It is important to remember that a wound does not become a scar until the skin has completely healed. Until that point a clean, warm, moist environment should be maintained and movement should be restricted in order not to place tension on the wound or surgery. Consultation should be sought from your health professional should you have any concerns.

Abnormal scarring occurs more often in higher-risk groups which include people with darkly pigmented or very fair skin, those who have previously suffered from abnormal scarring, during hormonal changes (e.g. puberty, pregnancy) or when the wound or injury is more severe such as with burns and major trauma.

The main principles of wound management for optimum scarring include the following:

Defining the cause of the wound – Mostly obvious, but in some cases this may prove more difficult (e.g. defining a pressure ulcer from a diabetic ulcer).

Control factors affecting healing – For example: health of the tissue surrounding the wound, infection risk, blood sugar management, medication interactions, etc.

Select the appropriate dressings – Dependent on factors such as amount of dead tissue involved with the wound, amount of moisture or exudates, signs of infection, type of wound, stage of healing, etc.

Plan for management – If the wound-healing aim is not being achieved, it is important that you are under direct supervision of your health care professional.