Burns are the worst. Depending on how you got burned and how deep it goes, also determines the healing time involved (and the pain. Oh my, the pain.) A month ago I was doing something I rarely like to do - cook. It's like seeing a Yeti in your backyard, but on the nights my husband works late, you'll find me in the kitchen. It really is my least favorite thing, although I am the first to drool over gorgeous foodie photos on Pinterest. So while checking on the progress of our meal in the oven, I burned my arm. It was not my best moment. (But dinner still turned out great.) I immediately put my arm under cold water, but that did not stop the stabbing pain, the blistering, the inflammation or as the days progressed, the itching. Having worked with InviCible Scars for the last few years, I knew the exact steps to take to insure that my burn scar did not result in a permanent red mark on my arm. (and I strongly encourage you to check out their blog because it is chock full of great scar healing tips for all types of scars.) First and foremost, you need to properly take care of the wound. Mine blistered, got a little slimey with puss and hurt like hell. (Thankfully it was not very deep.) After applying an ice pack after the burn happened, I also made sure to apply an anti-bacterial cream and cover the burn with a band-aid. This is so important, because how you intitially care for the wound determines the outcome of your scar. Infection = a larger scar. Second, once the blistering has stopped, you can remove the band-aid. It's important to keep the area moisturized (it plays an important part in scar healing) and also protected from sun damage with a sunscreen and SPF of 30 (UV rays can permanently darken a scar.) Itching is totally normal as your scar begins to heal (it's still a pain in the butt though.) Third, apply a scar treatment twice daily, making sure to massage the scar as you apply it for about 2 minutes. The first few times that I massaged my burn scar, it was still tender under the skin and was a little painful (not wincing pain, but more like a 2 on the pain scale.) Massage helps to break up the fiberous bands that are forming under the skin and those bands are what makes a scar feel firm instead of soft like your surrounding skin. I've used InviCible Scars for about 4 weeks now and the difference is no joke. Not only is the scar noticeably smaller, it's not firm, and has faded considerably to almost flesh-colored. The before and after picture are taken just as close using my cell phone camera - so, yes, my original burn was that big. The difference in the appearance of my scar is amazing and I am thrilled with the results. Now, scars take 1-2 years to fully mature. That means the scar healing process isn't done for me just because it looks practically gone on the surface, there's still healing happening under the skin. I'll continue to use InviCible for about another 4 weeks, but will continue to use sunscreen with SPF 30 on it for up to 2 years so that the work done this far by the scar treatment is not undone by UV rays. UPDATE: I continued to use InviCible Scars over the past year and now my burn scar is almost undetectable! InviCible Scars is available via Amazon. Disclosure: affiliate link Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! beauty blog. Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram and G+. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle too!
With reports of skin cancer, breast cancer, c-sections and cosmetic surgery – all on the rise – so too is the incidence of scarring. Not surprisingly, once the healing process sets in – both physical and psychological – the first thing people with fresh scars want to do is fade them. I know that when I had my gall bladder out, it left behind a large scar that I quickly wanted to hide. From working with the team behind InviCible Scars there are something things I've learned when it comes to fading scars (and dark spots) -- there is more to it than just applying a cream. Ironically, people’s first inclination in response to a new scar is to sit in the sun to help even out the color and texture. I know that with previous scars, this is exactly what I thought I should do. While sun exposure is essential for vitamin D absorption, it’s perhaps the worst possible thing a person can do for a scar. UV exposure not only darkens a scar’s appearance (sometimes even permanently), especially among more olive-toned complexions, but it can also impact texture, causing the scar to thicken. For those who can’t avoid the sun entirely this summer, Dr. Chrysopoulo (the plastic surgeon behind InviCible) recommends using a topical scar cream, like InviCible, and ALWAYS covering the area with a broad spectrum sunscreen with a minimum of SPF 30. There are also various factors influencing the scar healing process:
- Age – younger skin is more prone to abnormal and exaggerated healing. This can lead to hypertrophic or keloid scars. Older skin takes longer to recover.
- Skin type – scar healing is typically worse in people with darker skin types. African and Hispanic ancestry is associated with a higher risk of developing hypertrophic or keloid scars.
- Genetics – abnormal scarring can be inherited.
- Location – Movement of scars over joints can make them wider.
- Infection – Infected wounds do not heal well. The final scar may be raised, wide, uneven and abnormally red or dark.
- Poor nutrition – Not eating healthily deprives the body of nutrients (like protein), vitamins (like vitamin C) and minerals (like copper and zinc) that are needed for optimal wound healing.
- Smoking – Cigarette smoke causes blood vessels to clamp down and decrease blood flow. Wounds that do not receive enough blood are more prone to poor wound healing and worse scarring.
- Sun exposure – Exposing fresh scars to the sun causes permanent redness. We can improve each stage of scar formation by using a high quality scar treatment.
- Protein –breaks down into amino acids. Especially L-Arginine and Glutamine are very important. They can increase the amount of reparative collagen, help white blood cells and fight of bacterial infections.
- Vitamin C - is crucial for proper collagen production. Experts say that wound healing requires more Vitamin C than daily food intake normally provides.
- Vitamin B Complex – speeds up wound healing, increases protein synthesis and the amount of repair cells at the wound. It also prevents excessive inflammation. Vitamin B5 is particularly beneficial right after the wound occurs.
- Vitamin A – promotes tissue synthesis and enhances resistance to infection.
- Zinc – has reduced healing time after surgery by 43% in some cases. Zinc can also reduce inflammation and bacterial growth, whereas a deficiency can worsen the scar.