How to reduce redness after a skin abrasion heals?
March 9, 2007 11:34 AM   Subscribe

I fell down while running and abraded my chin. Two weeks later, I have a red circle of healed skin on my chin. It looks silly, and I'd like it to go away faster (similar abrasions on my arms took over a year to disappear, and although I treated my chin better, I'm still worried).

I tried to google solutions, but everything I came across was either about disguising it (makeup, etc, which I don't wear and am uncomfortable with because I'm fairly convinced it will look worse rather than better), or about getting rid of scar tissue (I'm not sure I'd consider the perfectly-ordinary-but-pink skin "scar tissue" -- an interpretation that is borne out by the descriptions of products and their effects that I've been reading). Is there a way to reduce the redness? Why is it still red, when it feels healed?
posted by obliquicity to Health & Fitness (14 answers total)
Go to any makeup counter and get expert advice on how to apply it subtly and invisibly. If you're too humiliated, go to a dermatologist, but a makeup seller will know more.
posted by KRS at 11:40 AM on March 9, 2007

Response by poster: To clarify: I want it to go away, not be hidden, although I appreciate and have sometimes been resorting to the makeup advice. The practical problem with "subtle and invisible" makeup application is that the redness shows through; also, makeup exacerbates my acne, which ends up drawing even more attention to my chin.
posted by obliquicity at 11:49 AM on March 9, 2007

Best answer: This is gonna sound whack but seriously, get some Bag Balm and apply it to the abrasion when you get up and when you go to bed. I don't really know which of its ingredients works on scar reduction but my family, friends and I all swear by it.
posted by Lynsey at 11:58 AM on March 9, 2007

Best answer: Tattoo Goo helped some of my scars nicely. It's basically beeswax (as a waterproof base that still permits skin to "breathe"), vitamin E (which works well with athlete's foot and minor cuts) and lanolin (skin softener).
posted by Smart Dalek at 12:26 PM on March 9, 2007

I second the vitamin E suggestion.
posted by slow, man at 1:12 PM on March 9, 2007

I've heard good things about Neosporin but have not tried it myself.
posted by any major dude at 1:17 PM on March 9, 2007

As a bike racer who has crashed many more times that I'd like to have crashed, I've had plenty of experience with road rash.

Unfortunately, there's not much you can do to reduce the redness; it just takes a long time for the skin to completely heal. In the meantime, apply sunscreen liberally. The area will tan to a considerably darker color than the surrounding skin unless you take steps right away to reduce exposure to the sun. So, actually, the makeup suggestion is a good one if the makeup contains sunscreen. You'll cover it up and protect it at the same time.

It won't go away for a while, but it also won't last forever. By next year it will be completely unnoticeable.
posted by dseaton at 1:28 PM on March 9, 2007

creams with cortisone are supposed to reduce redness.
posted by convex at 1:33 PM on March 9, 2007

Shea butter works well on things like this - promotes healing and reduces scarring.
posted by valleys at 1:45 PM on March 9, 2007

posted by selfmedicating at 3:18 PM on March 9, 2007

Best answer: Cicaplast is some kind of French miracle skin healer. A friend gave me some when I burned myself with iodine and it cleared up beautifully much faster than I've ever seen skin heal before. Link above was just to the first Google result--not sure where best to get it.
posted by Scram at 3:36 PM on March 9, 2007

Moisturizer with sunscreen, and make sure you're eating decently. Sadly, cuts and scrapes often take 6 months - 1 year to reach their final scar state once you're an adult (maybe quicker since it's on your face).
posted by gramcracker at 5:45 PM on March 9, 2007

Best answer: I've heard that Brave Soldier is really good.

And I third the vitamin E recommendation. Supposedly you can pierce one of those gel caps and rub the liquid right on.
posted by altcountryman at 8:39 PM on March 9, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks, everyone -- I marked best answers where people suggested products they'd actually tried that I can find instantly locally, since time is of the essence (although, sadly, I've accepted that in this case "time" might well be months and months...).

Oh, and also altcountryman's recommendation, since I had no idea that someone had created a product specifically for people like me who can't stay upright on asphalt!
posted by obliquicity at 2:01 PM on March 10, 2007

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