Proper Wound Care to Minimize Scars

Published on June 29th, 2016

A scar is a normal part of the healing process when the skin is injured by surgery or an accident. The severity of the scarring often depends on the location of the wound and how well it heals. While some scarring may be unavoidable, the following tips can minimize scars from minor cuts and scrapes.

Keep the Area Clean

The first step in treating a cut or scrape is to wash it gently using water and mild soap to remove dirt, debris and germs.

Keep the Wound Moist

A small bit of petroleum jelly on the injury can keep it from scabbing, drying out, and becoming itchy. Antibacterial ointments are not necessary as long as the area is kept clean.

Keep the Injury Covered

Help protect the wound by covering it with a clean bandage while it heals. Individuals who are allergic to bandages can opt for non-stick gauze with paper tape, silicone or hydrogel sheets.

Apply Sunscreen

Once the injury has healed, applying an SPF-30 or higher sunscreen to the area can keep it from becoming red or discolored.

When to See a Doctor

Deep, gaping, or large wounds are the most prone to scarring. Stitches may help ensure proper healing and minimize potential scarring. When getting stitches, it is important to follow the doctor’s aftercare instructions for wound care and removal of the stitches. It is also important to see a doctor if the wound becomes red, extremely painful, develops drainage or other signs of infection.

Most minor scars will eventually fade over time. A dermatologist can offer treatment options for scars in a prominent location, such as the face or that remain highly-visible.