The Different Types of Scars

Different Types of Scars
It is very difficult to go through life without getting at least a couple of scars. Our skin is like a satin sheet, soft and smooth until it suffers some sort of trauma, be it burning, surgery, injury or body reactions such as acne and stretch marks. As years pass by, we find our body changing with these scars. When they”re small and easy to conceal, our self-esteem may not be compromised. But if they’re exposed, we might feel embarrassed, different, frustrated and even wanting to avoid contact with other people. And this is when scars can really become a problem. If a scar is getting the best of you, maybe it’s time to seek treatment. Scar reduction and removal can be done by different processes, depending on the type of scar and tissue damage.

Why do we get scars?

We get scars whenever our skin is not able to fully renew itself after injury, becoming permanently damaged after the wound has healed. Only very minor lesions won’t result in scars. As much as we don’t like them, scars are only part of a healing process. When we are injured, the scar (fibrous tissue) replaces normal skin and tissues to repair them. Scar tissue is made of collagen, the same protein that exists in the tissue it replaces. However, the collagen alignment in the scar tissue is less functional than regular skin collagen and this is the reason why scars are less resistant to sun exposure and sweat, and also why you don’t see any hair growing back on scar tissue.

The reaction of the skin and subsequent scar appearance depends on the location of the wound, its size, your skin type, your gender, age, ethnicity and heredity. According to these factors, some people heal faster than others and scars will be more or less accentuated.

Scar Removal Treatments

Types of scars

It’s possible to determine the type of the scar and its origin according to its looks:

Hypertrophic scars – You can recognize them when you see scar tissue raised above regular skin (scar tissue has an excessive production of collagen, which causes it raise above the normal skin level). Hypertrophic scars become red lumps on the skin.

Keloid scars – They happen because of the same reason as hypertrophic scars – excess of collagen production. However, keloids are more serious because they keep growing outside the original wound area and may even cause a benign tumor. They are unaesthetic and may bring along itch or pain but they are nothing than a harmless inert mass of collagen. Keloid scars are more common on black skin and on tissues healing for a second time, since the skin is more sensitive. Both hypertrophic and keloid scars tend to occur after an accident, surgery, body piercing and acne.

Atrophic scars – Unlike the previous types, the opposite happens with atrophic scars. The scar tissue sinks below the skin, forming a sort of pit due to fat or muscle loss. These scars are usually small and round with an indented or inverted center, and commonly occur after chickenpox (and other diseases), acne, accidents and surgery.

Contracture scars – These scars usually appear after burning. They cross skin creases or joints and, therefore, they tend to tighten the skin and impair some movements. They tend to be hypertrophic and occur when the scar tissue is not yet mature. If the scar is too deep, it can affect muscles and nerves.

Surgical Scars– These are pale, flat, soft scars, with no skin elevation, thickening or nodules appearing. These scars come from surgery, when the repaired tissue becomes widened and stretched about three weeks post-op..

Striae Scars– Usually called stretch marks, these occur after the skin has been rapidly stretched during pregnancy and adolescence, and after abrupt gain and loss of weight.

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About Victoria Strander

Writes about the latest beauty procedures. Her articles are available for syndication. Use Contact Page for inquiries.

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