Proper wound care: How to minimize a scar
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Proper wound care: How to minimize a scar

Whenever your skin is injured – whether
by accident or from surgery – your body works to repair the wound. As your skin heals, a scar may form, as this
is a natural part of the healing process. The appearance of a scar often depends on
how well the wound heals. While scars from surgery or over joints like
the knees and elbows are hard to avoid, scars caused by minor cuts and scrapes can become
less noticeable by properly treating the wound at home. Here are dermatologists’ tips for reducing
the appearance of scars caused by injuries such as skinned knees or deep scratches. Always keep your cut, scrape or other skin
injury clean. Wash the injury with mild soap and water to
keep out germs. While the injured skin heals, use petroleum
jelly to keep the wound moist. This will prevent the skin from drying out
and forming a scab, as scabs take longer to heal. It will also help prevent a scar from getting
too large, deep or itchy. After cleaning the wound and applying petroleum
jelly or a similar ointment, cover the skin with an adhesive bandage. For large scrapes, sores, burns, or persistent
redness, it may be helpful to use hydrogel or silicone gel sheets. Change your bandage daily to keep the wound
clean while it heals. If you have skin that is sensitive to adhesives,
try a non-adhesive gauze pad with paper tape. If silicone gel or hydrogel sheets are used,
follow the instructions on the package for changing the sheets. If your cut requires stitches, follow your
doctor’s advice on how to care for them. This may help minimize the appearance of a
scar. After the wound has healed, apply sunscreen
to protect it from the sun and prevent the scar from becoming red or brown. Always use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with
an SPF of 30 or higher and reapply frequently. Sun protection may help the scar fade faster. If you have minor cuts or scrapes, you can
help reduce the appearance of a scar by properly treating the injury at home. However, if your injury is deep, very painful,
or if your skin becomes infected, seek immediate medical care. Although no scar can be completely eliminated,
most scars fade over time. If you’re worried about the appearance of
your scar, see a board-certified dermatologist. A dermatologist can answer your questions
and talk about ways to make your scar less visible. To find a dermatologist in your area, visit


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