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A Scar Shouldn't be the Story

Don't let a scar steal your spotlight.

Mederma® Advanced Scar Gel

visibly reduces the appearance of scars.


PRODUCTS

Mederma® Quick Dry Oil

Mederma Quick Dry Oil is the only oil that combines Cepalin with nourishing botanicals in a fast-absorbing, paraben- and dye-free formulation.  It is a multi-use product for use on scars, stretch marks, uneven skin tone, and dry skin. LEARN MORE >>

Mederma® Advanced Scar Gel

Mederma® Advanced Scar Gel is the only 1x per day formulated scar care product clinically shown to reduce the appearance of scars old and new. Clinically shown to improve the overall appeareance, color and  texture of scars. 1 LEARN MORE >>


Mederma® PM Intensive Overnight Scar Cream

Mederma® PM Intensive Overnight Scar Cream is the only overnight scar cream formulated to work while you sleep. It utilizes Tripeptol, a skin-nourishing complex with peptides, collagen, and antioxidants to promote healthy-looking skin. LEARN MORE >>

Mederma® for Kids

Mederma® for Kids is the #1 pediatrician-recommended product for kids’ scars1 , and it has been clinically shown to soften and smooth scars. LEARN MORE >>

ABOUT SCARS AND SCARING

How scars form


 

When skin is damaged, the body produces special cells to repair it. Scars are the sections of repaired skin that do not look like natural skin even after they are healed.

Age The older a person is, the slower the skin heals, making scars more likely.
Skin Type In general, people with darker or very light skin are more susceptible to noticeable scarring.
Hormones Different hormonal levels may affect the way a person's skin scars.
Location In places on the body where the skin is subject to tension, such as at the joints or shoulders, more noticeable scars are likely to form.
Complications Infection/inflammation during the healing process means a higher risk of scarring.
Genetic Predisposition Hereditary factors also play a role in the healing of the wound and, therefore, could make the skin prone to scarring.

Some scars have too much collagen and other tissues, which causes raised skin. Some have too little collagen, which causes the scar to be lower than the skin around it. Repaired skin might have no hair follicles, be less elastic (or flexible), and form longer strands of tissue compared to the skin around it. These changes create different types of scars.

Causes of scars

Scars can occur from any damage to the skin, but they can be worse if any scabs that form are removed too early. A number of other events or conditions can cause scars.

All information is intended for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a replacement for professional medical advice. You should seek professional medical care if you have any concerns about your skin.

Types of scars


What type of scar do you have?

Scars come in various shapes, sizes and even colors. These different characteristics depend on many factors: how the skin was damaged, how well the skin heals, your personal and family history of scarring, how old the scar is and where it is on your body. Likewise, each different type might need different types of care or treatment.

Types of scars:

  • Atrophic scars from acne, chickenpox and injury
  • Keloid and hypertrophic scars which cause raised skin

Types of scars

atrophicAtrophic scars (pronounced aye TRO fick) form a depression or sunken area because of damage to the collagen, fat or other tissues below the skin. These scars are caused by: Acne, chickenpox, surgery and accidents.

 

keloidKeloid and hypertrophic scars are dense, raised scars that are thicker than surrounding skin. They occur when the body produces too much collagen while a wound heals. They can be removed by surgery, but might return.

 

  • Keloid (pronounced KEY loyd) scars occur when too many cells grow at the site of a skin injury. The resulting tissue covers the wound and some part of surrounding skin. These red-purple scars do not usually go away by themselves. They are more common in people who are African-American, Hispanic or Asian.
  • Hypertrophic (pronounced HI purr TRO fick) scars are also raised, but they do not usually expand beyond the wound. They can fade at least partially without any treatment.

All information is intended for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a replacement for professional medical advice. You should seek professional medical care if you have any concerns about your skin.

How skin heals


Wounds heal in several, overlapping steps. How fast and well any skin damage heals depends on many factors, including a person's health and age, location and type of injury, and care for the wound while it is healing.

Listed below are the steps or phases when skin heals normally:

Phase 1: “Inflammatory” Phase

inflammatoryAfter an injury, a number of substances in the body reach the site of the wound quickly to begin to repair it. Besides causing blood to clot, these substances help remove damaged cells, germs and any foreign items (such as dirt). They also help create new cells that are important to healing.

As one of the first steps in healing a wound, the body starts to form a scab, or crusty layer. Removing scabs too early can cause more skin damage and cause larger scars. So to lessen scarring and improve healing, experts suggest leaving most scabs alone. Protect the scab and wound by keeping them covered and moist (with an antibacterial cream) while new skin cells grow beneath it. After a while, the scab will loosen and fall off.

Phase 2: “Proliferation” Phase

proliferationNew skin cells begin to form over a wound during this phase, which begins hours after an injury. The repair continues for three to 14 days. During this phase, the body also creates collagen, an important protein that is in the skin and connective tissues, plus other substances to help the skin draw closed. If scabs are present, they will eventually dry up and fall off. Wounds that are kept moist with antibiotic creams develop new skin cells faster, according to plastic surgeons.

Phase 3: “Maturation” Phase

maturationMore complete healing continues in phase 3, about three weeks after an injury. Water begins to gradually leave the scar, and collagen fibers begin to lie closer together. This process makes the wounded skin stronger. After about two months, the area of the wound will be about as strong as it can be, which is about 80 percent as strong as unwounded skin. This phase of healing can continue for months or even years.

All information is intended for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a replacement for professional medical advice. You should seek professional medical care if you have any concerns about your skin.

Caring for scars


Wounds to the skin and tissue can heal on their own over time. But scars will remain after those wounds heal.

Many people decide to give special attention to scars when they:

 

  • Want to improve self-confidence due to scars that are very visible on the face, hands or arms, for example.
  • Have pain, itching, swelling, scabs or other discomfort as the skin heals.
  • Have pain or discomfort of underlying tissues, tendons and nerves because of how the scar heals.
  • Tend to scar easily.

Types of care for scars

Once you have a scar, it will not go away completely. However, proper care can help wounds heal with less scarring. And once the wound has closed, you can take steps to help improve how a scar looks or feels.

Talk to your doctor about how to care for your skin to reduce the appearance of scarring, and about what you can expect for any scar care he or she may recommend.

Non-Prescription Products

Depending on the cause and type of scar, different products can help manage different concerns like pinkness or redness, for example. Others can help improve the appearance of a scar in other ways.

  • Antibacterial cream and a bandage will help to prevent infections and can help skin heal more quickly.
  • Scar products with sunscreen can help keep scars from getting darker.
  • For pain during healing, non-prescription pain products can help.
  • Products with onion extract (like Mederma® products) can reduce discoloration and improve the overall appearance and texture of scars.
  • Silicone gels and sheets can help prevent too much scar tissue from forming.
  • Special makeup can hide or camouflage scars.

In-office care your doctor may suggest

For scars that cause pain, discomfort or limit your ability to move easily, your family doctor, plastic surgeon or a dermatologist (a doctor who specializes in skin conditions) has many options to care for you. For the best possible results when caring for scars, be sure to follow the directions of your doctor and those on the labels of any products you use.

Some options for care include:

  • Steroid injections, or shots, which can sometimes flatten scars and reduce itching. This is often a first step to making larger or deeper scars less obvious.
  • Physical therapy (especially for contracture scars), including massage with gels that contain onion extract.
  • Chemical peels, dermabrasion and other procedures to remove the upper layer of skin so that new, smoother skin can grow back. These skin “revisions” also include laser surgery, skin grafting, and other types of surgery.

Talk to your doctor about how to care for your skin to lessen scarring, and about what you can expect from any care or treatment.

All information is intended for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a replacement for professional medical advice. You should seek professional medical care if you have any concerns about your skin.

Preventing scars


You cannot avoid all scars, but you can do many things to improve how a scar looks. You can also prevent scars by taking steps to prevent injuries and other damage to your skin.

  • Pay attention to your skin. Talk to a doctor early about acne plus other conditions and diseases that can damage the skin.
  • Follow your doctor's instructions for caring for your skin, wounds and scars. Ask questions about how to use products and medicines, and use them the right way every time.
  • Learn how to care for scabs, acne pimples and similar skin conditions. Do not pick scabs or squeeze pimples, because this can cause scarring.
  • Learn about your risk for getting different types of scars. Some types might be common among members of your family.
  • Understand how wounds heal, so you will know when your skin is most at risk for scarring or re-injury.
  • Protect healing skin and scars by using skin products with sunscreen and onion extract.

If you would like to improve the look of a scar or if a scar limits your ability to move because of pain or tight skin, talk to your doctor about all your options for care and treatment.

All information is intended for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a replacement for professional medical advice. You should seek professional medical care if you have any concerns about your skin.

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