How to Reduce Collagen Buildup

Human leg with postoperative scar of cardiac surgery
Large scar on a leg next to a tub of ointment (Image: Suze777/iStock/Getty Images)

Collagen is a tough fiber that helps to give your skin its firmness and structure. One of the most abundant proteins in your body, collagen is found in tendons, bones and your skin, according to Smart Skincare. While you need collagen for a number of skin functions, an excess amount — more commonly known as a scar — can be a cosmetic concern. Collagen is found in high percentages in scar tissue and can make a scar appear rough, shiny and cause the scar to be raised over the skin. When this is the case, there are steps you can take to reduce the appearance of your scar.

Step 1

Apply a sunscreen with a sun protection factor greater than 15 to the area of collagen buildup, according to CBS News. Sun exposure can cause discoloration of the collagen buildup and slow the body’s healing effects. Because you are trying to reduce this buildup, taking an extra precaution ensures your scar can heal.

Step 2

Apply a pressure bandage to the area of collagen buildup, according to CBS News. Examples include silicone sheeting and other bandages labeled for scar therapy. These bandages work to break up tough collagen fibers, preventing them from rising over the skin. These are typically left on the skin for all but one hour per day and should be applied for several weeks, according to the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology.

Step 3

Massage the area of collagen buildup several times per day, according to CBS News. An estimated 15 to 30 seconds is all it takes to break up the tough collagen fibers. Massage in a circular motion. You can even apply a scar treatment cream such as one that contains onion extract to enhance potential healing benefits.

Step 4

Undergo a steroid injection treatment if your collagen buildup does not respond to other methods, according to Dr. York Yates, a Utah-based dermatologist on his practice website. A steroid injection treatment involves injecting hydrocortisone or another injectable into the site. This can help to flatten raised collagen areas and decrease any pain or swelling associated with the area.

Things You'll Need

  • Sunscreen

  • Pressure bandage

  • Scar treatment cream

Tip

Refrain from using products that contain vitamin E when treating a scar, according to CBS News. Vitamin E has recently been associated with impaired healing, which could keep your scar from healing as it normally would.

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