What causes scarring?
Scarring is a natural part of the healing process when your skin is injured. A scar is nothing more than the mark left by a healed wound. Scars will typically evolve over time, and most minor ones will fade away. However, depending on the cause or location of the injury, scar tissue may be more visible and become, amongst others, a hypertrophic scar or a keloid scar.
Scars can be caused by:
How long do scars take to heal
Scars can take years to heal and will never disappear completely. But, over time, fine scars can fade and flatten by themselves. Deeper, more raised, or redder scars may need a little extra help to care for them and reduce their appearance.
When to start caring for scars
Don’t rush into scar care right after your injury. Take good care of your wound first and wait until the skin has completely healed (no scab) before starting to apply any topical products or scar treatment products. You should never use topical scar creams or gels like Mederma® scar care products on open wounds.
Proper care is always the first measure to take to help prevent or minimise scarring. If you are not sure if your mark is an actual scar (e.g. you don’t remember any event or condition that could have led to a scar), don’t hesitate to talk to a dermatologist about it.
In the case of skin injuries, you should always wait until the newly-formed skin has finished scabbing. Scabbing may not occur in surgical incisions but wait until the incision is done healing before applying topical scar care. As the wound is healing, keep it moisturised to prevent scab formation and to help shorten the healing time. If a scab does form, refrain from picking it, as this may result in the wound reopening, thereby delaying the healing time, and could lead to more scar formation.
Once there is no more scab and the wound is visibly closed (which means that the skin has healed) you can start caring for your scar with topical creams or oils.