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Scarring is the body’s response to trauma, such as a cut, burn, surgical incision, or even acne. While many people consider scars to be cosmetically unappealing, they are in fact part of the natural wound healing process. All NewGel+ products were developed with the wound healing process in mind to help your wound heal properly and safely, resulting in skin that is less likely to scar once healed. In this post, we want to share with you exactly how wound healing works, as well as how the wide variety of NewGel+ scar treatment products can help your unique scar needs.
Wound healing is a complex process which involves four highly integrated and overlapping phases:
Hemostasis is a term that means to stop the flow of blood. The body can often achieve hemostasis on its own, for example, if you accidentally cut your finger and it stops bleeding without the need for stitches. However, if the cut is severe, medical intervention may be necessary to close the wound.
After hemostasis, the body signals to the blood vessels to dilate in order to allow nutrients, white blood cells, antibodies, and other beneficial elements into the wound. This helps to prevent infection, clear away damaged cells, and begin the tissue remodeling process. You will begin to experience the physical effects of inflammation during this phase, such as swelling, heat, and redness.
The next step in the wound healing process is proliferation. By definition, proliferation means “a rapid increase in numbers”. When a wound begins to heal, the cells around it begin to proliferate. The new cells grow from the outer edges of the wound toward the center, and unite in order to form the new layer of skin.
The final stage of wound healing is tissue remodeling, a complex process that can last anywhere from several months to years. In this stage, fibroblasts (a type of connective tissue cell) are signaled to produce collagen to support the newly formed tissue. Then, the collagen fibers are organized and cross-linked along tension lines (the natural orientation of collagen fibers in the dermis). You may also hear this process referred to as the scar maturation process.
Scarring occurs during the final stage of wound healing because the newly formed epidermal tissue does not function as well as the epidermis (top layers of skin) of unwounded skin. The scarred area will have less strength, elasticity, and durability. A visible scar is formed due to the arrangement of the newly formed collagen: instead of following a basketweave pattern like normal tissue, the collagen fibers cross-link and form in a single direction.
What’s even more concerning is that a raised, discolored scar can form if too much collagen is produced or if the extracellular matrix (ECM) is reorganized abnormally. These scars can be classified as either hypertrophic scars or keloids.
Hypertrophic scars are raised and red, but stay within the boundaries of the original wound. On the other hand, if the scar grows past the original scar boundary, it is classified as a keloid. Keloid scars may turn from red to brown and often have a lumpy appearance. Left untreated, keloid scars can continue to thicken and grow indefinitely. A common site for keloid growth is on the earlobe following piercing. The keloid will look like a ball of skin attached to the piercing site. You’ve probably seen one or experienced one yourself. The size of the keloid is much bigger in relation to the small injury caused by the piercing.
HOW NEWGEL+ PRODUCTS CAN HELP
Understanding how wound healing works makes it easier to see why certain scar treatments work better than others. If you’ve tried other scar treatments only to be disappointed, you're not alone. Luckily, we have a solution: silicone gel.
Silicone gel exerts several actions that help wounds to heal well and also to minimize the appearance of scars. Below are mechanisms reported by the Journal of Cutaneous and Aesthetic Surgery which explain how silicone gel heals scars.
To help deliver these benefits, all of the NewGel+ scar treatment products have been formulated with medical grade silicones to soften, flatten, and fade your scar. Take your pick from silicone gel strips, sheets and shapes, or two tube sizes of topical silicone gel. No matter what type of scar you have, NewGel+ has the perfect scar treatment product for you!
August 15, 2017