Cuts, scrapes, and minor wounds are a part of life, but lasting scars don’t have to be. Learn how to care for your wounds properly to prevent scars.
What Exactly Is A Scar?
When skin is injured, our body produces extra collagen in an effort to repair the wound as fast as possible. This fibrous healing tissue replaces normal skin, and becomes what we refer to as a scar. Most scars are flat and pale, though some may be raised (known as hypertrophic and keloid scars). The appearance of a scar depends on factors such as the size, shape, and location of the wound and the thickness and color of your skin. While some scarring is inevitable, there are some simple ways you can prevent and lessen lasting marks.
Follow These Wound Care Steps To Prevent Scars
- Know when to see a doctor. Wide-set or deep cuts may need stitches. If your wound is deep, painful, or becomes infected, head into our clinic as soon as possible. The key to preventing scars is treating wounds early. Our medical team can quickly evaluate and treat your injury to help you heal faster and minimize scarring. Make sure to follow your provider’s advice on follow-up care and when to get stitches removed.
- Keep the wound clean, moist, and covered. Wash your wound daily, using water, a soft wash cloth, and mild soap. After cleaning, apply petroleum jelly or Aquaphor, and a fresh bandage. This hydrates the wound to promote healing, and also protects it from germs and infection. Properly caring for your wound will allow your body to heal with less work and help prevent scarring.
- Be patient. Wounds take many months to fully heal. Don’t rush the process. Avoid using hydrogen peroxide (it actually slows tissue growth), never pick scabs, and always wear sunscreen to prevent discoloration and further skin damage. A simple, natural healing process is your best bet!