Prevent Scars with Proper Wound Care
Cuts, scrapes, and minor wounds are a part of life, but lasting scars don’t have to be. Learn how to care for your wounds and prevent scars.
What Exactly Is A Scar?
When skin is injured, our body produces extra collagen in an effort to repair the wound as fast as possible. This fibrous healing tissue replaces normal skin, and becomes what we refer to as a scar. Most scars are flat and pale, though some may be raised (known as hypertrophic and keloid scars). The appearance of a scar depends on factors such as the size, shape, and location of the wound and the thickness and color of your skin. While some scarring is inevitable, there are some simple ways you can prevent and lessen lasting marks.
Follow These Wound Care Steps To Prevent Scars
- Know when to see a doctor. Wide-set or deep cuts may need stitches. If your wound is deep, painful, or becomes infected, head into our clinic as soon as possible. The key to preventing scars is treating wounds early. Our medical team can quickly evaluate and treat your injury to help you heal faster and minimize scarring. Make sure to follow your provider’s advice on follow-up care and when to get stitches removed.
- Keep the wound clean, moist, and covered. Wash your wound daily, using water, a soft wash cloth, and mild soap. After cleaning, apply petroleum jelly or Aquaphor, and a fresh bandage. This hydrates the wound to promote healing, and also protects it from germs and infection. Properly caring for your wound will allow your body to heal with less work and less scarring.
- Be patient. Wounds take many months to fully heal. Avoid using hydrogen peroxide (it actually slows tissue growth), never pick scabs, and always wear sunscreen to prevent discoloration and further skin damage. A simple, natural healing process is your best bet!
When you need fast treatment for minor cuts and wounds, head into our clinic. We can evaluate your injury and perform stitches, X-rays, and tetanus shots on-site, with no appointment necessary.
Back to School Safety: Putting Common Sports Injuries on Ice
Heading back to school begins a new year of Fall sports and unfortunately the risk of sports-related injuries. Common sports injuries are typically easy to treat, but that doesn’t mean they’re not painful. Sports injuries at school can also derail more than the rest of the season; a single injury may turn into a chronic issue if it’s not treated properly. It’s best to treat injuries when they occur to prevent long-term effects.
Sprained ankles are very common, resulting when the ligaments in your ankle are overstretched or experience a tear. A sprained ankle often occurs during jumping and running, but can result any time the ankle is turned at an unnatural angle or experiences too much stress. The best way to prevent an ankle sprain is to make sure your ankles have ample support, from the proper shoes to wrapping tape. If you experience an ankle sprain, ice and elevation are the easiest way to treat it.
Shin splints are common in long distance runners, recognizable as pain in the lower front portion of your leg. The best way to avoid this uncomfortable condition is to slowly increase the distance you run rather than going for gold on the first outing. Proper stretching before each run will also help stave off shin pain.
Tennis elbow is an overuse injury. When your forearm tendons become inflamed due to repetitive motion, it becomes painful to grip a racket and swing your arm. This injury can affect golfers as well as tennis players. Prevention involves implementing a healthy routine of exercise mixed with ample rest periods. An arm brace may also be necessary to avoid the condition if it becomes a chronic issue.
While stretching helps with blood flow and muscle flexibility, proper form and a healthy workout routine are also key to avoiding these and other common sports injuries. To go back to school without groin, back, leg injuries and more, start slow and recognize early signs of injury. If you experience a sports injury, visit Physicians Urgent Care for treatment and advice.