All of us bear scars. It is almost impossible for one to not go through life without sustaining some form of minor injuries to our skin from cuts, scrapes, burns, infections or ailments. More serious scars can sometimes be sustained from accidents or illnesses. If the extent and location of the scars are prominent and mar your appearance, they can leave adverse effects on your self-esteem and image, and even quality of life, long after the wound has healed.
A scar is a permanent patch of skin that grows over a wound, and is often thicker in texture, pinkish, reddish and shinier than the rest of your skin.
The most common types of scars include:
If you have had severe acne, you would probably have the scars to prove it. These scars often result from deliberate squeezing of acne bumps (papules, pustules, nodules and cysts) that are inflamed. There are several types of acne scars, ranging from deep pits to scars that are angular or wavelike in appearance. They are often termed rolling, boxcar (craters), icepick (pitted or sunken) and raised (hypertrophic and keloid) scars.
Such scars are the result of an overly aggressive healing process, and may takes weeks or months to develop. They keep growing even after the wound has healed and extend beyond the original injury, become lumpy or ridged. They may cause some discomfort or irritation, and the hardened and tight scar tissue may hamper movement. Keloid scars are most common among darker-skinned people. Sun exposure may darken the scar tissue further, making it stand out even more.
These are raised, red scars that are similar to keloids but do not go beyond the boundary of the injury. They develop when excess scar tissue form at the site of an injury or trauma. Such scars are red and raised initially, becoming flatter and paler after several years.
Such scars are commonly a result of burns and occur when the skin shrinks, leading to tightness and a restriction in movement. Those that go deeper could also impair muscle and nerve function.
WHAT CAUSES SCARRING?
Scarring is your body’s way of repairing, healing and protecting itself after an injury. The process begins with the formation of fibrosis tissue around the injury, which effectively forms a web that protects the wound from further harm and allows it to heal naturally.
During this stage, the damaged cells turn into adhesions, which are basically dead cells that need to be replaced. These adhesions then develop into permanent scar tissue as they are being replaced with live, healthy cells.
The physical appearance of a scar depends on the extent (size and depth) of the wound, where it occurred, how long it took to heal, your age and gender.
Scars can result from injuries, incisions and trauma sustained through various causes such as: