With so many scar treatment options available it’s difficult to know which ones are safe, effective and the best for your scar. This article discusses which scar treatment ingredients are safe and most effective based on the clinical and scientific studies.
What’s the best scar treatment? With so many scar treatment options available it’s difficult to know which ones are safe, effective and the best for your scar. This article discusses which scar treatment ingredients are safe and most effective based on clinical and scientific studies. Frequently recommended treatments include:
Silicone Scar Products
Silicone improves the appearance of both old and new scars. Silicone sheets are cumbersome and interfere with clothing and make-up. Silicone gel (Dimethicone) is as effective as silicone sheeting and is much easier to apply. Easy make-up and sun block application are added benefits of the gel. Always check the ingredients to make sure the silicone is Dimethicone (certified as safe) and not volatile silicones like D4 or D5 (eg Cyclomethicone, Cyclotetrasiloxane, Cyclohexasiloxane, Cyclopentasiloxane). Volatile silicones evaporate quickly after application on the skin. Any potential silicone benefit is therefore very short-lived. Dimethicone silicone is not volatile. Scientific verdict: silicone scar treatments improve scar healing.
One of the skin’s main components is collagen. Scars heal through new collagen formation. Untreated skin produces unorganized, haphazard collagen. Vitamin C helps to improve and organize collagen formation. Improved collagen formation leads to faster and more cosmetic scar healing. Vitamin C also decreases inflammation and is often used to lighten dark scars and brown spots. The main problem with vitamin C is its stability. Most formulations contain unstable vitamin C which oxidizes on exposure to air. This is associated with a change in the color, typically a dark yellow or brown. While applying oxidized vitamin C is not harmful, it is no longer useful as the effectiveness of the treatment is lost completely. Avoid vitamin C creams that are brown to begin with as this is typically done to camouflage oxidation. Scientific verdict: vitamin C scar treatments work.
Vitamin E (Tocopherol)
Topical vitamin E is a strong anti-oxidant may be good for preventing sun-induced skin damage but it has NO effect on, and actually may WORSEN the appearance of scars in up to 90% of adults. Up to 33% of users develop a contact dermatitis to vitamin E (redness, itching and flaking). American dermatologists and Canadian pediatricians recommend completely avoiding scar creams containing vitamin E. Scientific verdict: vitamin E scar treatments don’t work.
Most people know that steroids decrease inflammation. However, independent studies have shown that topical steroids have no effect in reducing scar thickness or improving the cosmetic appearance of scars. Scientific verdict: Topical steroid scar treatments don’t work.
Onion Extract (eg. Mederma skin care)
Several scientific studies in humans and animals have focused on onion extract, one of the main ingredients in Mederma skin care products. All showed NO benefit from topical use. Mederma performed no better than plain petroleum gel (or Vaseline) for scar redness, itchiness, pain, burning, thickness and overall scar appearance. Scientific verdict: Onion extract scar treatments are ineffective.
Botanicals (Natural Plant Extracts)
Many skin care products include natural plant extracts as ingredients, mainly because of their anti-inflammatory effects. Examples include onion extract (see above), aloe vera, licorice, curcumin, green tea, ginko, ginseng, soy, tea tree oil, arnica, bromelain, sunflower oil, safflower oil and chamomile to name but a few. Of these, only the following have been shown to be effective as a natural scar treatment:
- accelerates wound healing
- decreases inflammation
- stimulates new skin growth through amino acids
- promotes healthy healing in the deepest skin layers
Linoleic Acid (Safflower Seed Oil) and Oleic Acid (Sunflower Seed Oil)
- regenerate lipid biolayer crucial for skin moisture
- improve wound healing
- improve scar elasticity
- control production of prostaglandins, one of the skin’s main “building blocks”
- prevent disturbance in prostaglandin production which causes poor healing
- lighten dark pigment (hyper-pigmentation)
- strong anti-inflammatory, accelerates skin renewal
- lightens dark scars and brown spots including melasma (especially when combined with a stable form of vitamin C)
- anti-acne effects (both prevention and treatment)
Interestingly, most scar treatments on the market contain volatile D4 or D5 silicones, vitamin E, steroids, onion extract, or combinations of these ingredients. These either do not improve scar appearance, or worse still can cause contact dermatitis. Of the products frequently recommended, only stable forms of vitamin C, dimethicone silicone and a handful of natural plant extracts have been shown to be clinically effective in helping to get rid of scars.
Article Tags: Best Scar Treatment, Best Scar, Scar Treatment, Scar Treatments, Collagen Formation
Source: Free Articles from ArticlesFactory.com