Once you had an injury, wound, surgery or skin inflammation, scarring is the most concerning thing once the area of the skin has healed. Scarring will usually take place in 3 phases. But if you can take proper care of the wound and your entire body from the beginning, it will do wonders in healing the scar tissue properly.
Getting to Know Scars
For some cultures, scars are a symbol of beauty and group identity. But in the Western world, the best response they tend to get is one of nostalgia — memories of that slide you fell off when you were 5 or that dog that bit you on your way home from school. Ever wonder why you get them in the first place, though
Healthy skin cells are connected by an extracellular matrix, or ECM. The ECM helps transport certain nutrients around the skin and keep the cells held together. It’s composed of certain proteins, such as collagen. When you fall off the slide or get bit by a dog, the wound disrupts the ECM’s neatly organized basket-weave structure. As the wound heals, the weave turns to straight lines and reduces elasticity and durability, not to mention slowing the processes inside the cell.
Scars are what the healed, yet disorganized, tissues look like. Though minor, the scars cause slight breakdowns in cell function, particularly if there is too much collagen or ECM. A surplus of collagen, for instance, hampers sweat production, deregulates body temperature, and can stimulate hair growth.
The best way to reduce long-term damage from scar tissue, then, is to protect it. That means bandages (or futuristic polymers). If too much fibrous tissue develops, experts refer to the condition as fibrosis, and it can happen in more organs than just the skin. Pulmonary fibrosis affects the lungs, and cystic fibrosis affects the pancreas. For visible scars, however, we can view them as reminders of the past — so we can appreciate the memories but still know not to do it again.
While scarring is a natural part of the healing process, it’s a significant concern for both physicians and patients because of how difficult it is to predict scar severity.
The extent of scarring depends on a number of factors including:
- Wound type, depth, size, and location
- Presence/absence of infection
- Patient age, health and ethnicity
The Phases of Wound Healing and Scar Formation
All wounds go through the same three-phase repair process.
Phase 1: The Inflammation Phase
During the Inflammation Phase of wound repair, the body quickly stops the bleeding process by restricting blood flow and forming a plug made from platelets. This plug is then strengthened by the addition of fibrin strands to form a scab. White blood cells move into the wound within the first few days to clean the wound site. Shortly afterwards, the cells needed for the second phase of healing arrive at the wound site: this includes fibroblasts, the cells responsible for scar tissue formation.
Phase 2: The Proliferation Phase
Of all the phases of wound healing, the Proliferation Phase is the most relevant to scar formation. During this phase, fibroblasts produce collagen: a very tough flexible material that gives strength and structure to help a wound close. Collagen is commonly referred to as scar tissue. Catenin is a protein that controls the deposition of collagen during wound healing by regulating the activity of fibroblast cells.
The Proliferation Phase starts within several days of wound formation and continues for approximately three weeks.
Phase 3: The Remodeling Phase
The Remodeling Phase starts several weeks after the Proliferation Phase and last up to two years. During this period, the original collagen is continually replaced with a stronger, different type of collagen that is arranged in a more favorable pattern.
Getting to Know Thy Scars
Hypertrophic scars (also called hypertrophic) are caused by an exaggerated wound healing response that results in an excessive deposition of collagen. This exaggerated response has been linked to elevated levels of catenin present in hypertrophic scars relative to levels found in normal scars.
Hypertrophic scars become raised, swollen and reddened during wound healing causing them to stand out from the surrounding skin. Many patients consider them to be unsightly and irritating. Typically, hypertrophic scars feel firm to the touch and may be sensitive to changes in temperature or texture. They can also be itchy and cause painful contractures. If these contractures overlay a joint it can often result in a restricted function.
Hypertrophic scars occur more frequently following thermal injuries and other injuries that involve the deep dermis. Too much tension on wound edges, poor approximation of wound edges, and infection are also potential causes hypertrophic scarring.
Up to 15 percent of the general population is affected by hypertrophic scarring following wounding. The incidence of hypertrophic scarring following surgery is especially high: 39 percent in Caucasian and 68 percent in Asian patients. In Asian patients the incidence following burns is 91 percent.
Keloids are similar to hypertrophic scars in that they result from an exaggerated wound healing process in terms of inflammatory response and fibroblast proliferation. Unlike hypertrophic scars, keloids by definition extend and grow beyond the original boundaries of the wound.
Other Scar Types
Contracture scars result from the over-tightening of the skin where a more severe burn has occurred. Acne scars, also called atrophic or depressed scars, differ from other scars as they develop when there is a loss of tissue.
Homemade Remedy for Scars
Special Homemade Cream
The ingredients required are:
- Cocoa butter – 1/4 cup
- Raw, natural honey – 1 tablespoon
- Olive oil – 1/4
- Lavender oil – 3 to 4 drops
How to Prepare it?
- Place the cocoa butter on hot water bath and melt it.
- Add equal amounts of olive oil.
- Add a tablespoon of honey.
- Add the lavender oil.
- Allow the mixture to cool and place it in the freezer for 20 minutes.
Move the mixture into a jar with lid and close tightly. Your special homemade scar removing cream is ready.
How to use it?
Use this cream daily – once in the morning and the in the evening. Its ingredients will heal your skin while nourishing it and also give an amazing smell.