Reducing Scars

Wendy C. Fries writes that the best way to reduce scars is good wound care. Wendy outlines 3 steps to help reduce scarring after an injury. First, clean the wound. Start by running cool water over the wound to help soothe the skin, remove any dirt, rocks, or splinters with tweezers that have been cleaned with alcohol, finally, gently wash skin around the wound with soap and a washcloth. Do not use harsh soaps, alcohol, or hydrogen peroxide to clean the wound as these cleansers may actually do more damage to the tissue. The second step to good wound care is to keep the wound covered. This will keep bacteria out of the wound.  Apply a bandaid  to the wound to help keep the wound moist. This will aid with healing and reduce scar formation. Lastly, do not pick the scabs as this will lead to more scarring and also open the wound up to bacteria.

A doctor should be called:

If the wound does not stop bleeding after applying pressure time 10 minuets

If  the wound is deeper or longer than 1/2 inch

If the wound is on the face and especially if it is around the eyes

If  the wound is dirty or has been caused by a dirty or rusty object

If the wound is ragged

If the wound was caused by an animal or human bite

If the wound is becoming more painful, has increased drainage, especially yellow or green, if there is increasing redness or swelling,  if fever or chills develop, or if there is swelling of lymph nodes in the groin, neck, or underarms.

Scars do not form the same way on everyone’s skin, some skin may scar more than others. Try not to put increased stress to areas of the body that are healing. One example is a wound to the back that is constantly stretched by bending and lifting may cause more scar formation.

Following these suggestions may help to reduce scarring form simple injuries to the skin.