Skip to main content

How to Minimize Scarring After a Deep Wound

How to Minimize Scarring After a Deep Wound

Many people have scars on their bodies from childhood injuries or previous surgical procedures, yet no one wants a scar, no matter how big or small. Scarring is an unfortunate part of the body's healing process, but it’s sometimes preventable.

If you've recently suffered a deep wound or cut, you're likely worried about how it will heal and how to prevent a scar. 

At the Vein, Heart, and Vascular Institute, Dr. Hesham Fakhri and Dr. Octavio Cosme are two expert heart and vascular care specialists who offer wound care to help minimize scarring.

What causes scarring?

Surgical procedures, a cut from a kitchen knife, or a road rash from an accident all have one thing in common: They can all lead to ugly scars.

But what is a scar, exactly? Scars form after an injury to the dermis, the lowest level of skin. The dermis contains a lot of collagen, a protein that keeps your skin taut and springy.

When the dermis is injured, your body produces more collagen to support the healing process, but it's never the same as the amount you had before the injury. You may have just enough, not enough, or too much collagen formation, which changes skin appearance.

Another factor that plays into scarring is circulation. Areas with better circulation often heal quicker and better than places with less blood flow. For example, cuts to your head and face often heal quickly because of the amount of blood flow to those areas.

That's why cuts on your legs and feet often heal slower and form scars. There's much less blood flow to the lower extremities, especially in people with vein disease, heart disease, and diabetes.

Tips to minimize scarring on a wound

Having a deep wound doesn't necessarily mean you'll have a scar; several factors play into a scar, including how you take care of the wound and your body's healing process.

But there are some tips we recommend that significantly reduce the risk of scars, and they include:

Keep the wound clean

Immediately after the injury and until the wound heals, keep the area clean from debris. Bacteria and other germs love open skin. Clean the wound thoroughly until it heals.

Use petroleum jelly

A dry wound forms a scab, taking the body longer to heal. Use petroleum jelly to keep the area moist, allowing the body to heal the wound faster and reduce scarring.

Cover the wound daily

After thoroughly cleaning the wound and applying an ointment, cover it to keep it safe from bacteria or further injury. Inspect the wound daily to ensure it's healing correctly.

Change the dressings frequently

As the wound heals, check the dressings at least once per day. You may need to change the dressings more frequently for more extensive wounds, especially if there's drainage. Keep the bandages clean and dry to ensure the wound heals without scarring.

What not to do with a wound

Just as there are tips to prevent scars, there are also some things we suggest you don't do. Our team offers the following "don'ts" when it comes to deep wound care:

Don't wait too long for treatment

The longer you delay treatment for a deep wound, the more likely you are to have scar formation. The sooner you get treatment, the quicker we can evaluate the wound and apply stitches or other necessary treatments for faster healing.

Don't pick at the wound

Picking at the scabs or wounds as they heal is a surefire way to get a scar. The body's natural healing takes time, so don't undo it by picking, scratching, or rubbing the wound.

Don't forget sunscreen

Sunscreen is essential, especially after a wound heals. Forgetting sunscreen on a freshly healed wound may make the scar darker and more noticeable.

And, finally, don’t have unrealistic expectations regarding wound healing. Wounds take time to heal, and scars take time to fade. Even if you do everything right, a scar may still form.

Our team helps you determine what's best for your wound and how to keep large scars from forming.

If you're worried about scarring, don't hesitate to call us at the Vein, Heart, and Vascular Institute today to schedule a wound care appointment. You can also request a consultation on this website. We’re located in Tampa, Sun City Center, and Wesley Chapel, Florida.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Why Do My Legs Feel So Heavy in the Morning?

Do you wake up in the morning feeling like sandbags are weighing your legs down? If so, you may have a vein disease that's affecting more than your legs. Read on to discover what causes heavy legs and when to see a doctor to lighten the load.

The Worst Foods for Your Heart

You’ve probably heard the expression "you are what you eat." It's often true, especially regarding your heart and unhealthy choices. Keep reading to discover the worst foods for heart health so you can avoid heart disease and other complications.

Why Does My Heart Feel Like It Skips a Beat?

Have you ever felt your heart skip a beat? Heart palpitations are scary, even though they don't always spell danger. Keep reading to learn what causes heart palpitations and when to seek treatment.