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Silicone strips are self-adhesive strips that reduce scarring. As wounds heal from accidents or surgery, the underlying connective tissue grows to fill in openings. When silicone strips are used on the resulting scar tissue, skin is returned to its original softness and texture. Self-adhesive silicone gel sheeting can be cut into any shape, which is especially useful for plastic surgery of the face or breasts. This method for treating scar tissue has been found to reduce scarring and decrease the time needed for healing.
Scarring is a natural result of the process of healing, but scar tissue is denser than the original collagen, the material that gives the skin its toughness. The collagen of the new scar is often hard to the touch, because the polymer chains of which it is made forge additional connections to one another. Damaged capillaries sometimes give the scar a lingering reddish color. Irregularity of growth may contribute to surface roughness.
Originally used as artificial skin in burn centers, self-adhesive silicone strips, which are advertised as having been used extensively by doctors and hospitals to prevent unwanted scarring, are being sold to the public. Unlike non-gel bandages, silicone gel strips are both washable and reusable. It is recommended that they be cut larger than the wound area and placed to cover the entire scar. They may be washed daily with soap and water and then, reapplied. Once the strip tears apart, it is no longer reusable, and a new strip must be used.
Silicone strips reduce the color, thickness, roughness, and hardness of scars. The silicone gel side of the strip that rests against the wound is thought to soften the scar by breaking down the extra bonds between the overgrown collagen fibers. The silicone gel sheeting is permeable to air and shields against bacteria, without losing its adhesive nature.
Silicone scar sheeting come in several post surgical shapes and sizes — discs, bandage strips, breast circles, breast arcs and strip rolls. Post breast augmentation scars require breast arcs for scarring under the breasts and circles for healing of the areolae. Silicone strips can prevent the formation of raised, tumor-like scars called keloids. Silicone gel strips are an inexpensive method to flatten raised scars while improving the color, texture, and smoothness of the skin. A scar that would otherwise take two years to fade may take less than two months with a silicone strip.