Recognizing Scars

Scars – What You Should Know About Them

Recognizing Scars1 e1314370218760 Recognizing ScarsScars are created as a result of the body’s natural healing process caused by diseases, skin condition such as acne, surgeries and accidents.  It is a permanent mark left in the skin.  Nearly all wounds except for very minor ones will result in a scar.

When the connective skin is severed or damaged, the body begins a healing process.  The body will produce collagen, a natural protein in the body, which reconnects skin and tissue.  As the collagen is working, a scab is formed over the wound to protect it.  When the scab falls off, a scar is left.

The size and characteristics of scars depend on certain factors.  The size and depth of the wound are usually the main factors in scarring.  Age, heredity, skin pigmentation, and location of the wound also have a role in determining the amount of scarring one may have.  Scars vary for each individual and each accident.

Scars are usually smooth and light in color.  Some cases, an over active healing process can cause hypertrophic scars and keloids.  These kinds are scars are usually caused from excessive collagen being produces at the wound site causing the scar to be raised on the skin.  Keloids can extend past the wound site and continue to grow.  Hypertrophic scars are usually red and also raised but are located only at the wound site.  Children and dark-skinned people are prone to this type of scars.

A contracture scar forms when the skin reconnects too tightly.  Sometimes this type of scar involves nerves, muscles, and tissue.  When the skin is too tightly sealed together, it can restrict movement and cause quite a bit of pain, especially when a nerve is involved.

There are also pitted scars.  These scars are usually caused from severe cases of acne or chicken pox.  There are three classifications of pitted scars, pitted, wavy, and spots.  Spots are usually the easiest treated scars.  These usually occur from excessive scratching or picking at the sores.

Stretch marks can be considered scars.  Some pregnancies cause the skin to be stretched to the point it loses its elasticity and can’t regain its shape causing the stretch marks.

Keeping the skin moisturized, and the body healthy can have an effect on the amount of scarring a person can have.   Some scars can cause people to become very self conscious.

Because scars become a permanent part of the skin, they cannot be permanently removed.  However, there are treatments to improve their appearance.  The treatments for scars range from topical creams and gels to surgery.

When treatment is of interest, it is best to speak with a dermatologist (a doctor who specifically deals with skin conditions), or a plastic surgeon.  These types of doctors usually are the ones to perform most scar treatments therefore they are better suited to discuss the treatment options best suited for your condition and/or desire.  Your general practitioner or family doctor can refer you to one in your area in none is known.