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Reducing Scar Appearance

No matter how careful we are, most of us end up with some sort of scarring whether from cuts and scrapes or surgery. Depending on how well wounds heal, scars will likely form, though with the correct care, many will fade significantly. The American Academy of Dermatology has released some suggestions for reducing scar appearance. The foremost care option for wounds is to keep the site clean and well protected. The injury site should be washed regularly with mild soap and water to remove debris and germs. When clean and gently patted dry, the wound site can be covered with petroleum jelly to prevent scabbing. If the wound can be cleaned properly, antibacterial ointments may not be necessary. Covering the wound with a bandage after applying petroleum jelly should help keep the wound protected and clean while healing. While these steps may help reduce scar appearance, for larger wounds, hydrogel or silicone gel sheets may help. After wounds heal, the site should still be protected to minimize scarring. When going outdoors, keep the scar covered with SPF 30 or higher sunscreen to prevent discoloration of the scar site. If there is a major concern regarding scarring, a trained dermatologist can help offer additional solutions for reducing scar appearance.
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