Medical Q&As

Small scar - still unsightly?

I recently bumped my head and cut myself leaving two small scars. No stitches were needed and the doctors have said that the scars are superficial and should go away with vitamin e cream. However, after several weeks the scars are still the same. Is there any other way of treating this or should I give it more time?

I think you need to wait a little bit longer in order to observe any change in your small scars. A scar can look quite red for many weeks after the skin has been cut. The scar then tends to fade to light pink and eventually fades to white. But this eventual fading to white might take a few months. If you are very unhappy with the current appearance of your scars you could try an OTC (over the counter) remedy that might be more effective than the vitamin E that you are currently using. This product consists of a transparent gel sheet containing silicone. The sheet occludes t the skin, which retains moisture in the skin around the vicinity of the scar. This reduces collagen deposition within the scar making it less prominent. It also renders the scar tissue paler in colour. The special strip lasts for 2 to 4 weeks. In the medium to longer term laser therapy might be appropriate if the scar is still very prominent. Further alternatives in the medium to longer term would include steroid injection into the scar and dermabrasion. Dermabrasion involves removing the superficial outermost layer of the scar with an abrasive. It has been compared to gently rubbing the skin with fine grade sandpaper. Surgery is a further option that might alter the position or shape of a scar but it is important to realise that surgery can never remove a scar. In the meantime I think it is reasonable to give the situation more time and defer further action for the moment.