Cream for Body Scars
Scars occur when your skin becomes damaged due to injury, a medical condition or a surgical incision, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Scar tissue development is part of your body's natural healing process, but it also can be a cosmetic concern, because scar tissue can be red, raised and hardened when compared to surrounding skin. Using a scar treatment cream may help to reduce scar tissue's noticeability.
When scars initially form, they typically are at their reddest and most inflamed. Once the wound has healed, this often is the time when the scar is most treatable, according to Go Ask Alice, a health and wellness resource from Columbia University. Over time, the scar tissue will become less noticeable and may take between six and 18 months to improve on its own, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. While older scars can be treated with scar treatment creams, results may not be as pronounced.
While your scar is healing, it may be very itchy or sensitive, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Refrain from picking at the scar, however, as this could cause more damage to the skin. Instead, apply a corticosteroid or antihistamine cream, which can help to reduce itching as the scar continues to heal.
Onion extract's anti-inflammatory properties are harnessed as a scar treatment cream, according to Go Ask Alice. This treatment can be combined with silicone gel or gel sheeting -- similar to a bandage -- applied to the skin to reduce scarring. While the exact healing mechanism is unknown, silicone gel may help to better align collagen fibers in the scar to reduce a scar's height and size. Alpha hydroxy acids, such as glycolic or lactic acid, also can be used to exfoliate dead skin from the scar tissue or reduce redness.
Even through more invasive means, scar tissue can be very difficult to eradicate. Research studies concerning the effectiveness of scar treatment creams have determined that they are 25 to 50 percent effective in reducing scar pigmentation and size, according to Go Ask Alice. A 2007 study published in the "Journal of Wound Care" examined the effectiveness of creams in the treatment of elevated scars known as keloid and hypertrophic scars. The study separated 60 participants into three groups: group one used onion extract, group two used silicon gel sheeting and group three used onion extract and silicon gel sheeting. The third group that utilized both treatments experienced the greatest reduction in scar color and size. The onion extract-only group noted a better reduction in scar color than the silicon group. However, the silicon treatment group reduced scar size more significantly.
Applying a scar treatment cream to the body before the wound has healed can lead to irritation and infection. Do not apply a scar treatment cream until the scar no longer has open areas, a scab or any oozing areas, according to Go Ask Alice. This may require a wait of between three weeks and two months after the injury occurred. If you are unsure if the wound has sufficiently healed, ask your physician.
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