Five Scar treatments under P750 that might actually work
Whether it’s from having an active lifestyle, surgery, or simply being clumsy, chances are you have a scar somewhere on your body. It’s romantic to think of them as a gateway for telling an interesting story but we’d much rather not have to remember the time when a giant pimple threatened to ruin a special event! If you have scars that you’d rather live without, read on to find out what your options are for managing their appearance.
Different types of scars
The skin can work wonders when healing itself but some injuries are so damaging to tissue that it can sometimes result in pigmentation and/or a different skin texture. It’s important to find out what type of scar you have before attempting to restore your skin to its former glory as some scar treatments are only intended for specific types of scarring.
Flat scars result from minor breaks in the skin, typically from common injuries or burns. The telltale sign is the discoloration - it might start off as pink, reddish, tan, brown or black. In time, it will naturally fade away to something closer to your skin tone. If your flat scar was caused by acne, it’s technically not a scar but post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
Severe burn injuries may cause contracture scars, which makes it look like the skin of the affected area has “shrunk”. The unnatural tightening can sometimes impair proper movement.
If you picked at your chicken pox, or had deep cystic pimples, you likely have indented or atrophic scars. These little hollows form if the wound destroys your skin’s underlying support structure. Sadly, topical treatments cannot restore atrophic scars to their original appearance. Collagen fillers might work but only temporarily.
Sometimes, the skin can be a little overzealous and produce way too much collagen to repair a wound, causing raised scars. Hypertrophic scars are typically red but stay confined within the wound’s boundaries. Keloids are also raised scars that form even beyond the area of a wound, so you end up with a mark larger than the wound that caused it. Unfortunately, some people are more predisposed to form raised scars whether from shallow or deep wounds because of genetics.
Stretch marks are also technically a form of scarring but these form from the inside, when the skin is stretched beyond its capacity. They can be caused by weight changes (gain or loss), pregnancy, or even puberty when you hit your growth spurt!
Over-the-counter (OTC) scar solutions
It’s always best to consult a doctor, preferably a dermatologist, for proper treatment of scars. There are many options available, including clinical treatments like laser therapy, microdermabrasion, and even surgical procedures. For less severe scarring that can be treated by topical gels and creams though, these (prescription-free) drugstore finds can significantly reduce their appearance if not fading them off completely.
Contractubex Topical Gel (P600 for 10g and P990 for 20g)
This lightweight gel contains three active ingredients that help skin repair properly: extractumcepae - nion extract, an anti-inflammatory that helps prevent excessive scar tissue formation; heparin, which promotes cell and tissue regeneration; and allantoin, which soothes the skin.
There have been several clinical trials that prove this product’s effectivity but please note that there is no proof that these active ingredients would perform similarly when used individually. Personally, this gel has flattened and lightened my keloid scars relatively quickly. It also lightened my post-acne marks, and wears well under makeup! Best to rub the gel onto affected area twice daily after cleansing until it is completely absorbed. You can also apply this on older scars and then cover with gauze.
Dermatix Ultra Topical Gel (P731.25 for 7g and P990 for 15g)
Scar tissue can benefit from silicone-based formulas with skin-healing antioxidants and ingredients. It helps to plump up depressed areas and thus create a smoother skin texture. It has less active ingredients than Contractubex, but it looks and feels exactly like a smooth silicone-based primer! As such, you can wear this under makeup and you can get a smoother application on the area. Dermatix is also available in sheet form, which works best on raised scars, but I couldn’t find it at the drugstore in my area.
Glyderm Stretch Mark Cream (P462 for 60mL and P808 for 125mL)
Nothing can completely eradicate stretch marks, since these form underneath the skin. Still, I can attest to the transformative power of Glyderm on my post-pregnancy belly marks! I applied this twice daily and it has significantly lightened and reduced my stretch marks, making them less obvious. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should check with their doctors before using this.
Bio-Oil (P495 for 60mL and P795 for 125mL)
Many people swear by this dry oil, though it seems that just as many say it doesn’t work. It claims to work wonders for scars, uneven skin tone, and stretch marks with its PurCellin oil. Its main agent is mineral oil, which is mixed with other skin-nourishing ingredients like vitamin A and several plant oils.
Apollo Sebo de Macho (12g for P40)
This is a staple in many Pinoy households but did you ever wonder what it’s made from? Its one and only ingredient is mutton’s tallow, aka sheep fat! Before you freak out and dismiss it as a gross option, know that mutton’s tallow has been used for centuries as an all-around remedy for skin troubles. Apparently, it’s very similar to the skin-restoring sebum that our skin naturally produces to protect itself plus fatty acids that nourish the skin.
How to minimize scarring
Prevention is always better than treatment, so if you get an injury or have a nasty pimple, here are some suggestions:
- Treat wounds properly. Appropriate first aid is crucial to any break in the skin so don’t delay cleansing and applying antiseptic treatment. Never apply creams or other treatments to open wounds.
- Use a gentle cleanser. Harsher formulas might irritate the skin and worsen its chance of healing well. Don’t scrub the area, as well.
- Keep the wounded area away from sunlight to prevent further pigmentation.
- Don’t fiddle with it! It’s so tempting to pick at a scab, especially the itchy ones, but doing so could cause permanent scarring.Manage your expectations once scars form. All we can do is try to improve its appearance and hope for the best. It’s awesome if your scars completely disappear with proper treatment, but don’t be surprised if it doesn’t.
- Track your progress. It’s easy to be disappointed with scar treatments since all of them need time and a lot of patience to work. Whenever possible, take progress photos of the scar when trying out treatments.
What kinds of scars are you dealing with right now? Have you tried any of the products in our list? We want to know what worked for you!