By By Heather Osler
It used to be that once you had a scar, you were stuck with it- for good. Not anymore. “Once you have a scar, there are simple treatments that you can pick up at your drugstore that can help.” says Dr. Lisa Kellett, a dermatologist in Toronto.
Elastoplast Scar Therapy $30
What is it: Adhesive, rubbery pads you place over your scar. For scars on joints, you secure the pad with adhesive strips (included).
How it works: There polyurethane patches maintain an optimum temperature around your scar, helping to improve circulation and resulting in a smoother skin surface once you remove the patch. You’ll have to wear each pad for at least 12 hours a day, although 24 hours a day is ideal.
Results: You should start to see the scar become lighter and smoother after four weeks, but the most noticeable change will occur after eight weeks.
Polysporin Scar Solution $37
What is it: An adhesive silicone sheet with tan-coloured fabric backing- similar to a fabric bandage.
How it works: Silicone has been scientifically proven to reduce redness and flatten scars by mimicking the natural barrier of normal, non-scarred skin. Each sheet is reusable, so after wearing it for at least 12 hours a day, you can rinse and reapply it for up to four more 12- hour shifts.
What is it: It is a clear self-drying silicone gel you smooth over your scar.
How it works: This product contains silicone but without a bandage covering. Since it dries to a flexible, clear sheet, this gel is ideal for joints and other areas where a bandage may not stay put. The gel should be applied every 24 hours for a minimum of two months. The products will gradually rub off during the day and may need to be applied more often if your scar is on an area such as your hands or feet.
Still not satisfied?
Head to your dermatologist for one of the following treatments; Scar revision surgery: Removes the scar, rejoining the skin to leave a less obvious scar than the original one.
Cortisone injections: Shrinks and flattens the scar, but you’ll need a treatment every one to two months.
Intensed Pulse Light: IPL stimulates collagen and reduces redness, so a scar will look and feel up to 90 per cent better than before. You’ll need one to three treatments to see a difference.
Save your skin from new scars with these four tips from Dr. Lisa Kellett.
1. Keep it moist. “Most people like to let the wound dry out,” says Dr. Kellett, “but you really want to keep the wound surface moist because it will heal better that way.”
2. Don’t pick it. Aggravating the wound will make it heal more slowly and make a scar more likely- and more noticeable.
3. Wait. Wait until the wound is completely healed before beginning a scar treatment- at least four to six weeks- to ward off infection.
4. Keep it covered. Once you have a scar, keep it covered. “protect your scar from everything,” says Dr. Kellett, dirt, cleaning chemicals and sun exposure.