How to Reduce the Appearance of Scarring

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Scarring has many causes, including cuts, scrapes, burns, acne and even small infected wounds. Scars occur when the outer layer of skin -- the epidermis -- becomes damaged. As the skin heals itself, a new layer of skin grows to cover the wound and protect the body. According to the National Institutes of Health, scar appearances vary depending on the damage origin, where the damage is, age and genetics. Though scars fade over time, they are permanent. It's possible to remove scars with various treatments, from over-the-counter products to more intensive procedures.

Apply a lotion or cream that contains alphahydroxy acids directly to the skin. Alphahydroxy acids are found naturally in fruits and remove dead skin cells. Applying the substance to the skin reduces scars, redness and swelling over time.

Use a silicone treatment on the affected area. They're available over-the-counter at most pharmacies or online. Apply the silicone gel directly on top of the scar and cover it with a bandage or medical tape. Silicone traps moisture and can help scars fade.

Stop going in the sun and always wear sunscreen. The sun's rays can increase the pigment in your skin, making your scars more noticeable.

Apply a cosmetic concealer to the scar to temporarily reduce its visibility. Select a concealer shade that matches your skin tone and massage it into the affected area. Cover it with a foundation powder to further reduce the scar's appearance.

Discuss more in-depth treatment methods with a dermatologist or plastic surgeon. They can suggest solutions that, depending on the type of scar, reduce the scar's visibility or remove it completely. According to the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, techniques include laser treatments, scar revisions, microdermabrasion, steroid injections and chemical peels.

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