They say that “time heals all wounds.” But what about those pesky scars that seem to last forever? After a few weeks, you might find yourself wondering when your scar will heal, but unfortunately even the first month or two are relatively early in the scar-healing process. Scars take time to heal, even if we don’t want them to. But to understand what is going on with our skin, we must look at the initial question: how exactly do scars heal?
How Scars Form
After an injury or procedure, a protein called collagen helps to seal the gap and strengthen the surrounding skin, forming the scar itself. After the wound is healed completely, the collagen levels in the wound are still active, which is why the scar is still present on the skin. As the scar matures, the collagen fibers in the skin condense and recede and the collagen levels themselves decrease.
Why Healing Takes Time
It takes a long period of time for the collagen levels to naturally decrease and break down, causing the scar to change color and flatten. This process usually takes at least 6 months but can even take upwards of 2 years or more. Fortunately, there are scar healing products that help to speed up this process, but even then, healing doesn’t happen overnight. A scar that might naturally take over a year to heal with products still might take a couple months.
Instead of sitting around checking under the site of the scar every few hours, distract yourself! Go for a walk, excel in a new hobby, or spend time with family and friends. We get that practicing patience is tough – hey, that’s one of the reasons scar management products are so great in the first place! Instead of constantly thinking about it though, rest assured that biology is doing it’s job. All you have to do is keep the area clean, stay healthy, and apply your scar management products consistently to see the best results possible.
What have we learned? Getting rid of old scars isn’t going to happen right away; there’s no shortcut for proper healing. However, with the proper care and additional treatment you could half or even quarter the initial healing time. It’s just like they say, “All good things come to those that wait.”