Every scar has a story – the time you tried attempted the monkey bars and missed a rung or the time you had a run-in with a piece of glass on the kitchen floor. You may enjoy telling the story, but, more than likely, you aren't thrilled about the constant souvenir of your not-so-graceful moments.
Scars are basically new pieces of skin that formed to reconnect and heal skin that has been damaged. Because they are younger than the surrounding skin, they often vary in texture and color, making them more noticeable. But is there anything you can do to help hide these reminders of your past accidents?
There's no shortage of products claiming to make your scar practically vanish into thin air, but dermatologists aren't convinced of their restorative powers. Packed with fatty acids, Shea butter is an emollient that softens and soothes skin. It's often found in scar-reducing products, because some believe that some of its fatty properties speed up the healing process. However, experts agree that topical creams won't make your scar disappear, even though they may improve your complexion. So let Shea butter do what it does best: moisturizing and making your skin silky smooth.
Creams may be beneficial if you scar is a result of surgery. While the scar is healing, you may want to slather on ointments to prevent a dark scar. Before selecting one, consult with your doctor to determine if there are prescription-strength product he recommends.
If you want to remove a scar that's been there for years, you may want to consider a more intensive treatment. You'll first need to visit your dermatologist to weigh the options, but scar treatment include:
- Steroid injections
- Laser resurfacing
These procedures can lessen the appearance of scars by flattening them or smoothing the layers of skin to help them blend into your skin. Whichever procedure you choose, know that it will more than likely provide better results than any Shea butter product you pick up off the drugstore shelf.
Check out more information on scar treatments on the next page.
- Gibson, Lawrence E. "Scar cream: Does it work?" Mayo Clinic. July 12, 2008. (Accessed 9/16/09)http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/guide/scars
- WebMD. "Cosmetic Procedures: Scars." April 1, 2005. (Accessed 9/16/09)http://www.webmd.com/skin-beauty/cosmetic-procedures-scars
- WebMD. "Skin Conditions: Scars." March 1, 2007. (Accessed 9/16/09)http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/guide/scars