Today’s article will describe the 9 benefits of silicone scar sheets, one of the many treatments to improve scarring. This is a natural part of the body’s healing process that happens after skin injuries. Many people consider excessive scarring an aesthetic issue and want to reverse it.
- How Skin Heals After Surgery
- Keloid vs Hypertrophic Scarring
- Scar Care at Home: 9 Benefits of Silicone Scar Sheets
- Are There Any Disadvantages to Using Silicone Strips?
- Other Ways to Care for Your Scars at Home
- Medical Treatments for Scars
- The Process of Healing
- The Scarred Body
- How to Prevent Scarring
- What Are the Risks Involved in Scar Reconstruction?
How Skin Heals After Surgery
A scar is often swollen and numb immediately after an injury or a surgical procedure. It’ll be hard, tight, raised, and even lumpy after several weeks. It’ll become softer, smoother, and less red over time and continue to heal for the next 12 to 18 months. A keloid scar is due to abnormal processes after surgical injury or trauma.
This type of raised scar occurs after a wound heals and forms by the excess protein or collagen in the skin during healing. Keloids are usually raised or have ridges. They continue to grow after healing. Many people choose to improve their appearance even though they’re harmless and require no treatment.
Keloid vs Hypertrophic Scarring
These are different. The first is the abnormal growth of the edges of a scar that goes beyond the original wound.
In turn, a hypertrophic scar retracts on its own after three or four weeks. It stops growing several years after the event. The first extends beyond the original wound.
This type of scarring occurs between the ages of 10 and 30. It’s rare in younger and older people and can affect any ethnic group, although it seems to prevail in those with darker skin. Furthermore, it doesn’t seem to affect people that are albino.
The main causes seem to be foreign body reactions. Bacterial infections, collagen degradation, and denaturation seem to be factors as well. None of these theories have supporting data, though.
The cause may not be 100% clear, although it prevails in the sternum, most likely because it’s harder. Apparently, it occurs in those areas where the concentration of melanocytes is higher. For example, they’re uncommon on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet- probably because the melanocytic concentration is lower.
Scar Care at Home: 9 Benefits of Silicone Scar Sheets
1. Silicone products like silicone gel and silicone strips can keep the scar moisturized and speed up the healing process.
2. Silicone strips reduce wound tension. They do so by transferring it from the wound edges to the silicone sheet. It’s an ideal environment for normal scar formation as it reduces the risk of further damage to the area.
3. These strips decrease blood flow to the scar site and this decreases scar formation.
4. The silicone in the strips creates friction between the sheet and the skin. This generates a negatively charged static electric field that helps align structural proteins.
5. You can wear them under your clothing and even under makeup. Your scar will be smoother and flatter after a few weeks.
6. Silicone scar sheets are easy to use: just cut them to size and place them over the scar.
7. They’re cheaper than other procedures.
8. You can buy them at your local supermarket or pharmacy.
9. Silicone strips are painless, non-invasive, and have a low risk of adverse side effects. They come in different sizes and blend with the natural color of skin.
Silicone Scar Sheets We Like
Are There Any Disadvantages to Using Silicone Strips?
As with everything, this treatment has its disadvantages.
For one, you need to keep the silicone strips on for as long as you can — 12 hours at least. Thus, it can get expensive. They could also cause hypersensitivity reactions in some people.
The thing you might like the least is that you won’t notice results until about two to three months of continuous use. Finally, using them on the face or joints is rather uncomfortable.
Other Ways to Care for Your Scars at Home
Camouflage Scar Cream
This special type of makeup helps you match the scar color to your natural skin tone. Green-tinted makeup over a red scar can also improve its appearance.
No scar will ever disappear completely but there are some things you can do to make them smoother. Always consult your dermatologist before you try any over-the-counter products.
Sun Protection is An Important Part of Any Scar Treatment
Exposing your scar to sunlight can delay the healing process. It could also darken the scar and make it more noticeable. Thus, it’s important to protect it when you go outdoors. Always apply sunscreen, wear a wide-brimmed hat and wear other kinds of sun blocking attire.
Scar Healing Through Massage
Gently massage the scar for one to two minutes to soften it. Repeat the process two to three times a day.
Medical Treatments for Scars
Medical treatments can improve a scar and make it smoother and softer to the touch. Steroid injections, dermabrasion, laser treatments, and surgery are some of them. Note that you can only do these treatments after the scar has completely healed on its own. Your dermatologist should be able to tell you what’s the best treatment for you and when to start it.
Corticosteroids, either on their own or in combinations, are the most common form of keloid therapy. This is due to their ease of administration, low cost, and low risk. The effect of this substance on collagen synthesis and degradation isn’t fully clear. It increases collagenase production in young keloids. It also reduces the levels of high collagenase inhibitory globulins.
Steroids also reduce melanocyte-stimulating hormone production. This is good news for people with darker skin because they produce more of this hormone.
Silicone Sheets for Scar Management
The effectiveness of silicone gel sheets for preventing and reducing hypertrophic scars and keloids is well documented in several studies. You can reduce an existing thin keloid scar or a hypertrophic one by applying silicone strips for two months.
Hyperpigmented lesions and erythema (a type of skin rash) also seem to get lighter with a silicone gel sheet. Furthermore, the lesions become even softer and more manageable if you complement the silicone scar sheet treatment with steroid injections.
The mechanism behind a silicone strip is unclear but some think it retains moisture because the oil of this substance is right on the surface.
Two recent studies revealed that silicone gel, oil, and cream are effective when applied to keloids or hypertrophic scars. Especially when done with occlusive devices.
Silicone Scar Sheets We Like
Another silicone modality comes in the form of a topical self-drying gel. This is a more recent treatment and thus, a decent alternative to silicone scar strips.
There was a study conducted on thirty patients. Their scars ranged from superficial to hypertrophic to keloids. All received a silicone gel treatment and the results are quite promising.
For one, it increases hydration and allows the skin to breathe. This, in turn, facilitates the regulation of fibroblast production and a reduction in collagen production. The result is a softer, flatter scar.
The silicone gel also protects the scarred tissue from bacterial infection. Not only that, it keeps bacteria from producing an excess of collagen in the scar tissue.
Furthermore, it modulates the growth of keloid cells and normalizes the collagen synthesis in any abnormal scar. It also increases the level of collagenases.
These break down the excess collagen and balance and restore fibrogenesis (a wound repair mechanism) and fibrinolysis (the process that prevents excessive blood clotting).
Silicone gel also reduces itching and discomfort associated with scars.
This treatment improves the appearance of various types of existing scars such as those caused by acne, surgical procedures, and accidents. It can also improve the appearance of fine wrinkles around the mouth and remove precancerous lesions.
Dermabrasion removes the most superficial layers of the skin by a controlled surgical method. It can be done to the entire face or on a specific area. It can be the only form of treatment for the face or as a complement to others such as facelifts, laser resurfacing, and chemical peels.
The procedure consists of lifting the most superficial layers of the surrounding skin using a surgical turbine with diamond particles that rotate at high speed. This is to selectively remove the outermost layers and uncover the healthy skin layer. The surgeon might apply dressings to prevent pain and the formation of scabs. You must keep them on for four to five days. If you prefer to opt-out of getting the dressings, you can also use some ointments to protect the skin wound instead. There’ll be a scab, but it’ll fall off gradually.
These are great for scar removal. Laser treatments are even effective on deep, larger scars by varying the intensity and patterns of the laser according to the type of skin and the desired results. It promotes wound healing by revealing healthy tissue. It does so by eliminating skin cells in a given depth and area.
This procedure is safe and allows quick recovery of the treated area. It’s quite effective and can replace traditional surgery in some cases. The procedure lasts about 15 minutes, and local anesthesia is applied beforehand. The rate of complications is lower as there are no cuts. You’ll begin to notice the results on scars approximately two months after the session.
No scar will ever go away completely, but a plastic surgeon can improve its appearance.
We’ve already mentioned some procedures to reduce scars, but even the best ones won’t make them disappear.
For instance, scars oriented in the same direction as the minimal tension lines of the skin tend to have good esthetic quality. Specific surgical techniques can decrease scarring.
You have to wait for the scar to fully heal before you think about correcting it. It takes between 6 months and 2 years. Scars usually improve during that time and some may not need surgical correction.
There are several surgical procedures to correct scars. A simple excision can improve most scars. It consists of resecting the entire scar and then suturing the edges in one or more planes.
In more complex cases, the surgeon must change the direction of a scar. They do so by obtaining skin grafts from less visible areas of the body. Sometimes they form new skin by expanding it to replace the scar tissue. Complex ones often require more than one surgical procedure.
The Process of Healing
The body carries out a final and definitive state of repair for wound healing. Keloid scarring is the least desirable type, though. It’s due to a disorder in the normal structure of collagen- thus, leading to abnormal and disproportionate growth of the normal phases of healing.
As we mentioned above, the healing process is the definitive repair of wounds but any keloid scar is an undesirable outcome, aesthetically speaking. This is due to the appearance of the scar that invades around normal tissue.
Wound Healing and Scarring
This is a complex reparative process which causes skin regeneration. It also replaces the dermis with fibrous tissue cutaneous wounds. It mainly consists of collagen fibers. These are different from normal fibers.
These new fibers are shorter, disorganized, and less soluble. Thus, the scar doesn’t have the tensile strength of unharmed skin. This repair process goes through various simultaneous stages that influence each other. It’s for this reason that any alterations in one stage can either harm or benefit the rest.
The Scarred Body
People are often concerned about scars and any other mark on their complexion. Physical impairment isn’t as worrisome as the aesthetic change that results.
What’s a scar but a light pink, brown, or off-white patch of skin that develops over the part of the body where you were cut, scraped, or grazed? Scars are how the skin repairs after an injury. You probably have at least one or two — most people do. Many things leave scars: falls, bumps, medical procedures, accidents, etc.
The thing is, scars are a part of life and a reminder of what’s happened to you. It’s part of the history of your life. Some are quite meaningful, like the one your friend has on their chest from a heart operation as a baby. Perhaps your scars are from chicken pox.
Did you know that ancient warriors displaid theirs proudly? They were symbols of their bravery. It was a sort of accessory to impress their friends along with the exciting stories about how they got them.
The function of a scab is to protect the wound while the injured skin underneath heals. Eventually, the scab dries and falls off on its own, leaving behind repaired skin and, often, a scar.
How to Prevent Scarring
The best way to reduce your chances of getting injured is to wear knee pads, helmets, and other protective attire- especially when you play sports, ride a bike, or rollerblade. Note that anyone can still get hurt from time to time despite protection.
All you can do to prevent or reduce the size of scars and help your skin heal is to take the right wound care steps during the healing process.
You can do this by covering the wound during the healing process. It’ll keep bacteria out. Don’t touch or pick at the wound because you can break down the collagen fibers and introduce germs into it.
Some doctors claim that vitamin C helps the healing process. It does so by speeding up the creation of new skin cells and the shedding of old cells. Also, some people believe that applying vitamin E to the wound when the scab begins to form helps the healing process.
Some scars fade over time while others last a lifetime. No two scars are the same, just as no two people are the same. Scars, even from the same type of injury, can look different from person to person.
Silicone Scar Sheets We Like
What Are the Risks Involved in Scar Reconstruction?
Dermatologists perform many of these procedures with local anesthesia, but a considerable area requires general anesthesia and hospitalization. The specialist can correct a minimal scar in about half an hour. Complex ones will take longer though.
The main complications include infection, bleeding, and complications associated with anesthesia. There may also be a recurrence of a keloid scar. Some people have a tendency to develop pathological scars, be it hypertrophic or keloid.
Post Procedure Precautions
You may need a special bandage for a few days after this kind of procedure. You should be able to shower as usual as long as you give it the proper care. Doctors usually remove the stitches 10 to 15 days later.
Keloid scarring is an abnormal process as one of the wound healing phases is causing a variation. It’ll become permanent if not treated properly and timely. The cause isn’t clear, and further research is needed.
The importance of knowing this anomaly is that many factors promote it. It’s necessary to know what these are in order to prevent them. There’s no ideal treatment for keloids, according to published studies. The combined use of various forms of treatment over a long period, paired with constant and careful assessment of the patient to avoid the adverse effects of the treatments, often leads to good results.
We wish you luck on your scar-care journey!