While scarring is a natural part of the wound healing process, it can leave painful reminders of what your skin has gone through. This can sometimes affect your confidence, especially if the scar is significantly noticeable or located on visible parts of the body.
Apart from the size and location of the wound, the appearance of a scar will depend on other factors such as the thickness of your skin and how well the wound heals. Some scars are inevitable, especially from surgery and over the joints, but there are things you can do prevent or minimize scarring.
Midwest Express Clinic and other urgent care centers in Munster, Indiana list a few wound care tips that can help:
Keep the wound clean and moist
For minor cuts and scrapes, use a mild soap with cool running water to gently wash the area and remove dirt and bacteria. The American Academy of Dermatology also recommends the use of petroleum jelly to keep the wound moist. It also prevents the formation of scabs, which take longer to heal.
Cover the wound
While small cuts and scrapes can be left uncovered, you may want to cover most wounds to prevent reopening and infection. A sterile bandage can protect the skin from rubbing against dirt and bacteria, which then helps the wound heal faster.
Know when to seek help
For deep, large, and painful wounds, it is best to head to a clinic or an urgent care center for proper wound care. It is important for a healthcare professional to evaluate and treat the wound immediately, especially for those that require stitches. If you do get stitches, be sure to follow the doctor’s advice in getting them removed to minimize scarring.
Be patient and follow proper care
Do take note that wounds can take weeks or months to heal. Be sure to avoid hydrogen peroxide or rubbing alcohol when cleaning them, as they only harm the tissues and delay healing. You should also avoid picking scabs and be sure to apply sunscreen after the wound has healed. This may help prevent discoloration and further damage to the skin.
Proper wound care is essential to preventing or minimizing scars. Don’t hesitate to seek medical care if your injury is painful or if the wound becomes infected.