It is sometimes believed that exposing a scar to sun may even out the colour of it, reducing the visibility of the scar. People have attempted “tanning” their scars to achieve camouflaging them. Sun exposure, though, is the absolute last thing that your scar needs.
WHAT MAKES A SCAR VULNERABLE TO THE SUN?
The fresher the scar is, the more vulnerable it is too harsh UV rays from the sun. These ultraviolet rays will only further harm your new scar, especially if it is still pink and healing. A scar at this beginning stage will burn much easier than other areas where your skin is not scarred. If you allow a new scar to be exposed to prolonged amounts of sun, the inflammation of the healing tissue with the exposure to UV rays can cause post inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
Also known as inflammatory disorder of the skin, it causes an increase in pigmentation within the scar. While this is something that occurs more often with darker skin colours, it can happen to anyone. The pigmentation development tends to be more pronounced in individuals who have longer exposure to the sun and the effects can be irreversible.
To understand the connection between sun and hyperpigmentation, we must first understand the correlation between melanin and hyperpigmentation.
WHAT IS MELANIN?
Essentially, melanin is colour. It is between a dark brown and black pigment. Melanin is what gives our skin tone and what gives colour to our hair, it is even responsible for the colour of our eyes. The job of melanin is to protect our skin from injury, and it works extremely hard to ensure our skin is safe from UV rays.
WHAT CAUSES HYPERPIGMENTATION?
Unfortunately, UV rays can at times overwhelm the amount of melanin that we have in our bodies. When our skin is exposed to large amounts of UV rays the skin reacts by creating a buildup of darker cells that act as a protector in that specific over-exposed area.
When you have a new scar forming the skin is still pink and healing. This skin is extremely sensitive to UV rays and is very vulnerable to sun. The exposure to sun of this area will be too much for the melanin in your body to handle and there will be a buildup of the darker cells. This is when your scarred area will become hyperpigmented.
WHAT HAPPENS IF scars are BLACK OR BROWN?
If scaring appears darkened, hyperpigmentation may already be present. If you have read the above portions, you now know that this is from overexposure to sun when the scar was still fresh and healing. There are treatments to go about getting rid of the hyperpigmentation, however they are pricey and can take an extended period of time to begin working. In this case, prevention is much better than the cure option.
It is best to take actions against hyperpigmented scars early, rather than have to deal with the consequences later.
HOW TO PROTECT scars IN THE SUN AND PREVENT DAMAGE?
NewGel+UV is a new product available now in Australia. It is a silicone gel with SPF30 mineral sunscreen which helps to prevent hypertrophic scars and keloids while minimizing the risk of hyperpigmentation due to sun exposure.
NewGel+UV medical grade silicone is ideal for:
- Areas exposed to the sun, including face, neck, chest, arms, hands and for
- Use after Mohs surgery, biopsy, excision, laser treatments or facial plastic surgery.
It has 20% zinc oxide sunscreen–preferred by dermatologists over chemical sunscreens and does not irritate sensitive skin and does not block pores or cause blemishes on acne-prone skin.
Trust NewGel+ to soften, flatten, and fade your scar. CLICK HERE FOR WHOLESALE AND STOCKIST ENQUIRIES.
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