A scar is an area of fibrous tissue that replaces normal skin after an injury. Any burn, injury, or other trauma, such as surgery, can cause a scar. The truth is the scar will never completely go away. But there are some methods that can help reduce its size and change its appearance.
Scarring is a part of every surgery and is very important to many patients for a variety of reasons: Scars may be painful, itchy or unsightly.
What are the causes of Scars?
- A scar forms on your skin when your body heals an injury. To get a scar, the wound has to go deep enough to injure the inner layers of your skin, the dermis.
- The normal healing process in human tissue results in a scar.
- Bites and scratches from animals or people.
- Burns and scalds from hot objects or liquids.
- Deliberate harm from a weapon or from self-harm.
Types of Scars
- Cicatrix - Appearance is flat or slightly raised with a pink or reddish color, although it may also be paler or darker than surrounding skin
- Hypertrophic - Appearance is raised and firm, and it may feel painful or restrict movement.
- Keloid - These scars are raised and grow to be larger than the wound that caused the scar. They can appear up to a year after an injury was sustained and can be itchy or painful.
- Contracture - Scars that form when the scar tissue is tighter and thicker than the surrounding skin. They can restrict movement, particularly if the scar is near a major joint, such as a knee.
Do scar wounds need air to heal?
Airing out most wounds is not beneficial because wounds need moisture to heal. Leaving a wound uncovered may dry out new surface cells, which can increase pain or slow the healing process. Keeping your cut or burn covered with a bandage can protect it from re-injury and infections.
How can you prevent scars after surgery?
After surgery, you can minimize scarring with good incision care and by learning about other methods of scar prevention.
- Keep cuts and incisions clean and covered.
- Avoid scratching your scars. Healing wounds may itch, but you should avoid the temptation to scratch them.
- Stay out of the sun.
- Vitamin E can minimize scar.
- Massage the scar with silicone gel or vitamin E.
- Avoid putting stress on your wound.
- Take the advice of your surgeon and avoid the gym.