Types of Scars

Scars – Types and Treatments

Types of Scars3 e1314368314834 Types of ScarsA scar is a permanent mark in the skin left from the natural healing process caused by wounds, sores, surgeries, and diseases.

Scars are usually harmless, and can vary in each individual.  The determination on how much scarring one can expect depends on size and depth of the wound.  Age, heredity, pigmentation and location of the wound also play a role in determining scarring.

Hypertrophic scars are raised, thick, and red.  They usually begin to form within weeks of injury and are confined to the wound area.  Hypertrophic scars sometimes heal on their own but other treatments may deem necessary.

Hypertrophic scar treatment initially begins with the use of steroids injection or topical steroid medication.  Surgery is commonly necessary with these types of scars.

Contracture scars are formed when a large area of skin has been damaged and the skin rejoins too tightly.  Often these types of scars involve nerves, tissue, or muscle.  Contracture scars can affect a person’s mobility.

Contracture scar treatment usually consists of a surgical procedure.

Skin graft – is when a healthy thin layer of skin is removed from another part of the body and placed over the damaged area.

Skin flap – is similar to a skin graft except the healthy skin is thicker and has its own blood supply.  It may also include tissue and muscle.  This healthy skin is attached to the damaged area.

Z-plasty – is when a number of small incisions are made on each side of the scar, causing a V pattern.  This can allow the lines to form better with the skin.

Keloid scars are also raised, thick, red scars that are not restricted to the wound site.  Keloid scars are usually caused by an over-active healing process which produces excessive collagen at the wound site.  Keloids can grow anywhere, recur, and grow simultaniously.  Even after treatment keloids can come back.

Keloid treatment varies and there is no one cure for these types of scars.  Some treatments are:

Steroid injections – are usually directed into the scar tissue to reduce redness, itching, and burning that these scars produce.  It can also reduce the size of the scar in some cases.

Cryotherapy - is when the scar is frozen off by a probe containing carbon dioxide.

Surgery – is when the scar is removed by an incision and stitches are used to join the skin.  Sometimes a skin graft or laser surgery is used.

Laser surgery can be used to flatten or smooth a scar.  It also is used the change the color of a scar.

Adhesions are scars that are formed between two unconnected internal organs.  Complications during surgery can be caused by adhesions.

As with all surgeries, it is important to speak with your doctor or specialist about any risks involved.  Prior to doing any treatment talk with your healthcare provider to discuss which treatment is best for you.  And always follow all instructions after surgery and follow up with your healthcare professional.