Self-Harm / Cutting Scars – Immediate treatment

  • Best Results1-2 sessions
  • Treatment Recovery3-8 days
  • Procedure Time5 min
  • Skin SpecialistGP, family physician
  • Duration of ResultsNA
  • AnaestheticNumbing
  • Back to Work0-3 days
  • Cost$ Medicare

Self-Harm / Cutting Scars - Immediate treatment

Early management of self-harm scars can markedly reduce permanent scars. Correct wound dressings, silicone sheeting, coupled with low energy lasers & LED lights are indicated. It is much easier to remodel early scars compared to treating old hypopigmented & wide scars.

FactsFacts on Self Harm -Cutting Scars, Acute Management

  • Prevention of infection is paramount
  • Appropriate wound approximation or apposition can prevent scars
  • Acute dressings should be in a moist & sterile environment
  • Silicone & compression is the next step
  • Microneedling, LED & vascular lasers are useful in early scar treatment

How to look after wounds?

The first step in wound management is to prevent infection. Correct disinfection & wound care is required. The second step is to determine if wound closure, via sutures, tape or glue is required. This is determined by your family physician or GP.

I understand that some patients do not want to visit their doctor. In this case clean your wounds with chlorhexidine, & dress them daily with an appropriately sized dressing such as Melolin.

Disclaimer: I do not manage acute wounds. Your general practitioner will guide you. Acute wounds require frequent follow ups & management, including dressing changes by nurses.

Who to see?

For acute wounds, your GP is the first point of contact. You may want to discuss issues with them when you are ready. It is important to find someone whom you can talk to, as well as someone to help you in the early stages of cutting.

How to prevent scarring?

My work is focused on repairing old scars, however with immediate action, most scars can be prevented or reduced. Dressings & appropriate wound closure early is super important. Be guided by your GP-family physician.

What does silicone do?

Silicone tape & gel can reduce or prevent hypertrophic & keloid scars. Tape & products such as Dermatix or Strataderm can be purchased in most pharmacies. They should be started as soon as possible, as early as 7 to 10 days post injury.

Ideally a silicone sheet should be applied 24/7 for 10 to 16 weeks. Gel should be applied twice a day, for the same duration.

Davin’s Viewpoint on Cutting Scars; Acute management

The Golden Month is the month following acute cutting injuries. Good wound management early will mitigate scarring. This means prevention of infection & correct apposition of wound edges.

The anatomy of cutting scars varies with the depth. Shallow scars usually self heal, albeit some redness, then hypopigmentation. It is the deeper cuts that require urgent management. Correct wound closure will prevent spread scars. In some cases sutures are required, whilst in others simple steri-strips are sufficient.

A second window arises after the acute phase, namely, to prevent hypertrophic or keloidal scars. Simple wound dressings include silicone tape coupled with compression. The latter can be achieved with double Tubigrip, available from most pharmacies. Red scars should be treated with vascular lasers. Most patients undergo 3-6 sessions, spaced 2-4 weeks apart. My clinical team can assist.

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