03 Jul Shield scars from sunlight
Because scars are damaged skin, you must take extra care of them if you’re spending time in the sun.
Scar tissue is sensitive – especially when it’s still healing – and gets sunburnt far more easily than normal skin. If they get sunburnt, scars will become more obvious and turn a darker brown than the rest of your skin, so if you’re conscious of your scar and don’t like its appearance this is the last thing you need.
It’s not just the colour change you have to worry about either as sunlight thickens the tissue which will make the scar even more noticeable and may cause further damage to the area. It’s best to take precautions against the effects of the sun if you’ve got any scars. Keep them covered by clothing or pop a bandage over them. Opt for heavier clothing if you can, as thicker, darker – coloured items will block out more of the sun’s rays than loose fitting clothes in light colours. Of course, this isn’t the most practical clothing to wear in a hot climate but it’s essential if you want to protect your scars.
Newer scars should definitely not be exposed to the sun. It can take up to two years for scars to heal fully and UV light from the sun can leave them with a permanent darker tint than the rest of your skin making them stand out. Subsequent treatment will also be less effective as a result.
If your scar gets burnt, apply aftersun immediately to the affected area to minimise the damage, and keep doing this regularly.
Taking steps to protect your scar from the sun will stop you having serious problems further down the line.
Date of Preparation: July 2016
Source: The American Academy of Dermatology