A scar is a mark left on the skin after a wound has healed. It is a natural part of the skin’s healing process.
Scars can be caused due to a number of things like cuts, burns or various skin conditions like acne, boils, chicken pox and measles. The appearance and the intensity of the scar may depend on various factors like the depth of the wound, age, genes, sex, ethnicity and the treatment taken during the healing period. Some scars do fade away after a certain period of time, whereas others can stay for a lifetime.
After an injury, scars are inevitable. They appear first at the site of damaged tissue as a light colored tissue, but over time, they can acquire a deeper color or red to purple pigmentation.
Scars are a disfigurement of the skin tissue and if not treated properly, they stay for a lifetime. They can serve as painful reminders of a difficult period of your life and cause a feeling of stress and anxiety, especially if they have been caused due to another person’s negligence.
They can have greater psychological effects if they appear on the face, sometimes leading to depression. Being constantly stared at or mocked can make the person feel isolated and lead to social withdrawal. Due to this, there are also a number of charities and support groups offering help, support, and advice to the affected people.
The primary treatment for scars includes over the counter or prescription creams, medicated ointments and creams. These products are commonly used if the scar has been caused due to cuts or other injuries. If the scarring has been caused to certain surgical procedures or cosmetics and plastic surgery, over the counter treatment options may not be safe and effective. It is also best to allow some time for the wound to heal before jumping over to the scar treatment. In this case, the medications should be selected under close medical supervision. If the common place medications are not showing effect, steroids and certain histamine creams can also be used. However, these can cause itching, especially if the person has a sensitive skin. If the scars are resultant of skin conditions like acne, it is best to consult a specialized dermatologist to seek help on the more effective treatment procedures. Using pressure treatment and silicone gel sheeting could also be helpful when combined with other effective treatment options.
Surgery is mostly used to remove deeper scars. The process could involve skin grafting, excision, laser surgery or dermabrasion. Skin grafting is when the skin from other parts of the body is used to replace the scarred tissue. This is usually done in case of burns where the skin may have become too vulnerable to be exposed to the outside elements. Many light scars can also fade with time and become less noticeable, but if they impair function, it is best to have them removed surgically.
Injections would include steroids, used in case of Keloids and hypertrophic scars and fillers like collagen, which are used in case of pitted scarring.