Topical Cortisone for Scars

concerned young woman looking in mirror
Reduce facial scarring with topical creams, such as cortisone. (Image: Alliance/iStock/Getty Images)

Scarring is the body’s way of healing after an injury. Sores, cuts and burns might cause scarring. Skin conditions, such as acne, also cause scarring. Dermatologists have found that family history plays a role in this skin problem as well, reports the American Academy of Dermatology. If you struggle with scarring, topical cortisone creams can assist with minimizing the appearance of these imperfections.

Topical Steroid Application

Talk with your dermatologist about the application of topical cortisone creams for your scars. This topical cream is used on all types of scars. Typically, you’ll need to apply the cream only once or twice daily. If you have dry skin, discuss using of a moisturizer with your doctor; otherwise, topical cortisone creams for scars might dry and irritate your skin.

Sun Exposure

If you use topical cortisone for scars, discuss sun exposure with your doctor. Most often she’ll recommend that you minimize sun exposure. Not only does sun exposure make scarring worse, topical cortisone might also make you more sensitive to the sun. Avoid the sun in the early afternoon hours. And, use an SPF of 30 or higher in the sun to protect your scars and minimize additional damage.

Side Effects

As with all medications, there are potential side effects, such as skin thinning, stretch marks and easy bruising and tearing of the skin, reports DermNet NZ. Other potential side effects include a rash around the mouth, enlarged blood vessels and increased risk for skin infections. Talk with your dermatologist about the risks and benefits of using topical cortisone creams for scar treatment.

Other Options

If topical cortisone isn’t working on your scars, talk with your doctor about other treatment options. These include chemical peals, laser resurfacing and steroid injections. For severe scarring cases, your doctor might recommend surgical removal of your scar, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Your dermatologist will help you select the best treatment for your situation.

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