For fictional character development, a scar can build emotional depth, instant recognition, and even story development. Famous eccentrics like Harry Potter, The Joker, Kylo Ren, Freddy Krueger, and, of course, Scarface (Tony Montana) and Scar (Lion King), utilized their prominent scars as part of their identity.
Average real life people don’t always want to be remembered for their abnormalities in that way. Especially since the scar has become a symbol of evil and villainy in pop culture.
But we don’t get to choose our stories like movies, books, or television do. We have to brave illnesses and injuries that leave permanent reminders on our skin. Even something as casual as chickenpox could eventually pop up as shingles and leave you disfigured, if you aren’t prepared for it.
We want to prepare you for the worst, so here is our overview of shingles-related scarring.
Does Shingles Leave Scars?
Shingles’ trademark sores develop scabs that can hang out on the body for up to 4 weeks (sometimes longer). Like any other break of the skin, does shingles leave scars?
For some, yes there will be lasting marks on the skin in the areas where the ulcers occurred. Scars are more likely if the sores ran deep or were prohibited from healing properly. In the general population, scarring is rare. Commonly, scars fade or disappear without any intervention.
Shingles Scars Pictures
Scars will depend on the severity of the outbreak and care of the skin while it healing. Often pale pigmented marks remain up to a year after the scabs have healed. Most blemishes will resolve themselves or fade over time, but for some the disfigurement is worse. These shingles scar pictures provide a spectrum of representation.
Shingles Scar Prevention
Some imperfections may be unavoidable, but most people can implement a few self-care techniques during their outbreak to prevent it. Shingles scar prevention starts here with wound care:
- Regularly wash the blisters with mild, non-drying soap. This will stop a worsening of the infection and help skin absorb moisturizers.
- Apply aloe vera to the skin to keep it moisturized and supple.
- Avoid scratching at all costs. The worst scars happen in people who can’t resist the urge to scratch as it delays healing, removes scabs, and spreads germs (with potential for more intense infections). Apply anti-itch ointments, take cool baths, wear cold compresses, or cover your hands with mittens if you have to!
- Increase intake of healthy skin foods. Omega-3 fatty acids are building blocks in regenerating plump skin cells and collagen. Good sources of omega-3s include fatty fish, oysters, flaxseed, chia seeds, walnuts, and soybeans.
Shingles Scars Treatment
A knowledgeable person can follow perfect directions and still end up with unlucky distortion.
Shingles scars treatment options for how to get rid of the appearance of dark marks and hyperpigmentation include:
Silicone. Cream for scars containing silicone has shown promise in clinical trials for reducing size and darkness of scars. It is also available in patches or gels.
Steroids. Delivered either as a shot by a specialist or in the form of a steroid-impregnated tape.
Cryotherapy. Freezing off unwanted growths has proven effective for things like warts and can be applied to scars. The method is effective, but does run the risk of lightening the color of the skin surrounding the scar.
Laser therapy. Targeting light waves can burn off the top layers of a scar. This is best utilized on keloids or raised scars. The downside is the modality is quite expensive.
Dermal fillers. Natural and synthetic elements can be injected into puckering or indented scars to smooth them out.
Surgery. The only true scar removal is with surgical methods. It can be effective, but runs a risk of additional scarring from the cutting.
Radiation. Only in extreme cases where a scar is menacing and resistant to other treatments can radiation be considered an option, but it is available.
How to Get Rid of Scars on Face
Trying to put your best face forward when you don’t feel confident is a nightmare. You have already dealt with the nastiness of shingles across your gourd, you shouldn’t have to suffer aftereffects of scars too. Try some of these face-friendly methods:
- Makeup. Depending on the location of the scars, you may opt for Camouflage instead of scar removal. Companies like Changing Faces and Kat Von D have developed concealer formulas pigmented enough to cover the darkest of scars, including tattoos and acne.
- Collagen injections. Well-known for plumping up lips and smoothing out wrinkles, collagen injections can also improve the presence and texture of scars.
- Chemical peels. In this process, an exfoliating chemical concoction is applied to the face to remove tops layers of skin. It’s helpful for faint scars and discoloration common after outbreaks. Bonus, it clears up some wrinkles, acne, and sun damage too.
- Dermabrasion. Here a small electronic device is used to lift top layers of skin with abrasion. Not just helpful for scars, but basically all face skin issues.
- Punch grafts. For deeper pockets, a hole can be punched into the skin to remove scar tissue and replaced with an unscarred patch of skin (usually lifted from behind the ear).
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