How Smoking Affects Scarring

We all know smoking is bad for your skin. It also has a detrimental effect on scars. In fact it slows the healing process of both wounds and scars. Scars are more likely to become wide, thick, and red.

To be more precise, by smoking you decrease the amount of oxygen in your blood. Apart from that, nicotine narrows blood vessels (capillaries) which decreases the blood flow to the skin. So a lower blood supply and less oxygen are the result.

Most surgeons refuse to have people undergo scar revision surgery. Not only because it’s far less effective when someone smokes but also because it complicates anesthesia, and increases the risk of infection

Especially in case of cosmetic surgery since it’s all about appearance. Most plastic surgeons require a patient to quit smoking for at least 2 weeks prior to surgery.

Other ways to improve scar healing after surgery (or in general) are to maintain a healthy diet with sufficient protein, a well balanced fluids intake keeps you from dehydrating, and avoid alcohol as much as possible.

 

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Best Eyelid Surgery Scar Treatment

Eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) scars should be treated with even more caution and care than normal scars.

Since they are located near the eyes and because the skin in this area is very delicate extra care is recommended.

All surgical scars are permanent but certain things can be done to improve their cosmetic appearance as much as possible. More about the best treatment of eyelid surgery scars in a bit. First something about the operations and the types of scars involved.

Surgeons generally place the incisions so that they are as least noticeable as possible. Normally, only when looked at at very close distance these scars should be visible. Some people however tend to keep discolored and thick scar tissue as a result of the operation.

Incisions are made below the eye and in the upper eyelid. Cosmetic surgeons generally make the incisions so that the scars run in the natural contours of the skin.

If only fat is removed, the incision may be inside the lower eyelid along the lower lash line, which is completely hidden. The scars should be almost invisible in 2 weeks.

A bit about the two most common types of eyelid surgery.

Upper Eyelid Blepharoplasty
Incisions are placed in the upper eyelid’s natural skin creases. Fatty tissue and excess skin are removed. In this procedure the muscles and orbital septum may be tightened to correct droopy eyelid after which the incisions are closed.

Lower Eyelid Blepharoplasty
Lower eyelid surgery tightens loose skin and removes fat deposits . Incisions are made along the lower lash line and commonly extend a little beyond the eye. In this procedure excess skin, muscle, and fat are taken away after which the incision is closed. In case of loose lower eyelids a lid tightening procedure may be performed.

How to optimally treat eyelid surgery scars?

The most efficient and most commonly used eyelid scar removal methods are the following:

  • Face masks
  • Hot and cold compress packs
  • Post surgery eye-mask compress
  • Post-surgery healing supplements such as Bromelain and Arnica
  • Silicone scar sheets or gels

Especially silicone gel is an effective treatment for surgery scars in general. Personally I would opt for using sheets instead of a liquid gel that dries. Preferably use it during sleep.

Effects of silicone sheets; scars become less bumpy/raised, and less red. What’s more, silicones are known to prevent excess scar tissue creation. Especially if you are prone to developing keloids something worth throwing in the mix.

I would recommend ScarAway because it has professional grade dimethicone silicones. I have used the brand myself (not for eyelid scars) and I think it’s one of the best.

Visit MakeMeHeal for the most commonly used eyelid surgery scar products.

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New Anti-Ageing Cream May Cause Revolution in Wrinkle Treatment

A new cream has just been brought to the market. Produced with high-tech equipment and standards this product is a promising new addition to the existing anti-aging creams. The thing that makes this product so unique is that is makes use of microscopic, electromagnetically charged particles to relax nerve endings.

Natox, produced by Richibrown, has been clinically proven over 6 years of Pharmaceutical Double Blind Placebo Controlled Studies to be an effective, painless alternative to Botox.

The researchers concluded:

Participants in the Natox group had a significant improvement in frown lines compared with the control group. Both deep and newly developed wrinkles showed a consistent improvement, demonstrating Natox’s overall effectiveness.

Natox ingredients include; Water, sunflower Seed Oil, Sodium Cocylglumate, Denatured Alcohol, Acrylates/C10-30, Alkylacrylate Crosspolymer, Salicylic Acid, Ascorbic Acid

“I do loads of photo shots and video work I have to look my best. I use loads of Supplements and Natox sorts my face out. I love to put on Natox after a hard work out makes me feel good!”

Dave, Albrighton

 

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5 Breast Augmentation Scar Treatment Tips

One of the most difficult things someone can go through after having a successful breast augmentation procedure performed is to unwrap the surgical dressings for the final time only to discover what will be a tremendous scar. Even when the healing cut is underneath the breast and hidden from view, a raised up scar that has not healed properly can rub, grow irritated, become itchy, and can just be so frustrating and bothersome to the point that another procedure has to be done to remove the scar.

You don’t have to live with unsightly scars that are bothersome. In fact, you can have a natural look that has healed properly no matter how terrible the incision under the pressure bandages might be as long as you follow these simple tips to promote quick healing that will leave you with a minimal risk of scarring.

Obviously individualized needs are unique and you may need more or less care than the advice offered here, so be sure to consult with your local medical professionals if you have any specific questions about your unique needs.

Here’s a list of five quick but crucial breast augmentation scar treatment tips.

Tip #1 – Quit Smoking Before You Have Your Augmentation Procedure Done

When you are smoking, the nicotine and other chemicals that are in the cigarette, as well as the smoke from the cigarette, can actually prevent oxygen from traveling through your bloodstream as it should. When that happens and you have a cut, you will find that because there isn’t as much oxygenated blood reaching the wound, the would will not heal as fast. When a wound takes a long time to heal, your skin tries to make up for that happening by stretching across the gap, thus creating the scar tissue that can be bothersome.

Quitting just a day or two before the procedure isn’t going to be good enough. You need to allow your body some time to adjust to know having cigarettes, so give yourself at least 4 weeks of being smoke free.

Tip #2 – Kick Your Hygiene Up a Notch… By Taking It Down a Notch

If you want to make sure that you stay infection free when having your breast augmentation procedure down, then the last thing you want to have is a bunch of razor bumps bursting out small pools of pus onto the surgical paper that is protecting you as the surgeon performs his magic. That means not shaving for the last two weeks before the date of the procedure so that those razor bumps don’t turn into an infection that can cause both internal and external scarring. Now we’re talking under the arms here, not necessarily the legs.

You’ll also want to take a shower the morning of the augmentation procedure and utilize a soap that has antibacterial properties. By taking these proactive steps against an infection, not only will you reduce the chances of a serious complication from occurring, but you’ll also reduce your chances of scarring.

Tip #3 – Don’t Try To Do To Much the First Few Days

You might feel like you in no time at all, but we are talking about a procedure that involves pressure bandages, wound dressings, and anesthesia. (commonly used after breast augmentation are breast surgery support bras) You might have been discharged the same day from the doctor’s office, but that doesn’t mean life is going to be immediately normal. Take a few days, keep the shoes off, kick back, and watch an old Cary Grant movie or five… or something more to your taste, but you get the drift. By resting, not only are you giving your body its maximum potential to heal, but you are also limiting movements that could rip out your sutures and cause even worse scarring.

Tip #4 – Don’t Forget About the Silicone Sheets

Silicone Scar Treatment Sheets help your scars to heal in an all natural way quickly and effectively. It doesn’t matter if your scars are fresh from your surgery or old from an accident – silicone sheets are clinically proven to proactively prevent scars from forming and to restore a more natural look and skin tone. In fact, they can literally shrink, fade, and flatten your existing scars and can hide an unsightly incision mark while you heal from the augmentation procedure.

Tip #5 – Don’t Underestimate the Power of a Massage

Though breast massage might sound a bit funny when you first read it, the idea behind it is sound. As you are massage your breasts around and moving the implant around so that it keeps the newly opened augmentation pockets opened, you not only get a more natural looking breast after your augmentation is finalized, but you’ll be reducing your risk for large scars because of an implant that is not healing properly.

When you take care of yourself after your breast augmentation procedure, you’ll be able to reduce further health implications and your chances at having unsightly scars. From silicone sheets to the tried and true method of just resting and healing, you’ll be able to have an all natural, scar free look after your augmentation guaranteed.

Read this post to learn more about post op breast augmentation recovery.

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InviCible Scar Treatment Review, Does InviCible Work?

InviCible scars

InviCible scars

InviCible Scars is a silicone gel based product which makes it interesting to review since silicones are clinically proven to improve scar appearance. InviCible Scars is designed to improve the appearance of various types of scars and claims to also help fade brown spots and other dark skin marks.

This cream is developed by a reconstructive plastic surgeon (Dr. Chrysopoulo) and is formulated of clinically tested ingredients. I have no personal experience with this product (contrary to silicone sheeting) but I do think this cream is one of the most effective scar treatment creams available because of its ingredients. What makes this product unique is the combination of stable vitamin C, silicones, and a combination of peptides and other substances named the ProBiosyn-4 complex.

Studies show that vitamin C, as well as the substances present in the so called ProBiosyn-4 complex help scars heal. Vitamin C promotes collagen synthesis, protection from sun damage, and lightening of pigmented skin lesions. It also reduces scar redness and is known for its anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant effects. On top of that it has a positive effect on collagen synthesis in scar tissue.

The product is backed up by credible medical professionals. Several, reputable plastic surgeons and dermatologists recommend this product because of its effectiveness in skin treatment and the quality of its contents.

Invicible Scars © is claimed to fade acne marks, burns, dark spots, scars, eye circles, melisma, or birthmarks. The non-greasy silky cream is easily be applied on the skin, giving the user a soothing sensation that’s mess-free. The cream goes on comfortably without powder.

The cream is guaranteed to have satisfactory results; it only takes a few weeks for the users to see the difference. Invicible is friendly to the skin because it is hypoallergenic and it does not contain any excess ingredients such as preservatives, fragrance, hydroquinone, mineral oil, or alcohol. Unlike many of Invicible’s competitors, its website provides in-depth clinical studies that support their claims.

Histology studies as well as the satisfactory rate of customer results indicate that Invicible Scars works. The before-and-after photos on the website show its remarkable results. The manufacturer offers a 30-day free trial.

InviCible’s Ingredients include;

• Dual Complex Vitamin C
• Dimethicone Silicone Gel
• Probiosyn-4 Natural Scar Treatment Complex:
• Aloe Vera
• Linoleic and Oleic Acids
• Licorice (Stearyl Glycyrrhetinate)

Do you have questions concerning this InviCible Scar treatment review? Don’t hesistate to drop your comment below.

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Post-Operative Scar Treatment: How To Improve Surgical Scars

It is true that even cosmetic surgeons can’t operate without leaving marks. If you have surgery, you will have scars. Sometimes they are placed as unobtrusive as possible (in case of cosmetic surgery).

When undergoing normal surgery the scars will be more prominent. They are permanent, yet, if you give them the right kind of care, you can drastically reduce them.

Most individuals who have post-operative scars have two goals:

1 – To keep excessive scar tissue down
2 – To have a pleasing cosmetic appearance

Post-Operative Scar Treatment

 

There are several combined elements that make up the best treatment of scars after surgery. It’s important to bear in mind that the majority of after-surgery scars are hypertrophic, which are swollen and purplish or reddish in color.

Keloids are the kind of hypertrophic scars that develop on the outside of the original wound region.

Over the counter treatments for surgical scars include:

1 – Creams (silicone gel, medical honey, and Vitamin C)
2 – Scar massage
3 – Vitamin and mineral supplements
4 – Pressure therapy
5 – Silicone gel
6 – Paper tape

A Look At Surgical Paper Tape

 

A great way to keep incision wounds closed and reduce the shear forces is to use adhesive tape. It’s often applied when the dressings or sutures have been removed. The reason adhesive tape is used is that it keeps the wound from stretching and won’t cause an excessive amount of scar tissue from developing.

The paper tape should be work for at least six weeks or until the surgical wound has closed. If the wound has yet to close after six weeks, the tape should be left on.

You can use hypoallergenic tape, which cares for the scar by decreasing the tension on the edges of the wound and reducing the possibility of less favorable and widening scarring. Both Micropore and Steristrips tape are highly recognizable for doing the above things.

Another reason you should tape the cut is that scabs will stay soft and small. It’s a good idea to stop scabs from forming and maintain moisture so the wound will heal better and there is less scarring. (contrary to what is commonly thought there are studies confirming this. Read more about it here.)

A Look At Pressure Therapy

 

Until it was clear what the silicone sheeting benefits were, the standard way to treat surgical and burn scars was pressure therapy. The way to apply continuous pressure on the wounds was done through compression garments.

Compression has shown to do four things:

- Reduce pain
- Reduce the itch
- Prevent scars from forming
- Flatten scars that have risen

The effects on keloids are negligible:

Theoretically, pressure can break up the collagen bundles and soften the mass. However, it’s a long-term treatment and may not see any improvements for quite some time.

Today, compression garments are typically applied to boost the speed rate of the healing/recovery process. They’re typically used after certain kinds of procedures like

- Breast reduction
- Buttock augmentation
- Face lifts
- Liposuction (for men)
- Thigh lifts
- Tummy tucks surgery

When you wear post-operative compression garments, it does five things:

1 – Boosts the circulation of blood
2 – Lessens the swelling and bruising
3 – Reliefs your pain and discomfort
4 – Supports the body’s new contours
5 – Lessens the scar tissue creation

Talk to your doctor about the benefits of using a compression garment after your surgery.

A Look At Silicone Gel Sheeting

 

Silicone gel sheets are used in the management and treatment of hypertrophic scars and have been in use since 1982. While pressure therapy is still widely used, silicones are used in the majority of hospitals and burn centers.

Because of it’s easy of use, effectiveness and non-invasiveness silicone gel is commonly called the golden standard in hypertrophic scar treatment.

The gel helps by softening up and reducing the scars; cutting down on the amount of time it takes for pressure therapy to do the same thing.

Silicones are not intrusive and there’s little to no risk for side effects…although some folks may have minor rashes or redness. Thus, it’s recommended over more invasive treatments like cryotherapy, steroid injections and corrective surgery.

Since most surgical scars improve upon using silicon gel this modality is recommended before trying other, more risky treatments. There are a large variety of brands that include pre-shaped sheets to cover incisions like breast reduction and c-section scars.

Click here for more comprehensive information about various surgery scar improvement methods.

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Dark Scar Treatment With Lightening Creams That Work

Scars that are brown or otherwise dark colored can be lightened. This, however, will take some time because they will not fade overnight. Obviously, in order to lighten dark scars, you will have to use a product that actually works.

With the market flooded with hundreds of brands and formulas many customers will get confused. Therefore some scientifically backed advice about which ingredients to look for in a cream. And, also important, what substances you should better avoid.

It will be obvious to most people that in general natural ingredients are preferred above the use of synthetic chemicals. Provided that these natural constituents work.

Fortunately there are a few substances provided by Mother Nature that have lightening properties and, thus, aid dark scar treatment.

5 Popular Natural Scar and Skin Lightening Agents:

  1. Kojic Acid
  2. Hydroquinone
  3. Liquorice Extract
  4. Bearberry Extract(Arbutin)
  5. Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)



Sadly, kojic acid and hydroquinone are known to have adverse side effects:

more recent long-term Japanese studies have shown that kojic acid has the potential for causing contact dermatitis and erythema. (1)

Adverse reactions from hydroquinone use include irritant and allergic contact dermatitis, and nail discoloration. Postinflammatory hyperpigmentation may occur from the contact dermatitis. Hypopigmentation of the normal skin surrounding the treated areas may also occur. (2)



Therefore it may be best to opt for products that contain safer alternatives such as liquorice and vitamin C. These ingredients will hinder tyrosinase, an enzyme responsible for changes in skin color when exposed to sunshine or after injury.

  • Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)

    In order for vitamin C to work it has to have a concentration of at least 10 percent. Besides lightening excess pigmentation in (scar) tissue it will also stabilize collagen production. This is useful in scar treatment because many scars representations of exaggerated collagen production.

    When buying a scar lightening cream that contains vitamin C you have to be aware of the fact that vitamin C is unstable. This means that it will oxidize (turn brown) when exposed to the air and lose its effectiveness.

    Many commercially available products with vitamin C have brown added coloring to hide the oxidation. Therefore, make sure to avoid these brown creams.

  • Liquorice Extract

    Liquorice extract is also both effective and safe. Its potent anti-inflammatory action increases renewal of the skin. In addition, it contains liquiritin that enhances cell renewal by improving cell turnover. Licorice will increase the scar lightening effects of vitamin C.

A Dark Scar Treatment Cream With Stable Vitamin C and Liquorice.


A relative new and in popularity rising scar cream that contains both these ingredients and at the same time does not contain potentially harmful substances is InviCible scar cream.

This cream is very well-reviewed as 94% of the people who used it declared high satisfaction and rated their results as “good”, “very good”, or “excellent”.

It is hypoallergenic as it does not contain common skin irritants like preservatives (e.g. parabens) and fragrances. For more info visit their website here: InviCible Scars

Due to it’s superior safety profile, InviCible was awarded the National Parenting Center Seal of Approval and is one of only 300 products to be in compliance with the Compact for Safe Cosmetics.


How Do These Ingredients Work?

Most dark scars are caused by hyperpigmentation which is another word for excess pigmentation in skin or scar tissue. In order to lighten dark scars excessive melanin production should be reduced. (Melanin is the brown pigment that produces normal skin color.)

All the aforementioned natural substances are tyrosinase inhibitors. Tyrosinase is an enzyme that plays a role in melanin production. Many dark scars are the result of an overproduction of melanin. Reducing the production of this enzyme will decrease melanin, thus the dark appearance of a scar.



References

1. Nakagawa M, Kawai K, Kawai K. Contact allergy to kojic acid in skin care products. Contact Dermatitis 32(1):9-13 (1995 Jan).
2. Grimes PE. Melasma Etiologic and Therapeutic Considerations. Arch Dermatol 131(12):1453-7 (1995 Dec).

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Best Treatment For Raised Scars

The best, and actually only proven effective, risk-free, treatment for raised scars is topical silicone gel sheeting. In this study, published in Dermatologic Surgery in 2001 researchers conclude:

Topical silicone gel sheeting, with a 20-year history of satisfaction in dermatology, now appears to be useful in the prevention of hypertrophic scars and keloids in patients undergoing scar revision.

 

Also other studies confirm such claims. This type of therapy has been used for a few decades now, initially in burn centers and hospitals.

Not only to prevent excessive scar formation but to improve cosmetic appearance as well. Some dermatologists and other medical professionals refer to silicone sheeting as ‘The Golden Standard in Scar Treatment’.

Steroid Injections
Another treatment for raised scars that works is the, more invasive, use of steroid injections. Generally multiple injections are required to get the desired effect.

Downside are the possible side effects. Such steroid injections (e.g. Kenalog) may deform the scar and surrounding skin by causing dents (skin atrophy). Other complications include; lightening of the skin (hypopigmentation), and red spots on the skin (telangiectasia).

Because of these side effects and the non-invasive character of silicone gel sheeting it is often recommended to use these. Most scars improve upon using this modality.

Raised Scars
Raised scars can be white, red, purple, or even darker colored. The most common types of raised scars are keloids and hypertrophic scars. Hypertrophic scars are more common then keloids. The elevation of scar tissue is a result of excessive fibroblast creation. Fibroblasts are connective tissue cells the body creates to repair the wound.

  • Keloids
    Keloids only occur in 10% of people. They look like mounds growing above the skin surface. Sometimes they are mistaken for benign tumors. Their symptoms are itchiness, pain, unusual sensations, redness and skin pigmentation. They grow out of the normal boundaries and can be triggered by wounds, pimples, insect bites, tattoos, and even simple scratches. Keloids are hard to treat effectively and recurrence is typical. These scars are often treated with combinations of laser therapy, steroid injections, and silicone sheets. As a last resort surgery can be performed but more scar tissue may form afterwards.
  • Hypertrophic Scars
    Hypertrophic scars have a slightly similar appearance but do not grow as big as keloids. They may restrict movement when located close to a joint. They are more likely to fade in time, generally within 1 or 2 years. This type of scar tissue may develop into keloid scar tissue in some people. Therefore preventive treatment is recommended. (Surgical) wounds are commonly covered with paper tape to reduce wound tension and thus minimize scar tissue creation. (and the risk on keloid development) Scars (wounds that have closed) can be treated effectively by pressure therapy (garments) and silicone gel sheets.

How Do Silicones Work?
Silicones are thought to act by downregulating fibroblast creation thus reducing the amount of collagen deposit in the tissue. They are theorized (their precise method of action isn’t clear yet) to mimic the occlusive barrier function of healthy skin thus increasing hydration.

Hydration seems to be essential in improving (raised) scars therefore it is recommended to keep the scar and surrounding skin hydrated.

They can also improve the appearance of burn and contracture scars.

My Experiences With Silicones for Scars.
I have used silicone sheets myself on the several scars I had when I had been stabbed and needed surgery to safe my life. The sheets made my scars smoother, less itchy, flat, and more skin colored. I therefore recommend ScarAway .

You can also use a silicone gel cream such as ScarAway Serum or Kelo-cote scar gel. A gel is more convenient and once applied is less obvious which makes it more useful to wear during the day. (in case your scar is not covered by clothes.)

Sheets, also known as pads or patches seem to be slightly more effective though. I myself used both. Sheets at night and the gel during daytime.

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Scar On Face Treatment

photo by atomicjeep

Generally scars on the face are the result of acne lesions or injuries. The type of scar determines which treatment is appropriate.

Once facial skin has been injured, e.g. due to an accident or surgery, scar tissue will develop. Most commonly these scars are hypertrophic. This means they are red (or purple/pink) and raised. They may itch and, in some cases, hurt.

The only working treatment for such scars are silicone gel sheets. They are proven effective as demonstrated by various clinical trials and studies. Check out this PubMed study abstract to learn more: Silicone gel sheeting is safe and effective treatment for hypertrophic and keloid scars.

Also silicone gel creams (a popular cream goes by the brand name Kelo-Cote) can improve cosmetic appearance. Silicones make hypertrophic and keloid scars less red, more skin colored, flatter, softer, and they reduce the risk on keloid development as well. Click here for recommended scar treatment products.

Acne scars are harder to treat effectively. There are roughly two types of acne scars. Rolling scars which are slightly depressed and ones that are narrow and deep. Recommended therapies are laser resurfacing, chemical peels, dermabrasion, and (collagen) fillers.

A popular over-the-counter product used to reduce acne scars on the face is Glycolic Acid

In case such treatments do not work surgery may be conducted as a last resort.

Non-acne facial scars will often heal relatively well because there are so many muscles in the face. Regular movement of these muscles as well as optimal blood flow tends to improve the healing process.

Make sure to keep scars out of the sun for the radiation will make their appearance worse. Also hydration (e.g. by using Vaseline or another moisturizer) and massage will aid the healing process.

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Vitamin E For Scar Tissue, Does It Work?

No, vitamin E does NOT improve scars. There is no scientific evidence confirming this claim. In fact, some studies do demonstrate vitamin E may cause skin irritation which actually worsen scarring. Anecdotal reports also mention widened scars after using vitamin e topically.

In this study (The Effects of Topical Vitamin E on the Cosmetic Appearance of Scars) the researchers concluded:

This study shows that there is no benefit to the cosmetic outcome of scars by applying vitamin E after skin surgery and that the application of topical vitamin E may actually be detrimental to the cosmetic appearance of a scar.

In 90% of the cases in this study, topical vitamin E either had no effect on, or actually worsened, the cosmetic appearance of scars.


So if vitamin E doesn’t work, what should we use?

The only proven effective scar treatment product you can use at home are Silicone Scar Treatment Sheets . (links to Amazon, read the reviews to learn how they can help you improve your scar tissue)

There are various studies demonstrating the benefits of silicone gel scar sheets. Here’s one published by Archives of Surgery.

Important to remark is that this modality does not work on all types of scars. Burn scars, discolored, and raised scars are known to improve. In some cases keloid scars may also be repulsed by silicones. Such scar tissue will become flat, softer, more pliable, and discolorations will tone down. Also itch and pain will be reduced.

Silicones have been used since the 1960′s in burn centers and hospitals. Only the last decades they have become available on the consumer market. Many people are still not aware of the existence (let alone effectiveness) of silicone sheeting for scars. Among those who are unaware of the benefits of silicones are not only consumers but also medical personnel. It’s a sad fact that many doctors, but even dermatologists, and plastic and cosmetic surgeons are not aware of the clinical proof that backs the use of silicones for scars.

For depressed scars silicones will not be the most appropriate treatment. These types of scar tissue will most likely be treated with fillers, dermarolling (needling), and collagen injections.

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