Skin Scars form as part of the body’s healing process. Your body builds tissue to repair damaged skin and close gaps due to an injury. Scars come in all shapes and sizes. They can result from accidents, burns, surgery, acne and illness. Over time, most scars fade away. Several treatments can make scars less noticeable.
What are scars??
Scars form as part of the healing process after your skin has been cut or damaged. The skin repairs itself by growing new tissue to pull together the wound and fill in any gaps caused by the injury. Scar tissue is made primarily of a protein called collagen.
Scars develop in all shapes and sizes. Some scars are large and painful, while some are barely visible. People with dark skin (especially people with African, Asian or Hispanic heritage), as well as red-haired individuals, are more likely to develop keloid scars. Keloids are raised scars that grow and extend beyond the injured area. Depending on their size, type and location, your scars may look unsightly and may even make it difficult to move.
Not all scars require treatment, and many fade away over time. If a scar is bothering you or causing pain, treatments can help.
What Are The Types of Scars?
These are several different types of scars including:
Keloid scars. These scars are the result of an overly aggressive healing process. They extend beyond the original injury. Over time, a keloid scar may hamper movement. Treatments include surgery to remove the scar, steroid injections, or silicone sheets to flatten the scar. Smaller keloids can be treated using cryotherapy (freezing therapy using liquid nitrogen). You can also prevent keloid formation by using pressure treatment or gel pads with silicone when you are injured. Keloid scars are most common among people with dark skin.
Contracture scars. If your skin has been burned, you may have a contracture scar. These scars tighten skin, which can impair your ability to move. Contracture scars may also go deeper, affecting muscles and nerves.
Hypertrophic scars. These are raised, red scars that are similar to keloids but do not go beyond the boundary of the injury. Treatments include injections of steroids to reduce inflammation or silicone sheets, which flatten the scar.
Acnescars. If you’ve had severe acne, you probably have the scars to prove it. There are many types of acne scars, ranging from deep pits to scars that are angular or wavelike in appearance. Treatment options depend on the types of acne scars you have.
What Are Possible Treatments for Scars?
Scar treatments may include:
Over-the-counter or prescription creams, ointments, or gels: These products can be used to treat scars that are caused by cuts or other injuries or wounds. If you are under the care of a plastic surgeon and your scarring is from cosmetic or plastic surgery, ask your surgeon if over-the-counter treatment is an option. If not, there are prescriptions that may help. Often, treatments can include steroids or certain oral antihistamines for scars that cause itching and are very sensitive. Likewise, if you have scarring from severe acne, ask your dermatologist for advice. Your doctor can also recommend or use pressure treatment or silicone gel sheeting to help treat scars or as preventive care.
Surgical removal or treatment.: There are many options to treat deeper scars depending on your particular case. These include skin grafts, excision, dermabrasion, or laser surgery. In a skin graft, the surgeon uses skin from another area of your body.
This is often used with people who’ve had burns. If you’ve got scarring that impairs function, surgery can help address the functional problems. If you’ve recently had surgery that has caused scars, it is best to wait at least one year before making a decision about scar treatment. Many scars fade and become less noticeable over time.
Injections. You may get steroid injections to treat scars that stick out, such as keloids or hypertrophic scars. Your doctor may use this on its own or with other treatments.
Other types of injections, such as collagen or other “fillers,” may be useful for some types of pitted scarring, although these are not usually permanent solutions.