Prevent scarring in the first place
Like with most things in life, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. When it comes to scars and the injuries that may cause them, that means you’ll want to optimize the healing process by keeping wounds clean and moist to prevent infection, says Shari Marchbein, MD, a board-certified dermatologist who specializes in acne scarring. “Remember, scars are permanent and result from damage to the underlying collagen in the dermis,” says Dr. Marchbein. In her office, patients get treated with Vaseline Original Healing Jelly after surgical procedures. She knows how to get rid of scars and opts for the ointment because it creates a protective barrier on the skin’s surface, which speeds wound healing and improves scar appearance and prevents scabbing.
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For an at-home scar treatment, try a silicone-based gel, like Kelo-Cote, says Rita Linkner, MD, a board-certified dermatologist with Spring Street Dermatology. “Silicone acts like an adhesive and attracts the right type of cell in the skin, called a fibroblast, to stimulate new collagen growth,” Dr. Linkner explains. Her suggestion is to apply the gel with a massage motion at night. Want to know if your ailment warrants a visit to your derma? These are the signs you need a skin doctor ASAP.
Preventing further damage
Never, ever, leave the house without sunscreen, says Heidi Waldorf, MD, of Waldorf Dermatology Aesthetics. “Sunscreen is important to avoid discoloration but you don’t need more sunscreen on the scar than the rest of your skin,” she says. “The key is for nothing to change color in the sun.” When looking to avoid scaring don’t make these sunscreen mistakes.
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