While emotional scarring may take a bit more doing to fix, physical ones, like injury or acne scars or those that occur post-plastic surgery (like a tummy tuck or breast augmentation) can be minimized in a number of ways.
While the intensity of the scar may vary from dented to raised or flat to bulky, once the scar tissue develops and enough time has passed, a scar usually fades a good deal on its own. For those that linger, here are a few options:
Vitamin E. If you take vitamin E supplements or consume foods rich in vitamin E (like olive oil, whole wheat or spinach and other greens), you’ll be protecting your skin at a cellular level. Topically, vitamin E-enriched products repair the skin at the surface and offer anti-inflammatory properties. We found that the vitamin-rich oils in Aromatherapy Associates’ Intensive Skin Treatment Oil absorb quickly into the skin and reduce scarring with repeated use.
Laser. Nonablative lasers, like Fraxel, are approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat acne- and surgery-related scars. You’ll get dramatic results without downtime, and with four or so treatments, the lasers will boost collagen production in the skin and significantly lessen the appearance of scars. Plus, these types of lasers are safe to use on the face.
Concealer. Not ready for the laser? You can mask your scars with concealers. We like Make Up For Ever’s oil-free Full Cover, which does a great job in covering up acne scars, dark under-eye circles and even tattoos. For the body, look to DermaBlend Professional Leg and Body Cover, which smooths away scars and varicose veins, and you may have even see cover the fully tattooed Zombie Boy.
Post-surgery care. Consult with your physician about a new silicone dressing for surgery scars. In a study earlier this year, a special elastic silicone plastic device was used once stitches were removed after tummy tucks and successfully prevented the skin from stretching and creating more scar tissue.