However unfortunate or uncomfortable the appearance of a scar may feel, scars are created by a natural part of our bodies and their healing abilities and process. Scars are a form of wound repair in the body’s skin and other tissues created by the body’s natural healing system.
What are scars exactly?
A scar is generally formed by a natural process relating to the skin’s healing methods and capabilities. Typically, when the deeper layer of the skin (known as the dermis) is damaged in any way, the body will then regenerate new skin or collagen, a natural protein in the body which tends to be much thicker than the skin which is surrounding the wound. The end result being the scar itself. Think of a scar as a patch of skin that has grown over a wound. Scars can also appear as the result of the skin stretching significantly faster than typical body growth, for instance when a pregnant woman experiences a rapid growth spurt during her pregnancy.
How scars look…
The appearance of a scar will depend on a variety of aspects such as cause, level of severity (how big and deep the original wound was), where the wound is located, age of the individual who has the wound, and how long the wound actually takes to heal. Generally speaking however, a scar may look slightly pinker or redder, paler, thicker, flatter, or even shinier than the rest of the surrounding skin of the wound. Basically, a scar will have a different texture and general appearance than the overall skin area. There are four main types or categories of scars:
· Keloids- This specific type of scar generally appears raised and reddish in color and can extend further than the original wound.
· Acne scars- Almost every type form of acne can in fact leave scars; the general appearance of acne scars can range from scars that appear angular or deep pit-like scars.
· Contracture scars- Due to the tightening of the skin and the inability to move can result in a scar that can be deeper and even affect nerves and muscles. This specific type of scar is often seen in burns.
· Hypertrophic scars- This scar is similar to keloids in appearance but will not extend beyond the original wound itself.
Scars can fade over time but usually will not completely disappear, especially on their own. There are various treatments that are designed to minimize a scar but many unnatural methods may result in skin irritation or a costly and painful procedure. It is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle to ensure that the skin will have the capability to rejuvenate and heal itself in a natural way. Factors such as smoking, lack of exercise, and an unhealthy diet can all contribute to the skin’s inability to heal naturally and/or cause the possibility of worsening scars.