5 Common Scar Myths Debunked
Before we look at these myths, it’s important to remember that scars are a natural part of the healing process and are necessary for our skin to heal.
A closer look at scars
So, what are scars exactly?
Scars are fibrous tissue that replaces your skin after injury and are more than just pigment or colour change. If you’ve ever had a scar, you will know that they feel thicker and more raised compared to your other skin.
A scar can also be painful and itchy, with many people also being emotionally affected by it.
Common myths about scars and scar formation
Myth 1: Vitamin E will reduce the appearance of my scar
Even though almost everyone recommends using Vitamin E to heal and reduce the appearance of scars, it can actually interfere with the healing. Vitamin E can also affect collagen production, which is what your skin needs for strength and elasticity. Overall, there is no scientific evidence that proves Vitamin E is capable of reducing scarring.
Myth 2: Scars always disappear eventually
Even though scars will become softer, flatter and more similar in colour to the rest of your skin, they will never disappear completely. Every person scars differently and these are some of the factors that play a role in that:
- Skin colour: Darker pigments are more likely to scar
- Injury location: Some areas of the body scar more easily than others
- Recovery time: The quicker an injury heals, the less likely it is that you will scar
- Age: Children scar more easily than adults
- Family history: If someone in your immediate family has produced a keloid scar in the past, it could happen to you too
Myth 3: All scars are considered as keloid scars
In actual fact, keloid scars are quite rare and only occur on individuals who have darker skin. A keloid scar will extend beyond the original injury and are raised, firm and itchy. Individuals who are prone to developing keloid scars would have a scar the size of a grape if they pierced their ear. For more on keloid scar management, visit https://www.thedoc.com.au/treatments/keloid-scar-management/.
Myth 4: Tanning will reduce the appearance of my scar
Scars that appeared less than one or two years ago shouldn’t be exposed to the sun at all as that area of your skin has very little pigment and will burn more easily. Sun exposure can also darken a fresh scar, which is why you should always use a sunscreen with a very high SPF or cover the scar with clothing.
Myth 5: There are creams that will help reduce scars
Despite what you may see in magazines or on the internet, there is no cream that will make your scars disappear. Wounds that take less than 3 weeks to heal generally won’t scar whether you use a cream or not. Injuries that take longer than 3 weeks to heal will scar with or without a miracle cream. While there is nothing wrong with caring for the scarred areas of your skin, it’s best not to spend unnecessary money on creams and oils that make bold claims.
If you’re looking for other ways to reduce and manage scarring, rather speak to a qualified dermatologist.