What is a scar?

A scar is a visible mark on the skin that is left when a wound has healed after an accident, operation, laser treatment, burns, acne etc. The formation of new tissue gives the skin another structure as the original one. That is why it looks different. The more the skin is damaged, the longer it takes to heal and the greater the chance of a scar. Initially, scars appear red and thick, and then gradually fade over time.

80% of the population has scars and 95% of the people who suffer from acne are left with scarring. Moreover, over 75% of pregnant women end up with stretch marks. These are caused by the excess stretching of the skin.


Types of scars

  • Hypertrophic scarsHypertrophic scars are usually red, thick and elevated and can be itchy or painful. They develop in the weeks after the injury. These scars improve naturally after a year or more.
  • Keloid scarsKeloid scars are thick, rounded and irregular. They often appear red or darker when compared with the surrounding skin. Keloid scars have a more aggressive lifecycle and extend beyond the original borders.
  • Atrophic scarsAtrophic scars are small and round depressions. They are formed following acne or chickenpox.
  • StriaeStretch marks or striae are a form of scarring caused by tearing in the dermal layer of the skin. The most common sites to be affected by stretch marks include the abdomen, breasts, thighs, or buttocks. Stretch marks are often the result of the rapid stretching of the skin associated with weight gain (e.g. pregnancy, obesity) or rapid growth (e.g. puberty).

What influences scar formation?

  • Age
    Younger skin is more prone to abnormal and exaggerated scarring. Older skin takes longer to recover.
  • Scar location
    Scars over or near active muscles (back, legs, shoulders and joints) often spread or become more visible than scars on less active parts of the body.
  • Wound infection or complications
    Infections or complications increase the likelihood of abnormal scarring.
  • Skin type
    African and Asian types, with highly pigmented skin, have a higher risk of scarring.
  • Rapid growth and/or weight change
    Skin subjected to more stretching force than it can handle, will tear. As a result, scars called stretch marks may form.


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