What’s happening beneath the skin
Scars are caused as a result of burns, surgery or injury and form as part of the healing process. New skin collagen fibres are rapidly produced to mend this damage and they form a dense network of bound fibres in the area of injury, resulting in scar tissue, which has less elastin and hyaluronic acid incorporated and hence has a different texture to the surrounding skin. The collagen fibres all stick together to create a rigid less elastic tight skin texture.
Collagen fibres in the lower levels of the skin along with soft keratin in the upper skin layers provide skin strength and shape. Collagen exists in different forms, but the important ones related to the ageing process and skin damage are Collagen Type-III (mobile dynamic youthful collagen) and Collagen Type-I (known as scar collagen).
Skin cells called fibroblasts produce new Collagen Type-III fibres, which are single stranded and flexible. These strands are linked together by elastic fibres called elastin, which together create a network that can bend and expand and then contract back to normal, so skin maintains its shape.
Elastin (and fibronectine) gives the skin elasticity and work in conjunction with collagen to provide skin structure and ‘springiness’. Loss of elastin leads to reduced elasticity, so when skin creases it takes longer for these creases to expand out again. Scars have very little elastin associated with them and are mainly many compressed collagen fibres ‘stuck together’.
Hyaluronic acid is a sugary long-chain fibre which attracts and holds water, forming a jelly-like filler which provides skin plumpness and firmness, and keeps the collagen and elastic network in place. As we age, hyaluronic acid levels reduce causing the skin to lose plumpness, leading to lines and wrinkles, where again elastin levels are reduced and collagen fibres come into contact with each other and link together more easily as hyaluronic acid levels reduce. In a way wrinkles are like mini-scars in structure.
Scar prevention and over the counter remedies
Although it is not possible to prevent a scar from occurring, it is possible to help your scar heal better and become less visible. It is essential to thoroughly clean the wound to reduce the risk of infection. Applying a protective layer of a hydrating ointment can keep the area moist and promote a more regular healing response and helps new skin cells to migrate to the site of trauma as the wound closes. Moisture can also encourage bacteria so some may recommend incorporating an antibacterial agent or a disinfectant. To prevent infection, clean the wound and replace the bandage daily until the wound is fully healed. If the wound becomes warm or painful to touch, oozes yellow puss, redness extends beyond the site of the wound or you develop red streaks, it is possible that you have developed an infection and it is wise to seek medical advice.
Terproline® stimulates fibroblast activity, while providing the raw materials for new collagen and elastin. Terproline® improves the elasticity and extensibility of the skin, accelerating tissue repair by triggering removal of old/scar collagen and increasing production of new collagen and elastin, promoting faster, more uniform healing and recovery. Terproline® has remarkable properties in promoting the skins rejuvenation response, by sustaining results for longer and by increasing collagen and elastin development.
How medical advice can help
Not only can scarring have a devastating effect on an individuals’ self-confidence, it can continue to cause pain. In these circumstances it is wise to seek medical advice, as there is now a wide range of treatments available.
Some of the most difficult scars to deal with, especially emotionally, are keloids and hypertrophic scars; because the scar will be raised and red. There are treatments available to reduce the inflammation and the redness, such as steroid injections and laser treatment. These treatments to have what is referred to as ‘downtime’, where a client feels they cannot go out in public after invasive treatments due to redness and swelling. Dr Fox states "You need to stay home after these procedures since your skin can be raw.” If you are looking for a non-invasive treatment, with no added downtime, Terproline Professional®, a clinic strength product, has been shown to reduce keloids and hypertrophic scarring. It is also an excellent product to use if you choose to have invasive treatments. It’s best to use this product before and after many cosmetic procedures that cause skin trauma, such as chemical peels, lasers and injections due to its protective and recuperative properties. Terproline® has remarkable properties in promoting a much better response from rejuvenation procedures, reducing complications and sustaining results for longer by increasing collagen and elastin development. When used in conjunction with Fillast®, these products achieve a high hyaluronic acid environment by promoting a more youthful Collagen Type-III environment