Scars are skin changes that occur due to the healing process. They are made of fibrous connective tissue, created in the place of an old tissue, damaged because of an injury or illness. Wound healing is a natural process and consists of many stages, and the formation of a scar is one of them. The dermis is replaced by a new, properly vascularized granulation tissue along with collagen fibres.
Each scar differs in their appearance. They have different size, colour, shape or depth. Some of them are clearly visible, while others are hard to see. Especially in the first case, they can make our lives uncomfortable and weaken our self-esteem due to their unsightly appearance. There are a lot of different factors that affect the final appearance of a scar. Our individual genetic tendencies to scarring are very important, but also the reason it appeared, the location and above all, the process of wound healing. If this process is disturbed, the resulting scar may have look unsightly, thus becoming a problem for us.
Atrophic scars – most often they are acne, chickenpox or improper treatment with steroids leftover. They are the result of an abnormal process of wound healing when a sufficient amount of collagen is not produced. They are usually small, round and deep.
Hypertrophic scars – red, thickened and hypertrophic scars, expand as a result of the wound tension, although they usually do not go beyond its limits. They form as a consequence of the disturbed process of wound healing, for example by its infection. In most cases, they start to decrease with time, some of them may even disappear, but in some cases they tend to grow.
Keloids– they form as a result of an excessive production of collagen, which makes the wound overgrow above the level of the skin and form bulges. These types of scars are fibrous, hard and have irregular shape.
Scars classified by their origin
Acne is a problem that affects not only young people but also adults. Its severity may be different, but for majority of patients this disease leaves unsightly remains in the form of atrophic scars that present as small dimples. In most cases they appear on the face, but may also occur on the back or shoulders. The fact that in many cases, more or less consciously, we scratch acne lesions, preventing them from healing properly is not helpful at all. What is important, acne can also cause painful cysts later in life. Such skin lesions must be then cut surgically, resulting in further scars. That is why professional acne treatment is so important.
Almost all of us have burn scars, especially from childhood, when we have not yet been aware of how painful getting burnt by boiling water can be. However, there are different degrees of burns. Some of them are shallower, and others, such as third degree burns, very serious. Unfortunately, healing of the skin after burns is a painful and long process. Scars of this type are usually extensive and convex, often itchy and have an unsightly appearance.
Shortly after surgery, the scar is usually red and convex, it can also itch. Its final appearance depends on the correct seam placement by the surgeon and the healing process itself. If everything is done correctly, post-surgery scars eventually take on a look reminiscent of a protruding or slightly concave cord and change colour close to the natural colour of the skin. It is also worth remembering that undergoing surgery at young age makes the scar almost invisible. However, the older the patient, the worse the healing process.
C-section scarring is a very big problem for many women, and not just of an aesthetic nature. After giving birth, each mother would like to get back to the pre-pregnancy shape as soon as possible, but often the healing wound on her stomach doesn’t allow her to do so. These types of scars are usually very wide, and any disruption to the healing process can have serious consequences. A lot of women are struggling with too large, uneven and overgrown post C-section scars. Some of them also experience an unpleasant pulling sensation that can limit their movements. Endometriosis may also occur, as evidenced by a nodule perceptible in the scar line.