Life’s little battle wounds, whether from acne or accidents, don’t have to be permanent fixtures on our skin —and thanks to skincare innovations, we can make them practically disappear, says New York City dermatologist Debra Jaliman, MD. Here, the new solutions to heal scars.
For raised scars.
In order to repair deep cuts, the body amps up collagen production — but too much of the protein can lead to a thick, lumpy scar. To fix old and new scars, try silicone. “It creates a barrier of hydration that normalizes collagen production, which flattens the area,” says Dr. Jaliman. One study found that applying a silicone gel onto raised scars twice a day smoothed the texture by 86 percent and height by 68 percent in six months.
TO DO: Massage a silicone gel like ScarAway Scar Treatment Gel ($15.00, Amazon) onto scars twice a day to start seeing a difference in four weeks.
For dark scars.
A minor burn (like from cooking or a curling iron) traumatizes the outer layer of skin, halting cell renewal and causing the area to look dark or discolored long after it heals. Dr. Jaliman advises treating it with glycolic acid. “It sloughs off the dead, dark layers of skin and increases cell turnover to brighten skin and fade discoloration.” One caution: Use only on fully healed injuries as the acid can irritate open wounds.
TO DO: Rub a pea-sized amount of a glycolic acid cream like Mario Badescu Glycolic Gel ($25.00, Amazon) onto marks twice daily for results in two weeks.
For indented scars.
Inflammation and ruptures from acne breakouts can damage collagen and elastin deep below the skin’s surface, resulting in sunken spots like pock-marks, says Dr. Jaliman. What can help heal these scars: microneedling. This technique uses a roller device covered in tiny needles that make small, painless pin-pricks in the skin, triggering collagen and elastin production. “The increased output of skin-firming proteins helps fill and plump divots so skin is smoother and the hollows are less noticeable,” explains Dr. Jaliman.
TO DO: Gently roll a microneedling tool like Ora Face Microneedle Dermal Roller System ($30.00, Dermastore) over clean skin in horizontal motions, only going over the same section of skin twice. And since the punctures help skincare ingredients penetrate better, apply a pea-sized amount of rosehip oil (which is rich in collagen and elastin-stimulating nutrients) immediately after rolling. Repeat twice a week for results in six weeks.
This story originally appeared in our print magazine.
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