Health

Treatment & Diagnosis of Scars

How to Diagnose Scars

Most scars can be easily diagnosed by looking at the area that has healed after an injury. Scars can often appear darker, lighter or more pink than surrounding skin.

To evaluate any scarring, your healthcare provider will perform a physical exam. To determine the type of scar, your provider will examine its size, texture, and color. The type of scar and its location, as well as the cause, will all affect how you are treated.

Management & Treatment

Multiple treatments may make scars less visible or smaller. One treatment may be recommended by your healthcare provider, while others may be combined. Scar treatment depends on several factors, including:

  • Type, size, and location of scars.
  • No matter if the scarring is causing you pain, or hindering your ability to move.
  • Your age and the scar.

What can I do to prevent scarring?

While you cannot prevent scarring from injuries, there are ways to reduce the likelihood of it happening. You can minimize the visible scarring if it does occur.

You can reduce scarring risk by:

  • Visit your healthcare provider: A wound that could leave scarring should be examined by your provider. To keep the skin supple while it heals, you may need special bandages for stitches. Stitches can reduce scarring. When caring for stitches, be sure to follow the instructions of your doctor. You may need to use topical or oral antibiotics depending on the type of wound.
  • Use soap and water to clean the wound. To keep germs away, clean the wound with soap and water. As the wound heals, be sure to keep the bandage clean.
  • Keep the wound moist by using petroleum jelly or moistburn pads to keep it from drying out and forming a scab. Scarring can be made worse by scabs.
  • It can be protected from the sun by covering it or using sunscreen. Sun exposure can make a scar darker. Exposure to the sun repeatedly can make a scar darker.
  • Maintain a healthy diet: Low levels of vitamin C or vitamin D can cause scarring. You need to eat enough high-quality protein to ensure your skin heals.

Are scars more noticeable as they get older?

Scars are usually temporary and do not cause any long-term problems. The location of the scar, its size and type will all affect how it changes. Although a scar can fade to the point that it is no longer visible, it will never disappear completely.

Some scars can cause problems for years or months later. Scarring can become itchy or painful as nerve endings heal. Scars can lead to skin cancer, particularly if they are burn scars. Cover your scar with sunscreen to avoid skin cancer.

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