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June - July 2008


Health

Want to know how to treat a Scar?

by Shashi Gossain B.Sc (Hons), MRPS, Member


Scarring can occur due to any injury to the skin e.g. Post acne, burns, cuts, infections, insect bites and post surgery.

Scar formation is a natural part of the healing process after injury, however, Asian skin is prone to scar excessively due to the over production of collagen. As soon as the dermis (deep skin layer) is damaged, for whatever reason, the body immediately begins a repair process. Numerous cells migrate to the damaged area and some of these cells, called macrophages remove dead cells and debris. Other cells called fibroblasts produce a fibre called collagen, which “bridge the gap” over the damaged area to heal the dermis. The initial wound is sealed but unfortunately the fibroblasts continue to produce collagen resulting in an uneven skin texture.

Scars result due to an aggressive healing process, leaving a very thick raised skin surface. Extreme treatments include surgical removals, dermabrasion, laser surgery, skin grafting (removing skin from another part of the body and transposing it on the injury) or steroid injections. These drastic measures can unfortunately result in uneven changes in skin colour (hyperpigmentation).

However, the latest treatments promote the application of silicone based creams which act by forming a completely invisible film on the skin, which helps reduce the production of collagen on the skin. This encourages the growth of normal healthy skin cells resulting in the reduction of scarring. The latest silicone materials used in creams are:

Cyclopentasiloxane – a transparent, non-greasy, non-irritant, liquid silicone that forms an effective ‘cross link’, which is easily absorbed into the skin.

Dimethicone – A silicone used as an emollient (skin softeners) that allows its application to feel smooth. In addition, this ingredient quickly evaporates, without leaving any greasy residue.

A scar will never completely go away but the above methods can help reduce its size and appearance.

More Health

More articles by Shashi Gossain B.Sc (Hons), MRPS, Member

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