Scars are defined as a development of fibrous connective tissue that results from trauma on or within the body that has not healed completely.
Scars can ruin an otherwise flawless complexion. It’s true that most aren’t considered to be a health risk, but they are often perceived to be one of the most aesthetically troubling concerns that affect a person’s complexion. This is particularly true for scars that develop following a procedure designed to improve your appearance, like a facelift, tummy tuck or breast lift.
There are many types of scars. Each is distinguished by the extent of their tone and texture.
Scars can be classified according to how they look and feel.
Grade 1 “Normal”
A grade 1 scar is barely visible as it looks and feels much like the surrounding unaffected skin.
Grade 2 “Mildly Hypertrophic”
A grade 2 scar is slightly discoloured, taking on a light to dark pink tone. In terms of texture, it may feel a bit elevated and harder than the surrounding unaffected skin.
Grade 3 “Hypertrophic”
A hypertrophic scar is characterized by its darker pink to red tone and harder texture. The scar tissue is also elevated, but doesn’t go beyond the site of the original wound.
Grade 4 “Keloid”
Keloids are the most prominent type of scars. They are easily distinguished by their darker red or brown colour and abnormally raised and hardened texture that grows beyond the original wound site. Keloids can become painful.
Once a scar develops, you’ll have it for life. While scars that mature normally may change in appearance, going from obvious to barely visible, there are several factors that can affect their change. For example, infection and prolonged sun exposure can both permanently increase the prominence of scars.
If you’ve had a cosmetic procedure done that results in scarring, it’s incredibly important to follow the post-treatment instructions to minimize the risk of prominent scars. This includes the application of silicone scar gel.
Silicone is the only ingredient in scientific literature that has been clinically proven to improve the appearance of scars. There are a few products available, but we only offer CytoDerma™ because it is 100% silicone without any chemicals. (Plus, it’s made in Canada!)
CytoDerma™ effectively “seals in” moisture with a thin application over the scar. This reduces the irregular formation of fibrous connective tissue, resulting in reduced redness/discolouration and a softer and flatter texture. It also relieves itchiness while the scar matures, providing relief post-treatment.
The ideal is to keep the scar covered with CytoDerma™ 24 hours a day for the first 3 months, so its non-greasy/non-shiny/quick-dry formulation is especially desirable. Your clothes won’t get stained and you can even apply sunscreen and makeup on top of it without worry.
CytoDerma™ can treat scars classified as being from Grades 1 – 4. We have found that usage is an essential part of post-treatment recovery to help scars fade as much as possible.
Surgical scars will tan like the rest of our skin when exposed to the sun. However, they often do not fade in colour like the rest of our skin. You don’t want dark scars, so diligent sunscreen use is particularly important for the first 12-18 months after surgery. We have a variety of non-comedogenic options in the office that we can help select for you depending on your skin type.