Loss of Pigmentation Due to Scarring Creams
Scar creams help lighten or reduce the appearance of various scars. Scars can form for a number of reasons such as a burn, injury, surgery or other trauma to the skin, such as acne. While some scar creams require a prescription, over-the-counter scar creams do not. Always consult with your physician prior to using a scar cream to discuss possible risks.
Various scar creams use different active ingredients and at varying strengths. Prescription scar creams are more potent than over-the-counter options. Your doctor may prescribe a scar cream after over-the-counter medications have proved unsuccessful. Scar creams work by fading the scar. Some scar creams work only on new scars, while others work on old and new scars.
Since scar creams are used to reduce or fade the appearance and color of scars, it is possible that you can lose some pigmentation. Certain scar creams, such as hydroquinone, use a bleaching agent to lighten scars. If too much scar cream is used or it's used too frequently, there is a possibility that it may bleach your skin. Another possibility is if you're using a cream that contains bleaching agents, and you come into contact with another product that has the ability to bleach skin, such as benzoyl peroxide, you'll experience the same result --- loss of pigmentation.
Various scar creams work differently. It's imperative that you follow the product instructions, unless otherwise advised by your health care provider to use the product against package instructions. Some scar creams can yield results in as little as four weeks, while others may take longer -- up to three months. You may also need to continuously use the scar cream to maintain the diminished appearance of the scar, depending upon the product.
If you choose to use a scar cream that contains a bleaching agent, you must use extreme caution to avoid sensitive areas, such as your eyes. You may also experience skin irritation from certain scar creams such as itching, burning or tingling. These side effects may be intensified if you have sensitive skin or if you use the cream in a sensitive area, such as on your inner thigh or breast. Certain scar creams may also intensify your skin's sensitivity to light, whether artificial or real sunlight.
Ask your health care provider for a recommendation prior to choosing a scar cream. If you use a scar cream that increases your skin's sensitivity to light, opt to wear sunscreen, even after you've discontinued using the product. Test a small patch of skin prior to applying the cream to a scar to ensure an allergic reaction does not occur.
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