Scar treatment: This is how scars become invisible
Optimum care and tips for the invisible scar
Scars are perceived by most people as an unattractive reminder of past injuries or surgeries, although health problems can also be caused by severe scarring of the tissue. Dr. Timo Spanholtz, Specialist in Plastic and Aesthetic Surgery, explains which care measures can lead to a perfect scar pattern, which is often forgotten and which products are available on the market.
Even today scars on the face are considered chic in some circles! If you can not believe it, think of “beating student compounds” who used saber slashes to add status symbols to their faces and even sew horsehair into the wounds to make the scar more visible. However, most patients have exactly the opposite interest.
After surgery in plastic surgery such as facelifts, breast enlargements, breast lifts or abdominoplasty, our patient‘s wish is the exact opposite: an invisible scar. And not only because red scars or bulging scars disturb the aesthetics – scars can also cause pain, itch unbearably or restrict the mobility of the body. Scar healing takes a long time, as the wound initially heals, but the scar itself rather “matures”, so slowly in a long process to the “normal” surrounding tissue adapts again. Scar healing is influenced by countless factors, which can often lead to disturbed scarring.
Scar types: Doctors classify fibrous, sclerotic, atrophic, hypertrophic and keloid scars
|Fibrous scar||“Normal” scars||Mostly slightly different appearance to the surrounding skin, otherwise inconspicuous||no|
|Sclerotic scar||shrink scar||Scar with very hard, contracted tissue; often functionally handicapped||Early Stage: Scar Care Late Stage: Surgical removal, new suture and immediate scar care|
|Atrophic scar||Sunken scar, indented scar||scar drawn into the deep with surrounding crater, possibly not displaceable over the ground||Early stage: scar care
Late stage: surgical removal, new suture and immediate scar care
|Hypertrophic scar||Common color, bead scar
(in the “normal” context)
|“Too much” scar tissue formation limited to the edges of the scar, can occur during maturation and then regress||Intensive scar care possibly in combination with additional procedures (cortisone injection, mesotherapy etc)|
|keloid||Common color, bead scar
(no longer in the “normal” frame)
|This particular form of scar growth affects the scar itself AND the adjacent “healthy” tissue||Complex therapies conceivable; agree with plastic surgeon or dermatologist|
You yourself can influence the maturation of the scar by a few simple measures. In the following, we have put together some tips based on our years of clinical experience.
Scar care cream, scar plaster, sunscreen – what’s the right thing?
Unfortunately, many surgeons do not recommend scars after surgery because they see the scar as a “fateful sequel to surgery,” or are more interested in the results of the actual surgery than in the quality of the scar. For many years, there have been various scar care products such as Bepanthen® (which offers a practical massage stick), Scarsil®, Contractubex® or Kelofibrase® on the market. Many products use more conventional ingredients such as onion extract, allantoin or heparin. Also required products such as scar plaster are unfortunately so far from a few suppliers from the same hand. Even innovative or even patented agents, which specifically affect the scar maturation, are the exception.
Only one of the products has so far provided an integrated sunscreen, which, however, is extremely important for scars on unclothed skin. The exception here is Scarcare®, a new scars care with three ingredients, which should allow the combination of an optimal scar maturation. The patented “active ingredient of the year 2015” Spiralin® (awarded, inter alia, by the journal “Aesthetic Dermatology”) is derived from a million-year-old micro-algae organism and is said to have a positive effect on the surface of the scar via its bactericidal effects. In addition, the regenerative power by which Spiralin® supports scarring is proven. The second ingredient, emu oil (known from the treatment of burn scars) and an integrated UV protection complete the Scarcare® products. Also scar care sets can be ordered, which in addition to the required products contain detailed instructions for scar care.
What else can you do to help the scar care?
No matter which product you choose: It is important to massage the scar regularly. Optimal way here is the scar cream massaged into the young scar. It is best to start scarring as early as possible and perform it in a disciplined and regular manner. Of course, that can sometimes be “annoying”, but the result will last all life.
We recommend our patients the following procedure: After showering, the scar is massaged intensively for 8 to 10 minutes using the scar cream with circular and powerful movements. Afterwards, cream remnants are removed and the scar is covered with a scar plaster (as an alternative to the plaster, the Scarcare® scar pin can be used well on unclothed skin areas). In the evening, the patch is removed, the scar again massaged with scar cream and covered with the same patch (this can sometimes be used for up to 3 to 4 weeks).
Daily routine of optimal scar care (Source: www.scarcare.de)
How long should a scar be cared for??
From our experience, scars mature at different speeds. In a few cases, the final result can be seen after 8 to 10 weeks, but often care must be taken for up to six months. As long as the scar is hard and reddish, care should be continued to further optimize the training. Only when a skin color (or a slightly whiter shade) is reached, the care should be completed.
The results after three months of optimal scar management are well recognized on the before-and-after pictures. (Source: www.scarcare.de)
What you must not forget!
One important detail that is often forgotten and which we would like to refer to here: If you are exposed to sunlight while training the mature scar, you must protect the scar with a UV blocker. Otherwise it can lead to an ugly and permanent pigmentation. If the product you have chosen does not offer an integrated UV filter, it is advisable to bring a separate sunscreen cream with you (SPF>25). Only when the scar is completely pale and soft can be dispensed with the UV protection.
Finally, we summarized common scar care products for you and sorted them according to a few criteria.
Scar care products arranged alphabetically, without claim to completeness
|Surname||Price / Milligram or Milliliter||patented active ingredients||other ingredients||UV protection||Special features||other scar care products|
|Bepanthen scargel||0,70 €||Dexpanthenol, silicone||Cream tube with integrated massage roller|
|Contractubex||€ 0.26||Heparin, allantoin, onion extract||Intensive patch for the night|
|Dermatix gel||2,10 €||Silicone, vitamin C.|
|Kelo Cote Gel||1,00 €||Silica, polysiloxane||Silicone spray, Kelo-cote UV (SPF 30)|
|Kelofibrase||0.20 €||Heparin, camphor, urea||only available in pharmacies|
|Scarcare scar care||1,40 €||Spiralin||Emuoil, dimethicone, silicone||Yes||Developed by surgeons, UV protection in all products||Intense patch and care stick on the go|
|Scarsoft||1.20 €||Silicone, onion extract, Vitamin E, Sodium hyaluronad|
Dr. med. Timo A. Spanholtz, Specialist in Plastic and Aesthetic Surgery, Head of the Praxisklinik am Rosengarten
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