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Wound care and minimizing the scar

When you cut or scrape yourself, or even go for surgery, the skin will heal, and may form a scar. This is completely natural, but often unwanted. How well the healing of the wound goes will determine how visible the scar is. Wounds over joints can be especially difficult to heal as they are regularly disturbed.

What can we do for the treatment of a wound to minimize the likelihood of visible scarring? There are a number of home remedies, and they have generally been proven to be ineffective. Some of the most popular are Vitamin E, Aloe Vera, Olive Oil, and Coconut Oil. Studies have shown that they simply keep the area moisturized, which is the true key to fast healing and minimization of visible scaring. The additional components have not been linked to any clear results to scar reduction.

The best practice for wound care and reduction of visible scaring:

1. Always follow your doctor’s advice.

2. Keep your wound clean. Wash with a mild soap and water. This will keep germs and particles out.

3. Use petroleum jelly to keep the wound moistened. This will lock the moisture in and help prevent the formation of a scab. Cleaning daily will help avoid the need to use anti-biotics.

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Credit: Ishikawa Ken

4. Cover the skin with an adhesive bandage. This locks the moisture in and will help to avoid any friction from clothing or outside sources. Not to mention it will keep your wound a lot cleaner. If the wound is large, you can use gauze and skin tape.

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Credit: Terry Johnston

5. Change your bandage daily. As part of your personal hygiene routine you will need to remove the old bandage and do your best to clean the area. If needed, reapply petroleum jelly and put a new bandage on.

6. After the wound has healed. Sun exposure can darken or redden the new skin permanently. Use sunscreen on the area to help reduce discolouration. This will help the scar fade faster.

 

Sources:

  1. Los Angeles Times: Do scar remedies really work?
  2. American Academy of Dermatology: Proper wound care: How to minimize a scar
  3. NCBI: The effects of topical vitamin E on the cosmetic appearance of scars.
  4. Top 10 Home Remedies: Home Remedies for Scar Removal

Featured Image Credit: Kelly Teague

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