What is a scar?
Scars are areas of fibrous tissue that replace normal skin after injury. A scar results from the biological process of wound repair in the skin and other tissues of the body. Thus, scarring is a natural part of the healing process. Each lesion, wound or trauma can lead to a scar. Usually small lesions heal without a scar.
Scars can occur from scratches, injections, insect bites, chicken pox and tattoos.
Flat, Pale Scars
Some people are lucky to find that after a wound they do not have a scar. The body does a terrific job of healing itself and leaves the skin looking almost normal. The area where the wound occurred heals flat and the color of the skin is almost the same color as the rest of the body.
(Red or Dark and Raised)
Hypertrophic scars are red and thick and may be itchy or painful. They do not extend beyond the boundary of the original wound but can thicken for up to 140 days after the initial trauma or wound occurred. These types of scars are usually prevalent in people with darker skin tones.
(Red or Dark and Raised)
Keloid scars are a result of an imbalance in the production of collagen in a healing wound. Keloid scars grow beyond the boundary of the original wound. Usually you will know if you have a tendency to heal with a keloid. These types of scars can occur anywhere on the body. Keloids are especially prevalent on the ears, chest, shoulders and the back.
Sunken scars are recessed into the skin, it almost looks like a valley or depression in the skin. These scars may be due to the skin being attached to deeper structures (such as muscles) or to loss of underlying fat. Sunken scars are usually the result of an injury, not as much from a trauma.
Acne Scars & Chicken Pox Scars
Acne and chicken pox scars usually are pitted in appearance. Not all acne scarring appears sunken in appearance. Sometimes it can heal as a keloid.
Stretched scars occur when the skin around a healing wound when tension occurs during healing.
Stretch marks develop when the skin is stretched rapidly, for example during pregnancy or the adolescent growth spurt. The stretch marks appear red but over time the redness fades and becomes close to skin color. This can take up to a year. If you plan to treat a stretch mark you should do so while the mark is red. Redness implies that the area is still active and can possibly improve in appearance. *Stretch marks are the hardest scar to treat. Numerous laser treatments can also be effective to improve the appearance.
Treatment of Scars
There are several different types of scars therefore it is logical that there are several different types of treatment available to treat scars. Your physician may recommend TCA cross, punch elevation, punch graft, profractional laser and chemical peels are a few of the options for treatment. This is the easiest way to treat a scar:
Keep the wound moist while it is healing
Keep the area out of the sun
Use sun protection clothing if the area is difficult to cover
When the wound is closed begin application of silicon scar cream.
Biocorneum and Kelo-cote work well.
If you use a scar cream that does not contain SPF 30 make sure to apply SPF on top of the scar gel after it is completely dry.