Your skin works hard for you. It protects you from the outside world and it keeps your body in balance by regulating your temperature and fluid levels. It’s important to look after your skin to maintain your overall health and to keep your skin looking younger for longer. Here’s how to keep your skin healthy and glowing for life:
- 1 Protect Your Skin from the Sun
- 2 Avoid Smoking
- 3 Be Gentle with Your Skin
- 4 Eat Well
- 5 Reduce the Stress in Your Life
- 6 Exercise
- 7 The Skin
- 8 The Importance of Moisturiser
- 9 The Best Way to Use a Moisturiser
- 10 Tips for Choosing a Moisturiser
- 11 Types of Scars
- 12 Normal Fine Line Scars
- 13 Keloid Scars
- 14 Hypertrophic Scars
- 15 Pitted or Sunken Scars
- 16 Treating Scars
- 17 The Best Creams for Scar Removal
- 18 Mederma PM Intensive Overnight Scar Cream
- 19 Evanesce Advanced Scar and Blemish Treatment
- 20 DermaSafe Stretch Mark Cream & Scar Removal Therapy
- 21 Kelo-Cote Advanced Formula Scar Gel
- 22 Selevax Intensive Scar Cream
- 23 What makes a great scar removal cream?
- 24 Final thoughts
Protect Your Skin from the Sun
Exposure to the sun can cause premature ageing of the skin, pigmentation, and increase your risk of deadly skin cancer. To protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays, use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15, even on cloudy days, and reapply it every few hours, especially if you’re swimming or sweating. Try to avoid the sun between 11am and 3pm when the sun’s at its hottest, and always cover up with clothing and a hat with a wide brim.
Smoking ages your skin by reducing the blood flow to the surface, which means that it doesn’t get the nutrients and oxygen it needs, and it also causes the collagen and elastin in your skin to break down. Collagen and elastin make your skin more supple.
Be Gentle with Your Skin
Avoid hot baths and showers as this can strip the natural oils from your skin. Use gentle products too and don’t use soap as this can upset the pH balance and dry the skin out. Pat the skin dry, don’t rub it, and use products appropriate for your skin type.
Good skin starts on the inside. Include plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and healthy fats to keep skin healthy. And don’t forget to drink plenty of water.
Reduce the Stress in Your Life
Stress makes your skin more sensitive and more inclined to break out. Try to reduce the stress in your life and take the time to do things you enjoy; your skin will thank you.
Exercise boosts the circulation and this makes the skin glow with health as it’s able to get more oxygen and the nutrients it needs to stay healthy.
The skin is the largest organ in the body and it weighs around 10lbs. It protects your body from the harsh environment. The skin is made up of 2 layers, the epidermis and the dermis. Each layer is different and has different functions. The epidermis grows from the inside out and renews itself every few weeks.
The epidermis is made of four to five layers of epithelial tissue that constantly grows from the inside out and replaces most of its cells every few weeks. The epidermis produces melanin, which gives the skin its colour and protects it from the sun. There is also skin strengthening keratin and cells that hold moisture in the skin and gives it it’s waterproof.
The dermis contains blood vessels, nervous tissue, and the connective tissues collagen and elastin. Beneath the dermis is a layer of fat which provides the body with energy and insulation.
The skin has some very important functions. It prevents harmful substances from entering the body, it protects the skin from UV rays and extremes of temperature. Because it can renew itself, the skin is very quick to heal after injury.
A network of nerves gives the skin the ability to sense touch, pain, heat, and cold. The blood vessels help to regulate body temperature by constricting or dilating to prevent heat loss or give off excess heat. Hairs growing out of the skin provide insulation, sweat glands help to cool the body through evaporation, and oil glands help to hydrate the skin.
The Importance of Moisturiser
A good moisturiser can protect the skin, improve the skin tone and texture, and mask imperfections. They can also encourage the skin to hold in moisture, and they protect it from the sun, the wind, and the other elements.
The Best Way to Use a Moisturiser
Apply moisturiser straight after patting your skin dry after a shower. If the skin is damp, moisturiser will be able to penetrate the skin more easily.
Tips for Choosing a Moisturiser
- Try to avoid products with too many synthetic ingredients. Opt for natural where possible.
- Choose a product that is designed for your skin type. If you have dry skin, go for a rich product, but if your skin is prone to oiliness and breakouts, choose a lighter product.
- Don’t just rely on moisturiser to hydrate your skin, hydrate it from the inside out by drinking lots of water and eating foods like melon and cucumber that have a high water content.
- Choose a product with an SPF to protect your skin from the sun.
- You don’t necessarily need to buy an expensive product, this does not mean a product is more effective.
Scarring is a part of the body’s healing process when tissue has been damaged. When the skin is wounded and the tissues break, collagen is released, and it builds up at the site of the injury, which helps to heal and strengthen the wound. Collagen continues to build up for some time, and as the skin’s blood supply increases again, the scar becomes red and raised. Once the collagen starts to break down, blood supply decreases, and the scar will become smoother and paler. Scars are permanent, but their appearance can fade over time.
Types of Scars
A scar can be a fine line, a pitted hole on the skin, or an abnormal overgrowth of tissue.
Normal Fine Line Scars
A minor wound like a cut will usually heal to leave a red, raised line, which fades over time. It can take around 2 years for a scar to fade but it won’t disappear completely.
Fine line scars are if you have a wound or you may have them after surgery. They aren’t usually painful, but they can be itchy.
On darker skin types, the scar tissue may fade to leave a brown or white mark. A pale scar may be more obvious on tanned skin because scar tissue doesn’t tan.
A keloid scar is an overgrowth of tissue which happens when too much collagen is produced at the site of a wound. The scar continues to grow, even after the wound has healed.
Keloid scars are raised above the skin and are red or purple when they have just formed, but they do gradually become paler. They can itch, and be painful. They tend to restrict movement if they occur near a joint.
These scars are also the result of too much collagen being produced at the site of a wound. These scars are red and thick when they are newly formed, but they become flatter and paler over the course of a few years.
Pitted or Sunken Scars
These scars are caused by acne or chickenpox.
Removing scars completely isn’t possible, but there are treatments available that will make them less visible. Treatment options include:
- Skin Camouflage Makeup
You can buy make-up that’s specially designed for covering scars from pharmacies. Sometimes, a dermatologist can refer you to a service where you can get colour matched for this makeup and taught how to apply it to cover your scar. The makeup is especially effective for facial scars.
- Silicone Gels or Sheets
Silicone gels or sheets can be used on skin that is healing, but not on open wounds, and they will help to soften a scar, relieve itching, and any discomfort. The gels or sheets should be placed over the scar for 12 hours each day for a minimum of 3 months. They can be washed and reused.
- Steroid Injections
These can’t remove scars, but they can improve their appearance. They are mainly used to treat keloid and hypertrophic scars. The scar is injected several times to reduce any swelling, and you may need 3 injections, 4-6 weeks apart.
- Laser Therapy
Laser or light therapy can reduce the redness of a scar by targeting the blood vessels in the scar tissue. Laser surgery can also make the surface of a scar flatter.
Liquid nitrogen is used to freeze keloid scars. If cryotherapy is used when the scar is quite new, it can flatten the scar and stop it from growing. This treatment can lighten the colour of the skin permanently.
- Dermal Fillers
Dermal fillers are injections if an acid, and they can fill in pitted scars. Treatments can be expensive and usually only provide temporary results.
Surgery can sometimes be used to improve a scar by making it less noticeable, or relieving tightness in a scar near a joint to reduce pain. Always make sure that you are fully aware of the risks before proceeding with surgery, and there is always a chance that the scar may appear worse afterwards.
- Scars and Skin Creams
Vitamin E cream is sometimes recommended for improving the appearance of scars, but there’s no strong medical evidence to suggest it has an effect. Creams can stop the scar from becoming too dry and helps the skin to stay supple however. Remember to apply sunscreen to a scar as it will be more sensitive to the sun.
Mederma PM Intensive Overnight Scar Cream is specifically formulated for night time use to help the skin naturally repair itself. The makers say you will see results in just 14 days. The cream contains peptides, collagen and antioxidants to repair free radical damage.
The product comes in a jar or a tube, though maybe the tube is a better option for preserving the effectiveness of the antioxidants as the cream won’t be exposed so much to the light and the air.
The cream’s main ingredient is dimethicone, which is known for its moisturising and skin healing properties. The product has a nice light feel, though it does contain alcohol, which can irritate some sensitive skin types.
- Contains excellent ingredients to promote skin healing and repair
- Works quickly, just 14 days to see results according to the manufacturers
- Reasonably priced
- Contains alcohol
- May not be as effective on older scars
Evanesce Advanced Scar and Blemish Treatment
Evanesce Advanced Scar and Blemish Treatment can also be used on stretch marks, surgery scars, old scars, and new scars. It contains natural ingredients like kelp, aloe vera and white curcumin to heal the skin and boost its overall health. The cream also contains vitamin B3 and collagen to make your skin appear plumper and rejuvenated. It is recommended that you use the product twice per day, along with a sunscreen to ensure that your skin doesn’t end up pigmented. The cream has a slight brown hue, and not the best consistency (it’s a little clumpy), but it smells okay.
- Contains natural ingredients
- Can work on old scars
- Clumpy consistency
- The colour
- A little expensive
DermaSafe Stretch Mark Cream & Scar Removal Therapy has an organic aloe vera base and it contains cucumber and wood mallow to boost the skin’s moisture and to help it to repair. Even though it boosts moisture, it does not feel greasy so it won’t feel sticky after you put it on.
Despite the moisture it offers, this product has a non-greasy formulation. You won’t have to worry about feeling sticky or tacky after application.
The cream is also very effective on stretch marks, and pregnant women will be happy to know that it’s safe for them to use, as the product is free from parabens and chemical nasties.
It is recommended that you use the product twice per day, and that you massage it into the skin until it’s fully absorbed. It has a very subtle scent.
- Has a non-greasy formulation
- It absorbs quickly
- Leaves skin feeling very moisturised
- Great for use on stretch marks
- Noticeable results can take some time
Kelo-Cote Advanced Formula Scar Gel is recommended by doctors for reducing itching and discomfort associated with scarring. It also really reduces their appearance. Such is its effectiveness that it is used mainly by people who have had scars from surgery. It won’t provide quick results, but if you are prepared to use it twice per day as recommended, you will be happy with the results when you get them.
- Works really well on surgical scars
- Helps to relieve itching and pain
- Noticeable results may take a while to appear, especially on old scars
- Expensive compared to other brands
The cream also contains Vitamin C which is known to help reduce hyperpigmentation of the skin, and to further rejuvenate and restore skin health, it contains Rosehip Seed oil, Sunflower oil and shea butter.
This perfect combination of ingredients means that the product can work in as little as 3 weeks, depending on the severity of your scars.
Selevax Intensive Scar Cream works well on both old and new scars, though to visibly improve older scars may take a little longer. If you’ll be using it for a scar you acquired years ago, the effects might not be visible right away.
The texture of the product is creamy, but it absorbs into the skin quickly, and it has no noticeable scent.
- Works on both old and new scars
- Doesn’t have a fragrance
- Contains antioxidants and essential fatty acids
- Can take more time to work on old scars
- Can be expensive compared to other products on the market
What makes a great scar removal cream?
Creams are a good choice for use on scars. They are not invasive and are reasonably affordable, though there are considerable differences in effectiveness between different creams.
What to look for in a good cream:
- If a cream claims to make scars disappear overnight, it just isn’t true, so opt for a product which gives you a more realistic picture.
- A good scar cream should be able to boost the skin’s collagen production and cell turnover
- It should be able to reduce itching and pain associated with scars
- It should contain natural ingredients, and no chemical nasties that are going to irritate already damaged skin
- Look for ingredients that will both treat your scar and boost overall skin health
No scar removal cream will remove scars overnight, and because scars are much thicker than your normal skin, it just takes them longer to respond to treatment. This is especially true of older scars. You should always use the product according to the instructions for best results.