They say our scars are a sign of our strength, and I agree. They’re proof you can survive all kinds of things. But if you’ve grown tired of staring at your scars and want to do something about them, we have a suggestion worth considering.
That suggestion is silicone scar sheets, and studies have shown they can reduce the thick, raised scarring called keloids. Doctors say they can heal minor scars better, too. Think it sounds like something you want to know more about? Keep reading for more on what they are and how to use them.
How Do Silicone Scar Sheets Work?
First, let’s start with what a scar is. It’s what’s left behind on your body anytime your skin is cut, whether surgically or otherwise. It’s a normal part of the body’s healing process. Scarring is an important part of our inflammatory cells coming in to stop bleeding, prevent infection, and add new collagen to get our wound to close.
The silicone sheets can help ensure a scar is as small as possible. They help in the healing process and regulate collagen production. Typically, our body produces collagen to heal the wound, which may end up overproducing it, leading to the formation of a keloid, the raised scar that bothers so many people.
Silicone scar sheets are made of silicone that’s constructed into very thin, flexible sheets. They’re considered a kind of medical device. They create a protective barrier that helps hydrate the skin to promote healing. They create a microclimate on the skin’s surface that helps regulate moisture levels, reduce inflammation, and improve collagen production. With time, the scar tissue will flatten out and become smooth, which makes it less noticeable. Doctors say they work by applying a small amount of compressive pressure to the scar. That helps soften it and make it flatten.
The ideal time to use them is a week or two after you injure yourself or undergo surgery. You have to be sure your cut has healed, and you no longer have any open areas or scabbing.
Do They Really Achieve Results?
Well, if you’re looking for a study that shows they’re better than other options out there, that’s a tough find. However, studies and other evidence show that applying silicone products each day will help your scars maturate appropriately and minimize cosmetic issues. The key is that the silicone sheets can closely mimic our skin barrier, truly locking in and trapping moisture. They can be a critical tool, working as a wound dressing, and provide good results if you’re patient and use them consistently and correctly.
How Do You Use Them?
They’re pretty straightforward, very similar to a bandaid, just bigger. But we do have a few essential tips to follow:
First, clean the area around the scar and make sure the skin is dry and you don’t have any creams, gels, or powders on it. Then apply the patch directly to your skin, right over your scar. You can cut the sheet down to the size you need. One to six inches is the typical length.
How long you wear it depends on a few things, but most are worn for several hours a day; about 12 to 22 hours is the norm. You should take them off each day to clean the area. Then you can reapply. Some are designed to be worn for months. Ultimately, you’d use the sheet for about 12 weeks to see the best results.
If the stickiness goes away, gently wash the gel sheeting in mild soap and cool water and lay it flat to air dry. It’ll ultimately become sticky again.
You won’t want to apply them until after you bathe and don’t wear them while you’re working out or sweating. You also shouldn’t apply them if you plan to go swimming.
Are Silicone Scar Sheets Safe?
Yes, doctors consider them safe for most people. Before using them, definitely discuss it with your doctor. How long you’ll wear it will depend on the type and severity of the scar. If you see any redness or irritation after you start using the silicone sheets, or have a known allergy, talk with your doctor immediately.
How Much Do They Cost?
There are several options on the market, but some cost just $10 for a box of sheets, making them very affordable.
The bottom line is silicone scar sheets are very convenient and an easy and affordable way to treat your scars yourself, as long as you follow the basic steps and don’t give up too soon. Consistency and patience will make all the difference since it will typically take several months to see results.
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