In the summer, it is important to take care of scars that are exposed to the sun’s rays. Although the use of several treatments can help reduce these marks, it is best to avoid complications due to solar radiation.
Remember that any damage that breaks the surface of the skin causes a scar. Although scars are not always permanent, it takes many years before they fade. In this article, you can discover some recommendations you should consider to ensure that summer does not affect them negatively.
How scars form
First of all, we should explain how scars form. In general, when the skin is damaged, a healing process begins that will vary in duration based on the severity of the damage.
Several phases occur from the injury to the healing, and are described as follows:
- Coagulation phase. This begins when you get the wound. When the wound begins to bleed, the body blocks the drainage to stop the bleeding. A crust forms when the blood dries out.
- The inflammatory phase. After the crust is formed, the immune system responds by preventing possible infections and in turn protecting the wound. Blood vessels dilate, allowing proper wound irrigation and oxygenation. For these reasons, the area these days is red and inflamed.
- Proliferative phase. Damaged tissue regenerates and begins to decrease in size during this phase. The body stimulates the formation of collagen 15 days after the injury.
- Rebuilding phase. This begins when the dermis is repaired. This stage can last for two years, depending on the severity of the injury, and ends with bleaching of the scar.
How to care for scars in the summer
Many people consult dermatologists for scars, especially when they are newly formed and summer is approaching. If the scar is white (more than a year and a half has passed), special care is no longer required. If not, it is best to implement the following recommendations.
Use sunscreen to take care of scars
The latest updates, published in 2016 by Seminars in Plastic Surgery , provided details that newly formed scars (those less than 18 months old) are highly prone to UV radiation damage. In particular, UV rays can cause hyperpigmentation and structural changes in the collagen matrix.
Experts recommend minimizing sun exposure by covering the scar with a bandage or clothing. It is also important to use a sunscreen equal to or greater than 50 SPF for 12 to 18 months after the injury.
Apply moderate pressure with silicone jelly sheets to preserve scars
The use of silicone gel sheets is considered the first recommended treatment line for recent scars. According to a study published by Aesthetic Plastic Surgery , silicone sheets generate a thin and flexible layer on the newly scarred wound.
You should wear these occlusive bandages during the day and at night for at least 18 hours a day for a three-month period.
Moisten the area
You need to keep your skin hydrated so that it remains elastic enough to regenerate more efficiently. Specific products can help improve the appearance of difficult scars, while moisturizing and giving a softening effect.
You can also use moisturizing creams that contain vitamins A and E or creams with hyaluronic acid, as they help to improve scars. Another option is to use Vaseline, which helps keep the scar in good condition due to its moisturizing power.
Lots of arrry every day
To promote proper wound healing, it is also wise to massage them. You can start massaging them after the first healing period, that is, two or three weeks later.
In fact, the journal Advances in Wound Care describes it as a highly recommended therapy for flat and soft scars. Massage can lead to more flexible and smoother scars through the breakdown of excess and inflexible collagen.
To reap the benefits, it is best to massage the scar for ten minutes twice a day for at least six months.
It is important to take care of scars in the summer
When the scars are new and have not completed all phases of the healing process, sun exposure can be very harmful. Therefore, it is best to avoid direct contact with UV rays during this time of year.
The daily use of sunscreen, with the addition of other measures such as the application of silicone gel sheets and moisturizing products, reduces the sun’s harmful effects. Similarly, experts recommend wearing protective clothing.