In times like summer, it is important to apply some care to scars exposed to the sun’s rays. Although today they are brands that can be reduced with the application of various treatments, it is advisable to avoid complications from solar radiation.
Remember that any injury that causes a break in the skin surface causes a scar. They don’t always remain for life, but many take years to fade. Let’s see in detail some recommendations so that the summer does not negatively affect them.
How are scars generated?
First of all, it is worth doing a brief review of how scars are generated. In general, when a wound is caused, the skin begins a healing process that will vary in duration based on the severity of the injury.
From the moment the damage is generated until its healing, several phases occur.
- Coagulation phase: starts at the time of the wound, when it begins to bleed, coagulation is started to stop bleeding. The scab forms when the clots dry.
- Inflammation phase: the scab is consolidated, the response of the immune system begins to avoid possible infections and, in turn, protect the wound. The blood vessels dilate, thus allowing proper nutrition and oxygenation of the wound. Therefore, during these days, the area is red and inflamed.
- Proliferative phase: damaged tissue regenerates and begins to decrease in size. Collagen formation is stimulated 15 days after the injury.
- Remodeling phase: begins when the dermis is repaired. This stage can last 2 years, depending on the severity and ends with the final scar.
Recommendations for the care of scars in summer
Scars are a frequent reason for consultation in dermatology, especially when they were recently generated, and summer is approaching. If the scar is white (more than a year and a half has already passed), special care is no longer required. If not, it is best to put the following recommendations into practice.
The latest updates released in 2016 by Seminars in Plastic Surgery detail that newly formed scars, less than 18 months old, are highly susceptible to UV damage. In particular, they can cause hyperpigmentation and structural changes in the collagen matrix.
It is recommended to minimize the sun exposure of it, covering it with a bandage or clothing. Also, it is essential to use a sunscreen equal to or greater than 50 SPF during the 12 to 18 months after the injury.
Ultraviolet rays increase vascularity. Consequently, the scar increases your erythema and may hyper pigment. Sunscreen helps prevent melanogenesis, which occurs after stimulation of UV rays.
Apply moderate pressure with gel sheets
The use of silicone gel sheets is considered the recommended first line of treatment for recent scars. According to a study published by Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, a new silicone gel formulation generates a thin and flexible sheet on the newly epithelialized wound, being just as effective.
The treatment must be carried out during the day and at night, with a minimum time of 18 hours a day, for 3 months, with the use of the occlusive bandage.
Moisten the area
It is necessary to keep the skin hydrated so that it remains elastic enough to regenerate itself more effectively. There are specific products that help improve the appearance of difficult scars while exerting a moisturizing and emollient effect.
Creams containing vitamins A and E or lotions with hyaluronic acid can be used to improve the scar. Another option is to apply petroleum jelly, which helps keep the injury in good condition due to its moisturizing power.
Perform daily massages
To promote an adequate healing process, especially in summer injuries, it is advisable to apply massages. They can be done after the initial healing period, that is, 2 or 3 weeks later.
The Advances in Wound Care magazine details that it is a highly recommended therapy to flatten and soften scars. Its application leads to a softer and more flexible scar through the breakdown of excess and inflexible collagen.
To obtain its benefits, the idea is to do it twice a day, for ten minutes, for at least six months.
It is important to take care of scars in the summer
When the scars are recent and have not completed all phases of the healing process, sun exposure can be very damaging. Therefore, now in summer, it is best to avoid direct contact with UV rays.
The constant and daily use of sunscreen and other measures, such as the application of gel sheets and moisturizing products, mitigates the effects of the sun. Similarly, it is recommended to wear high coverage garments. Keep that in mind!