By Candice Graham
Scars are a natural part of the healing process, but how prominent your scar is can depend on how well you’re able to let the cut or scratch heal. While scars can’t be completely eliminated, most do fade with time when properly cared for. Below are five recommendations by dermatologists at the American Academy of Dermatology on ways to reduce the appearance of scars.
Keep your wound clean. One of the most important steps in reducing scars is to keep germs and debris away from and out of your injury. These things can lead to infection, which can ultimately cause an even worse scar. Clean the wound daily and you won’t need to use an antibacterial ointment.
Keep the wound moist. The experts recommend using petroleum jelly to prevent the wound from drying out and forming a scab, as scabbed wounds take longer to heal. Plus, using petroleum jelly prevents the scar from becoming too large, deep, or itchy.
Keep the wound covered. Once your wound is cleaned and you’ve applied petroleum jelly, be sure to cover with an adhesive bandage or a gel sheet if it’s a large scrape, sore, or burn. If you have sensitive skin, consider using a non-adhesive gauze pad with paper tape and always follow instructions on the package.
Keep the wound covered with a fresh bandage. Change the bandage daily and reapply the petroleum jelly so that the wound stays clean and less prone to infection.
Keep the healed spot covered in sunscreen. Providing the scar protection from the sun helps it fade quicker and can reduce the potential for red or brown discoloration.