The skin is an amazing organ that has the ability to protect, shield and heal. A natural part of the healing process after the skin has incurred an injury is the formation of scars. Scars are very common and most people have at least one scar on their body.
How do scars form?
A break or a wound to the skin, which also causes a break to the body’s tissue, the body starts to produce more Collagen. Collagen is a vital protein, which is a constituent of the epidermal skin layer. Where the tissue is broken, the extra collagen starts to gather in order to heal and block the wound.
Over a period of time ranging from months to years, new collagen will form at the site of the wound to break it down. Over time the scar will soften and become smoother. Scars on the skin may not always go away completely but they do fade significantly in the first 2 years.
Scars can result due to the skin being broken, surgery or skin conditions such as Acne. A common type of scar that appears on the surface of the skin is stretch marks. These are caused as result of sudden growth i.e. pregnancy or weight gain.
What are the types of scars?
There are several different types of scars including:
Keloid scars are overgrowths of tissue where too much Collagen has been produced during the healing process. Due to the aggressive healing of the site, this type of scar tends to continue growing, even after the wound has healed. These scars can extend beyond the original injury and over time may affect mobility. Keloid scars occur more commonly in ethnic skin.
A contracture scar may form after a burn to the skin. A contracture scar causes tightening, which may impair mobility to move. Also, the type of scar may have a deeper affect on surrounding muscles and nerves.
Hypertrophic scars are similar to keloids, but do not extend beyond the boundaries of the injury site. These typically appear as red, raised and inflamed scars that form due to excessive wound healing.
Severe cases of acne commonly leave scars on the skin. Acne scars can range from deep pitted scars to marks that are angular or wavelike in appearance. Possible treatments will depend on the types of acne scars you have.
What can I do about my scar?
There can be a number of problems with scars on the skin and a range of different treatment options are available.
Dermatologists at Miravue Skin Clinic are able to assess and advise on the best management for a problematic scar.