. These growth factors promote collagen production, and silicone could work to normalize this process and reduce excess collagen buildup.
Softer, flatter scars
Decreased redness and discoloration
Improved scar texture
Reduced itching and discomfort associated with scars.
Types of Scars
Silicone scar sheets are generally effective for:
Hypertrophic scars: Thick, raised scars that stay within the boundary of the original wound.
Keloid scars: Raised scars that often grow beyond the boundary of the original wound.
Patience is key: Results may take several weeks or months to appear.
Early treatment is better: Scars respond best within the first year or two.
Talk to your doctor: Be sure to consult a doctor or dermatologist if you have deep or open wounds, signs of infection, or pre-existing skin conditions.
Scintera's Scar Heal Kits
In each of our Scar Heal Kits, you’ll find everything you need to get started on your scar healing journey. Each kit contains Scar Fx silicone sheeting (which comes in a wide variety of sizes for you to tailor to your scar) and Scarsil silicone scar gel. While each of these products work great on their own to keep excess collagen production at bay, we recommend using these products together— which is why we created the Scar Heal Kit! Simply use the silicone scar sheets at night, and the silicone gel during the day for a flat, smooth scar!
Scars are the marks of life— and we can’t always plan for them. With surgical procedures, however, you do have the chance to get the right tools in place ahead of time to treat your scars. Our comprehensive line of silicone scar products is here to help you at every step along the way.