Types of Scars and Their Treatments

Scars are very common and noticed anywhere on the skin. Let us look at what are scars, their types and treatments, in detail for better management.

What Are Scars?

People commonly ask what are scars? The scar is a fibrous tissue or an area of a different patch of skin that is usually seen over a wound after it heals. Scientifically speaking, scar is the result of wound healing process to rapidly repair injuries. Scars on skin are common after injuries, burns and surgeries.1

The appearance of the scar depends on the type of wound, site of a wound, your age and the way in which your body reacts to wound healing. This may be influenced by genetic and environmental factors. A scar is not harmful if it’s small or in a place where it can be concealed easily. But if it’s big and visible then you may look out the ways to treat it the way it disappears or at least, change how it looks.

Types of Scars and Their Treatment

Scarring is a natural healing process after an injury. Just like the appearance depends on a few factors so does the treatment. Scars may be seen in different types. Some of the common types of scars include the following:

Keloid Scar: Keloids are the commonest types of scars. These scars result from an overly aggressive healing process. It is most common in people who have a dark skin tone. A keloid scar may also extend beyond the original injury, which over time might hamper the movement.

Treatment: The treatments used for a keloid scar is surgery, steroid injections, or silicone sheets which fatten the scar. A small keloid scar can be treated by cryotherapy which is, a freezing therapy using liquid nitrogen.2 Keloid scars can be prevented by using pressure treatment or gel pads when the injury occurs.

Contracture Scar: Contracture scar result from a burn injury and a common type of scar. These scars lead to tightening of the skin which can affect the movement. These scars might also go deeper and affect the muscle and the nerves.

Treatment: Silicone gel can be applied to a burn scar to enhance the healing function. Along with this a proper wound care can prevent or minimize the appearance of the scar. It is important to keep the scar moisturized but avoid using vitamin A or vitamin E creams on the scar as they might make them more visible.

Hypertrophic Scars: Hypertrophic scars are also one of the common types of scar. It is characterized by excessive collagen deposits which give it a raised appearance. These raised, red color scars look very similar to the keloid scars with a difference that they do not extend beyond the injury. They occur mostly on the sites of pimples, cuts, and burns.

Treatment: A hypertrophic scar can be treated by performing surgery to remove the scar, steroid injections to reduce inflammation and silicone sheets to flatten it.

Acne Scar: If suffering from severe acne, you will be a having scar left behind to prove their previous presence. The acne scars are of various types such as deep pit scars, angular scars, or wavelike scars. These are the most common types of scars and are seen in people who have recurrent acne.

Treatment: Treatment of acne scars starts from resurfacing treatments like retinol and professional peels and application of lotions containing BHAs. If the acne scars are raised bumps, indentations or red blotches then derma fillers, microdermabrasion, and chemical peels involving AHAs are used.

Common Treatments for Scars

The commonly used scar treatments are as follows,

Over-The-Counter Gels, Lotions and Ointments: This is mostly used in scars that are caused due to burns, cuts, and other injuries. Often oral steroid and antihistamines are prescribed which may help by reducing inflammations and itching in the scars which are very sensitive. These are the most common treatments for scars.

Surgical Treatment: Deeper scars are treated surgically and the various options include skin grafts, excision, dermabrasion, or laser surgery. Skin grafts involve using the skin from the other part of the body and are used mostly in burn scars. If a scar is impairing the function as in a keloid scar, surgery can correct it.

Injections: The raised scars such as a keloid scar or hypertrophic scars need steroid injection to get treated, along with other treatments.

In the case of pitted scarring collagen or filler injections are used. These are effective treatment for scars and are best decided by the physician.

Various home remedies such as aloe vera, coconut oil, apple cider vinegar, baking soda, honey and lemon prove to be effective in reducing scars. Now that you are aware of what a scar is, their types and treatment, you can discuss with your physician and plan the most appropriate treatment for your scars.

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