Scar Treatment

Scar Care 101: How to Treat Your Scars in Tropical Climates

5 min read

Scars can occur as a result of various injuries, surgeries, or skin conditions, and they are a natural part of the healing process. While scars cannot be completely erased, there are effective ways to minimize their appearance and promote healthy skin.

This article will guide you through:

  •  What a scar is
  •  Types of scars
  •  The essential steps of scar care – with a particular focus on managing scars in tropical countries
  •  How to prevent scars

Understanding scar formation:

Before understanding how a scar is formed, let’s first understand the human body (skin). Human skin is composed of three main layers:

  • The outermost called the epidermis
  • The mid layer called the dermis
  • And the innermost layer named hypodermis

Scars form when the skin undergoes significant damage and the body repairs itself by producing collagen fibers. Skin wound closure follows 3 steps:

  1. Inflammation
  2. Proliferation
  3. Remodeling


Scar formation occurs during the remodeling phase that takes place after about 2 to 3 weeks when the wound is completely closed. During this remodeling process, collagen fibers will be recruited to the site of the injury, forming a scar that will feel and look different than the surrounding tissue.

The type of scar that develops depends on various factors, such as the depth and size of the wound, as well as individual healing characteristics.

In tropical climates, factors like high humidity and exposure to sunlight can affect the healing process and scar development.

In moderate quantities, collagen is good for your skin but an excessive amount of it, coupled with the lack of elastic fibers, is the reason for scar formation. Over the counter products such as Mederma® scar treatment range possess moisturizing properties that limit water loss and, consequently, scar formation.

Types of scars:

  • Normal scars:

These scars occur when wounds heal under normal circumstances, are flat and pale and gradually fades over time.
Example of a normal scar: These scars are flat and pale and will gradually fade over time.

  • Keloid scars:

These scars are raised and larger than usual due to excessive collagen production, may extend beyond the site of injury and can be quite itchy and painful. The causes for this type of scars are not fully understood but genetics may be involved and are more common amongst darker skin types.

  • Hypertrophic scars:

These scars also occur due to an excessive production of collagen but compared to keloids, hypertrophic scars contain less collagen. They are raised scars and are potentially itchy and painful. But unlike keloids, these scars stay within the boundaries of the injury.

  • Atrophic scars:

These are depressed scars and are typical consequences of severe acne. These scars occur when too little collagen is produced and have a sunken appearance resulting from the loss of supporting tissue.

  • Contracture scars:

These scars result from hypertrophic scars over joints. They tend to develop because of the immobilization of the joint during wound healing and are particularly disabling and painful due to the limited mobility.

Initial wound care:

Proper wound care is crucial for minimizing the appearance of scars. In tropical countries, where the heat and humidity can pose challenges, it's important to keep the wound clean and protected from infection.


Here are some key steps to follow:

  1.  Cleanse the wound gently: Use mild soap and lukewarm water to clean the wound. Avoid scrubbing the area vigorously, as it can disrupt the healing process.
  2.  Protect the wound: Use an over the counter topical treatment such as Mederma® scar treatment, and keep a sterile adhesive bandage or dressing to shield the wound from bacteria, dirt, and excessive moisture. In tropical climates, moisture can accumulate under dressings due to increased sweating, so it’s essential to change dressings regularly
  3.  Avoid excessive sun exposure: Sun exposure can darken and worsen the appearance of scars. Cover the wound with clothing or use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a high SPF by Mederma® when venturing out


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Scar care techniques:

Once the wound has healed and the scar begins to form, you can adopt several scar care techniques to improve its appearance. In tropical climates, it's important to be mindful of the unique challenges these environments present:

  • Allantoin – also known to improve scar appearance

Topical treatment can also include natural extracts to provide a better appearance. These include:

  • Onion extract
  • Green tea
  • Aloe Vera

For larger or more visible scars, you’ll need a more intense treatment that can only be done by a healthcare professional. These treatments are more invasive and include dermabrasion, laser treatment, micro needling, cryotherapy and filler therapy.

They are not at-home treatments and require an expert opinion, so before starting any of these treatment, please choose your dermatologist carefully.

How to prevent scarring:

You cannot avoid all scars, but you can do many things to improve how a scar looks:

Practice good skin care etiquette:

Taking care of a skin injury helps in preventing scar formation, so it is important to always keep the wound moist and clean. Refrain from squeezing, popping or picking acne or pimples. And in the case of a deep or serious cut, please visit your doctor immediately as you may require stitches for your injury to heal properly.

Sun protection:

Avoid exposing your scars to direct sunlight, especially during peak hours. Use sunscreen with a high SPF, wear protective clothing, and seek shade whenever possible.


Caring for scars in tropical countries requires special attention due to the unique climate conditions. By following proper care, and taking necessary precautions, you can minimize the appearance of scars and promote healthy skin.


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