I have burnt myself three times this week, causing three beauty tantrums – they all began with my wailing about inevitable scarring! And they all ended with Ben comforting me (and probably rolling his eyes discretely) while I devised a scar-preventing game plan. Despite the fact I have resolved to be less OCD about my skin, scars are something I cannot help but obsess over. Its a good thing I know a thing or two about treating scars.
So, this week, I thought to help those who scar easily (and as sort of a pledge to myself to stop being so clumsy) I would devote this post to solutions for preventing and healing scars.
Scarring is caused by skin trauma. Whether its the aftermath of a large blemish or the melanin response to a sun burn, a scar is caused by inflammation. Skin which is darker will scar more easily, as will skin which is dehydrated. But when preventing the onset of a permanent skin mark, the source of the inflammation will be key in dictating what route of treatment to take.
Acne scars: If the scar is from acne, the best thing to do is nourish your skin. Vitamin E and Organic Rosehip Oil have done wonders for many of my clients – but if your skin is still breaking out, I would alternate the Organic Rosehip Oil with Jojoba oil to prevent over-stimulating your skin and causing another break out. Encouraging collagen production with skincare loaded with Vitamin C is also excellent, or just go straight to the source and use a Collagen Serum.
Now, if the scars have been there for some time, you must determine if they are “young” or “old”. Young are red or brown marks which can still be cleared up by Organic Rosehip Oil, Vitamin E, Vitamin C or Collagen. Old scars are whitish silver in colour, or come in the form of pitted marks. These scars must be deeply exfoliated follwed by the previously mentioned nourishing topicals. Pitted marks the hardest to reverse, and extensive Seasalt Microdermabrasion or Laser Treatments are the only effective options.
Burns: When you burn your skin, preventing pigmentation is very different from how we treat potential acne scars. Avoid oil and keep the skin cool. Oil increases heat in the skin (think of how we use cooking oil to increase the heat of a pan) – and the more inflammation, the deeper the burn. Use water-based ingredients like Aloe Vera gel until the skin loses its redness. Apply cooling gels multiple times per day to keep the skin moist as dehydrated skin does not repair properly. If the skin is hot to touch apply cold compresses. In my case, it took an entire week’s rotation of Aloe Vera gel, Collagen gel and Pure + Simple’s Soothing Mimosa Emulsion (excellent for burns as nit contains the restorative Japanese Honeysuckle).
When you start to peel, just keep moisturizing and do not exfoliate. I always say, Peeling is healing – and any itchiness you may feel from this peeling is a small inconvenience to endure to prevent a permanent mark. When the redness has gone, your skin will either be completely back to normal or left with a brown mark. If this happens, begin using Organic Rosehip Oil everyday.
Burn scars which have been there for a long time often disappear after 1-3 years as the skin turns over. But often cases of multiple sunburns translate into pesky pigmented lesions which are resistant to fading. In these situations, IPL is a highly effective option.
Nicks and scrapes: For the pigmentation-prone, even little nicks and scrapes can result in a scar. In these cases, ensure the area has been cleaned, then use Organic Lavender Essential Oil straight onto the affected area. This oil with disinfect and promote faster healing. A scab will firm, and be sure not to remove it…. not matter how tempting. I’m talking to the same people who pick their pores when they know they shouldn’t(!) When the scab falls off, the skin should not show any remnants of the trauma. Lavender oil is the only essential oil you should use straight onto the skin without dilution and avoid the eye area.
I personally used it for a tear on my face a few years back. After putting dozens of products on it without progress, I stumbled into using Organic Lavender Essential Oil in my frenzy. I found that this simple oil both healed and disinfected my skin, promoting scabbing almost immediately.