Scars form as part of your body's natural healing process, and can vary in size and intensity based on the severity and location of the wound, as well as your age, heredity and even your sex or ethnicity. Mederma Stretch Marks Therapy contains cepalin, a proprietary botanical extract that softens hardened scar tissue to improve its color, texture and overall appearance over time. There is also a variety of alternatives to Mederma to decrease the appearance of scars.
For quicker results than applying Mederma, there are many in-office treatments your dermatologist can provide to decrease the appearance of scars. Dermabrasion uses an electrical machine to remove the top layer of skin, thus diminishing the look of scars and other skin discolorations. Deep scars may require several treatments to achieve the desired look. Dermatologists can also try laser resurfacing treatments and injectables like collagen and hyaluronic acid to improve the look of scars.
Natural remedies for scars include cocoa butter, a proven natural moisturizer, and aloe vera, a natural plant extract that heals and decreases inflammation. According to plastic surgeon Robert Bernard, M.D., how you apply moisturizers is key. Massaging the skin helps break down the dense bands of collagen that have attached to the underlying tissue and created the scar. Bernard recommends gently massaging moisturizers into the scar for 15 to 30 seconds a few times a day.
Other Scar-Removal Gels
There are a variety of over-the-counter competitors to Mederma that also help diminish the looks of scars. If you have a sensitivity to Mederma or have found it to be ineffective, you may want to try Scarguard MD, another topical treatment for scars available at most drug stores. It contains a blend of silicone, cortisone and vitamin E to form a protective film over scars that aids in healing. Ask your dermatologist to recommend other effective over-the-counter treatments for you.
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Keeping scars protected from the sun is vital to prevent an increase in their visibility and to enable them to naturally diminish on their own. Always wear an SPF of 15 or higher to protect scars from ultraviolet rays that stimulate melanocytes -- the cells that produce pigment and cause dark discoloration.
Betsy Morgan has been writing and editing professionally since 1995. She has written for publications like "Wired" magazine, "Paper" magazine and Vault.com. She has a Bachelor of Arts in history from Columbia University.