Q&A with Dr. Baldwin
Dr. Baldwin On Scars
Question: Is there any way to make scars completely disappear?
Dr. Baldwin: The truth is that you can’t eliminate a scar completely. However, there are options to help reduce the appearance of a scar. One option is to use one of the scar products from the Mederma® family, which can help improve the appearance of your scar if used as directed for eight weeks on new scars and up to six months on old scars.
Question: Why do you prefer Mederma® over other treatments for scars?
Dr. Baldwin: Mederma® is the #1 doctor1- and pharmacist2-recommended brand for scars, and comes in a topical formulation for convenient and easy scar treatment. And now Mederma® Advanced Scar Gel provides an effective one-time daily topical scar therapy. This is a big improvement over current scar products, which need to be applied several times a day or can be very indiscreet. Mederma® also has multiple products that can be tailored to your individual needs. For example, I recommend Mederma® Scar Cream Plus SPF 30 for my patients when they are going to be outside so that they can protect their scars from sunburn and avoid hyperpigmentation.
Question: What can I do to prevent future scars?
Dr. Baldwin: While there is little that can be done to fully prevent the appearance of a scar, you can reduce the appearance of future scars by keeping wounds clean and covered. Don’t pick at scabs or let them brush up against clothing or other rough surfaces. You may also want to use an antibiotic ointment to promote faster healing and reduce the chances of infection while the wound is still healing. Speak with your local dermatologist for a recommendation.
Question: Why should you protect scars from sunburn?
Dr. Baldwin: I advise protecting your skin and scars from the sun because sun exposure may worsen or darken the appearance of your scar. By using a scar product enhanced with SPF 30, like Mederma® Scar Cream Plus SPF 30, you can reduce the risk of getting sunburn while you help make your scar less noticeable. Always wear sunscreen on exposed skin.
Question: Can you clear up any Old Wives Tales regarding scarring?
Dr. Baldwin: There are plenty of Old Wives Tales regarding wound treatment and scarring, so I’ll only touch on two that may surprise you here. One of the most popular Old Wives Tales recommends the use of Vitamin E oil to reduce the appearance of scars. In reality, studies have not shown that Vitamin E improves scars. Another popular Old Wives Tale suggests leaving a wound exposed to fresh air for improved healing, but in reality, wounds that are kept clean and covered will heal with a less noticeable scar. So before following the advice of an Old Wives Tale, speak to your dermatologist about products like Mederma® that have been shown through clinical testing to be both safe and effective at reducing the appearance of scars.
- IMS Health, NDTI, December 2012.
- Pharmacy Times. OTC Supplement. June 2013.
Dr. Baldwin On Stretch Marks
Question: Is there a way to make stretch marks completely disappear?
Dr. Baldwin: Nothing can completely eliminate stretch marks once they have appeared on your body. However, there are ways to reduce the appearance of stretch marks, one of which is Mederma® Stretch Marks Therapy. Clinical data has shown that it can visibly reduce the appearance of stretch marks when used twice daily for 12 weeks.1 Mederma® Stretch Marks Therapy works the best on new stretch marks, so you should start using it as soon as stretch marks form.
Question: Why do you prefer Mederma® Stretch Marks Therapy over other products for stretch marks?
Dr. Baldwin: Mederma® Stretch Marks Therapy is specifically formulated for stretch marks and is clinically shown to visibly reduce their appearance in 12 weeks when used as directed. There are a lot of rumors and old wives tales out there regarding stretch marks, so it is important to discuss any other products you are considering with your dermatologist. I generally tell patients to be wary of stretch mark creams that claim to “eliminate” or “erase stretch marks,” since stretch marks can’t be erased completely with anything other than surgery to remove or hide the stretched skin.
Question: Are there factors outside of weight gain or growth that contribute to the formation of stretch marks?
Dr. Baldwin: Developing stretch marks is not related to weight gain per se, but by the actual stretching of the skin caused by the rapid increase in body mass. Stretch marks are thought to be produced by hormones and genetic predisposition, so if your mother or father had them it is likely that you will too. Known causes of stretch marks include puberty, pregnancy, growth spurts, rapid weight gain or loss, obesity and medications including corticosteroids.
Question: Can teenagers develop stretch marks?
Dr. Baldwin: Stretch marks are commonly associated with pregnancy; however, they can also occur during adolescence due to rapid weight gain, enlarging of muscle mass and growth spurts. In fact, people sometimes enter adulthood with stretch marks that they have had since their teens. Mederma® Stretch Marks Therapy is safe for all ages, and should be used as soon as stretch marks develop. Remember, the longer you have had stretch marks, the more challenging it can be to improve their appearance.
Question: Do men develop stretch marks?
Dr. Baldwin: Men can develop stretch marks during puberty or with rapid weight gain just as easily as women. Men can also develop stretch marks on their upper arms and shoulders from building muscle through exercise, and men can also benefit from Mederma® Stretch Marks Therapy. It can help reduce the color, improve the texture and reduce the overall appearance of stretch marks in men just as well as women.
Question: I’ve had my stretch marks for over a year. is it too late to start using Mederma® Stretch Marks Therapy?
Dr. Baldwin: Everyone’s skin is unique and will react differently to topical products. Mederma® has received feedback from users who have seen results on older stretch marks, but generally speaking, if your stretch marks have faded to a silvery white in color, they may not respond as well to a topical treatment.
- Draelos, Z., Evaluation of an onion extract, centella asiatica and hyaluronic acid cream in the appearance of striae rubra, SkinMed, March/April 2010
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