Scars and Self Confidence
Now and then, we injure ourselves, we fall out of clumsiness and burn from not paying enough attention. We also gain and lose weight, grow in height, give birth, and all these things lead to one or the other, scars, or stretch marks. Before we go ahead and start explaining the crucial function of the skin and how it protects us, let us remind ourselves that scars and stretch marks are signs that we’ve been hurt or experienced some trauma, but it also means that we have healed. There is no need to be insecure when it comes to scars, but for those who just can’t get used to theirs or have them in a highly visible place, there is a solution.
The Skin and The Scars
The skin is similar to silk, very soft and gentle, but unfortunately, just like silk, it can tear. The skin is the biggest organ in our body, and has a lot of important functions from protection to the natural ventilation of the body and also helps us feel.
The skins layers act as a protective barrier from outer sensations such as injuries; it self-repairs, but it’s not by any means perfect or flawless, and that’s why a lot of times, we are left with scars. The scaring happens when the body produces a protein called collagen to repair the damaged skin.
But let’s not forget that we should be thankful for our skin’s proper function because some people facing hemophilia have serious trouble when it comes to natural blood clotting, and this can be a life-changing condition.
Types of Scars
So, what types of scars are there, how do we get them and can we get rid of them?
These scars are the result of an overly aggressive healing process. They are overgrown, firm, and rubbery and can vary from pink to brown. They are not nice to look at and can be caused by all sorts of wounds, cuts, and burns. Treatments include surgery to remove the scar, steroid injections, silicone sheets, and in cases of smaller Keloid Scars, cryotherapy.
These types of scars happen when you burn yourself, so the skin starts to tighten itself, and sometimes, as a result of that, we can be uncomfortable to move or twist that part of the skin. Serious cases of contracture scars may also go deeper and affect the muscles and nerves. Treatments include applying a silicone gel; Steroid injections; Laser treatments; Surgery, reducing the size and redness of the scar, and improving skin movement.
These are raised, red scars that are similar to keloids but do not go beyond the boundary of the injury. Hypertrophic scars may appear red or purple and are raised above the skin level. They may also feel warm and become itchy. Treatments include injections of steroids to reduce inflammation or silicone sheets, which flatten the scar.
Acne scars are usually the result of inflamed blemishes caused by skin pores engorged with excess oil, dead skin cells, and bacteria, and If you’ve ever had severe acne, you probably have at least a scar or two to prove it. There are many types of acne scars, ranging from deep holes to scars that are wavy in appearance. Treatment options depend on the types of acne scars you have, so it’s best to have a dermatologist take a look at them.
Stretch marks are long, tiger-like stripes that develop on the skin. They occur when the skin is suddenly stretched, and a lot of people have them, although they tend to affect more women than men. They can occur on a range of body parts such as the abdomen, breasts, hips, flank, buttocks, thighs, etc. after a period of intense growth, often due to pregnancy, weight gain, weight loss, or puberty.
Stretch marks can cause problems with self-confidence and anxiety. Although there are a lot of over the counter creams and lotions proposed as treatments, their effectiveness is not the best. Some types of stretch marks on some types of skin fade away on their own, so you should ask your dermatologist whether it is smart to treat them with laser therapy.
The best way to handle stretch marks is by trying to prevent them in the first place. If you drink normal amounts of water, use a collagen-based cream to hydrate your skin, follow a healthy and nutritious diet, do moderate exercising and control rapid weight gain when pregnant, you should be fine and even though marks might appear, they will be significantly smaller and will fade faster.
Old vs. New Treatment
Back in the days, ‘ people didn’t have that many options about scars, although there was a trend that occurs even today, and that is camouflaging the healed scar with a tattoo. Men used to grow beards to cover up acne scars, and women used a lot of make-up to conceal their marks.
As medicine advanced over time, so did scar treatments in the form of creams and ointments, but to be honest, they were not as effective as intended.
Today thanks to technological development and constant research, we no longer have to put all our faith in creams, even though there is an advancement in the ingredients that are used and are much more reliable than before.
There are a lot of options for treating scars, and although the result might not be 100% flawless skin, it can significantly reduce the scar until it’s almost not noticeable. Other treatments include Chemical peels, Filler injections, Laser treatment, Radiotherapy, Surgery, Vitamin E intake, Collagen intake, etc.
If you’re not sure which type of treatment will work best for your scar or stretch mark, we advise you to talk to your doctor or dermatologist, have them examine the spot, and define the methods that would best suit to treat it.
All in all, scars and stretch marks are a very normal thing, and every one of us should expect to get some throughout our lifetime. They say that people with scars have the best stories, so instead of making your scar insecurity, try and make it your medal. Nevertheless, some scars that are visible such as acne scars, can lower our self-esteem, but luckily for us, we can get them removed almost perfectly. So next time you get a scar or a stretch mark, do not dwell, remind yourself that you survived and that you are just a couple of treatments away from getting your skin back to normal.