What Is TEWL? Why Moisture Is Your Best Friend During Scar Healing.
Science And Health
February 01, 2024
February 01, 2024
Transepidermal water loss is natural skin process— too much of during key times (like scar healing) can be detrimental to your skin however. Learn what is TEWL, why it's better to keep new scars moist, and how to care for new scars.
Have you heard us mention “TEWL” before? Today, we’re going to take a look at what TEWL is, and how it plays into how to heal new scars. We’ll tackle this question and others, like do moist wounds heal faster and is it better to keep a scar moist or dry? But, most importantly, how does skin moisture level affect scar healing outcomes? Let’s get started and answer some of your questions about TEWL.
Is It Better To Keep A Scar Moist Or Dry?
Contrary to popular belief, letting wounds and scars air dry might not be the best approach. The idea of letting wounds breathe to heal is a common myth. In reality, keeping wounds clean and scars properly moisturized can lead to a cleaner and faster healing process. This brings us to the concept of Transepidermal Water Loss (TEWL).
What Exactly Is TEWL?
Transepidermal Water Loss, abbreviated as TEWL, is just a big name for the natural process of water evaporating from the skin's surface into the surrounding environment.
Though simple, it's a significant factor in maintaining the skin's hydration and overall health. When the skin experiences excessive TEWL, it can lead to dryness, irritation, and delayed wound healing. And, we know that scars seem to experience TEWL in a greater capacity to begin with (source). This is where the role of moisture and reducing TEWL comes into play for optimal scar healing.
So, Does A Moist Healing Environment Really Make A Difference?
Yes, it does!
Maintaining proper moisture levels on a wound or surgical scar can facilitate a faster scar healing process. When the skin is adequately moisturized, it remains supple and is less prone to cracking. This is particularly important for scar healing, as dryness can lead to the formation of hard, raised scars.
How Do Silicone Products Combat TEWL?
Silicone products create a semi-occlusive barrier that helps to reduce TEWL. Semi-occlusive means that this barrier prevents excess moisture from evaporating from the scar's surface while still allowing the skin to breathe. By maintaining an ideal level of hydration, silicone products play a crucial role in managing TEWL and promoting scar healing.
In conclusion, the notion that wounds and scars should be “left to air dry” is, in fact, a myth that has been debunked by modern research. Maintaining proper moisture levels through the use of silicone products like our Scar Heal Kits, ScarFX Sheeting, Rejuvasil Gel, and Scar Esthetique cream can aid in preventing excessive TEWL, supporting the skin's natural healing processes, and ultimately leading to smoother and more aesthetically pleasing scars.