How does the sun affect scar healing?
Although the skin uses sunlight to help formulate Vitamin D, it can also take major injury from the sun as well. Sun damage goes beyond just a typical sunburn. Over long periods of time, the sun causes gradual harm to the skin. Sun rays contain ultraviolet light and this type of radiation can cause DNA changes in the skin. There are two different types of UV light, UVA and UVB.
UVA light affects skin at all levels and layers. Within these layers are collagen and elastin which affect the elasticity and tightness of the skin. UVB light affects the outer layer of the skin and damages DNA more so than UVA which can lead to precancerous and cancerous cells.
Scars are especially sensitive to UVA and UVB and more susceptible to damage. Sun exposure to scars can cause darkening of the skin (hyperpigmentation), lightening of the skin (hypopigmentation), thickening of the skin (hypertrophy), as well as cause blisters.
The best way to help facilitate scar healing is to avoid sun exposure during the healing period. If needed, wear clothes that cover the scarred area, or apply sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. In combination with scar gel, this will assist scars to heal beautifully with minimal texture and color.