Today when I was examining a 16yr old patient for a wart follow-up on her hand I noticed that her arm and leg were covered in scrapes and bruises. When I asked what happened she told me, “I fell off a car”. Fell off a car? I repeated. “Yep, fell off a car”. Apparently her friend swerved while she was holding on to the outside.
-note to self: politely ask my friends not to swerve next time I am holding on to the outside of a car
Her next question was, “how do I prevent my scrapes from scarring?”
While there is nothing you can do to completely prevent scarring there are some things you can do to help minimizing scarring:
- Keep the wound covered. Don’t let the wound dry out and scab over. Wounds heal better when they are kept moist and covered.
- Don’t pick. If your wound has formed a scab do not pick it. Traumatizing the wound can lead to further scaring.
- Stay out of the sun. While your skin is healing UV exposure can cause discoloration forming an unsightly scar.
- Minimize movement. Tension and motion can cause the scar to widen, so try your best to avoid activity that pulls the skin around the wound tight.