The visible marks left on your skin after the wound heals on skin surface, are known as scar. If your skin becomes injured either by an accident or from some form of surgery, then your body cells work to repair or cover the wound. The cells release collagen, that is a protein which strengthens the skin and make it flexible. Collagen thus reconnects the broken tissues to heal the skin. During this process a scab like material is formed over the skin which protects our wounds to keep germs and dirt from outside during the healing process, getting into our skin where the wound is situated and causing infection. When the injurious part is repaired completely, then this scab gets dry and falls off the skin. You may or may not get a scar at that spot. The scars can be different in colors that could be silver, pale pink or brown depending upon type of wound or your skin.
Formation of scars:
In the natural healing process, scars will commonly appear on your skin. It is formed as the result of biological process of cell for healing wounds. Mostly injuries leave you with a scar, expect for those which are very minor. You can get scars from accidents, skin conditions, acne, surgeries or diseases.
If the thick or deep layer of skin (also known as the dermis) is damaged in any way then it is very much likely to form a scar. At the part of wound, the body starts making collagen that repairs the damaged cells and results in a scar formation. The newly formed tissue over the wound will be different in structure, known as scab as previously mentioned above. After complete healing the scar is formed. Most of the times, the scars are pale and flat. But if the body produces too much of collagen fibers, then your scar can be a little raised. The raised scars also known as keloid scars are mostly common among younger people or darker skin types.
Sometimes scars can have a pitted or sunken appearance. The reason behind this texture of scars is losing fat or muscle under that wounded skin, which basically supports skin. Your skin might form these scars from either acne or surgery.
Stretched skin is also a scars formation. You skin gets these scars when it stretches rapidly. They are very common during pregnancy. You can also get stretch marks while losing or gaining fat excessively or suddenly.
Causes of scars formation:
There are several causes that are responsible for forming a scar:
- Injuries from an accident like falling from a swing or bicycle
- Intentional harm from weapons like sword, gun bullet or self-harm using knife or blade
- Surgical cuts, especially women get them during C- section baby birth.
- Scratches or bites from people or animals
- Burning from hot objects or scalds from steam or liquids
- Body piercing
- Injection scars, vaccination injections usually leave a dot-like scar
- You might get a scar after some medical condition or virus like chickenpox and acne. The scars are left when you scratch the affected area.
Factors affecting the formation of scars:
Most common factors that affect the formation of scars are listed below:
- Skin tone: People with extremely dark or light skin tone are more susceptible to get noticeable or prominent scars. People whose skin burn easily (light skin tone) get scars a lot of the time, almost immediately.
- Type of Injury: Scars are more likely to appear on a deep wound that takes too long to repair or else the body part that bends a lot like knee or the wound that experience constant friction from clothing or shoes. The deeper your injury the more you are likely to develop an abnormal scar.
- Age: The body cells of older people have lesser elasticity and ability to produce collagen, so the healing process gets slower due to lack of collagen fibers and scars are formed.
- Hormones: The disturbance in hormones level can cause your body to get hyperpigmentation and scars on skin.
- Genetics: Some people get this from their descendants; their skin is very prone to get scarring. It is because their body produces extra collagen while healing.
Types of scars:
Following are some types of the scars:
- Hypertrophic Scars: This is the type that is most common, you get these scars by accidents, burns or surgery. The surgical wound is closed with stitches that are followed by this scar. It is formed over actual cut or burned area. These scars get faded with time, although they never disappear completely. But if you are experiencing itching or redness after weeks of surgery then you should see your doctor. There are many medical ways to treat or get rid of these scars.
- Keloid Scars: These scars are more prevalent among people with darker skin color. The actual cause of formation of these scars is not entirely known yet. However, they usually appear after injury and sometimes even without injury. They occur on chest, shoulder or ears from age between 10 years to 30 years. This type of scar is extended away from actual area of wound and it could be larger in size. It also causes pain or itching. However, you can easily find treatment for removal of keloid scars.
- Burn Scars: The scars which you get when your skin is burned up to first and second layer of skin. The burn injury takes a long time to heal properly and it is a bit complicated. That’s why most of the time a burn injury ends up with distorted scar on skin. The size of scar depends on burn degree and area. These scars get better with time and in some case they almost vanish.
- Atrophic scars: The type of scars that appears on skin after chicken pox, acne, insect bites or sometimes after injections. Initially they are red in color, but they get fade over time.
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