Do Scars Always Turn Red?

Do Scars Always Turn Red?

Why is it that scars turn color? Do scars always turn red or do they turn blue or white, too?

It turns out that all scars are red in the beginning. This is because the beginning part of a wound’s healing process is when blood vessels bring blood to the area. Without circulation, the area that is injured won’t heal. And when blood flows to an area, the area may turn red and feel warm because of all the blood that floods into the area.

There’s another part of the healing process for a scar that happens soon after the wound is inflicted. It’s the stage where new blood vessels start growing in the skin around the wound. The purpose of these new blood vessels is to nourish the repaired and newly growing tissue so that fresh new skin can result. When new blood vessels are created, you end up with greater than usual blood flow to the area. And that’s another reason why a scar always turns red.

The complete process of healing a wound and scar may take more than a year. Children’s scars may stay red for a longer period of time. As complete healing approaches, the red color of the scar begins to fade. The extra blood circulation is no longer needed. Ultimately, the scar will blend in to the regular color of the skin. However, this does not happen in all cases.

Ways You Can Reduce Your Scar’s Redness

There are known ways you can reduce the redness in your scar. Here are some of them that all health experts agree on:

1. Cover the scar with a silicone gel, patch or cream that contains this ingredient. Studies have found them effective at reducing redness and size of the scar.

2. Massage the area gently but only if the scab has fallen off. Use a lotion or massage oil so that you reduce any risk of tearing the tissue.

3. Keep the area of the scar warm. Hot packs may help but never put them directly on the skin; always set them on top of at least three towel layers so the hot pack doesn’t touch the skin and burn it. When the area of your scar is warm, you’ll break down old collagen faster and mature the scar, according to studies.

4. Keeping the scar hydrated will help decrease itching and pain, and thus redness.

5. Protect the scar from the sun. The sun’s rays will redden any scar. Clothing may not be enough as the rays of the sun will penetrate through the clothing; use a sunscreen of SPF 30.

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Source: Eplasty 2012;12:e1. Epub 2012 Jan 11.

Comments

  1. The information on this site is provided as an information resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes. Please speak to your doctor to treat any medical condition. Information on this site is not intended to be patient education, does not create any patient-physician relationship, and should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment.
  2. My scar has turned red and turned dark on that spot then I went on google and searched for ways to decrease the dark spot. Then I found the lemon and sugar scrub so it did it and a scab formed and the same thing happened is there a way to stop the scar from turning dark PLEASE HELP!!!!

    • Hi Drake, It’s imperative to stop traumatizing the skin. It will only make things worse by causing post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. My advice would be to let the area heal completely and start applying InviCible Scars.

  3. Rhiannon Heeley says:

    I have some quite old, fairly deep scars on my arms and legs. 23 of these scars have turned pink/red, and some of them date back to 2012 and have only recently started to turn red. Why is this?

  4. I have a 27 year old 6 inch white gallbladder scar that has never changed color after turning white. Never had a problem with it ever until today when I noticed half of it extremely dark redish-purple. No pain at all.. I also am on warfarin but have been for 6 years.. I don’t know f that would or could have anything to do with it.

  5. My son come near me when i was frying some food & oil come on his hand & head & his hand has healed but he has a patch of no hair what can i do its been about 7months now his nearly 2years old.

  6. Hi I have a scar that is about 4 years old on my leg completely flat and completely white. It is quite a big long scar and for me not nice to look at. I have been told there there is no longer a blood supply to it and that nothing can be done to help improve the look of it. Is this true? Or can anything else be done for it?

  7. Hi!

    I had a rope burn through my eyebrow that was slightly pink, but then I accidentally got some sun on my face (even though I was wearing sunscreen) and it turned a dark red color. I am scared this is permanent. What are my options? Thanks!

  8. hi I fell and cut my nose. it was not a deep cut, incision. in the beginning it was bright red and very messed up. two months on it has turned brown. will this scar eventually turn white??it was not exposed to the sun. iv been using bio oil on it as it was recommended by the pharmacist. will this scar improve with time?

  9. I have a scar on my leg from an injury in January this year. After the scar formed, it turned from red to white, to red again, to brownish-beige and red again. Why is this happening? I have been applying Vitamin C on it ever since the scar formed.

  10. Hello,
    I have a burn wound/ healing scar that is just about 3 weeks old. I have kept it covered and been applying burn care ointment. The skin there was white/light pink, but I just noticed last night it has turned a hot pink/ red color. It has not been in any sunlight at all. Is this normal for burns?
    Thank you!

    • Hi Cate, yes this is normal as a burn heals. Your burn wound will go through several changes as it heals – from turning red and pink, to turning brown, to peeling (but let the skin fall off naturally and do not peel it yourself.) During this process, continue using a burn care ointment. Once the wound has closed up and is only red or dark in color, then begin applying a scar treatment to fade this discoloration and prevent permanent darkness. This will take patience and time and consistency (12 weeks+ depending on how large the area is.) This is a good review of a burn scar using InviCible Scars.

  11. I have some self harm scars on my arms that were moderatly deep and they have been very red for a while now (they are about 3-4 weeks old) is this normal and will they turn white? K know they will always be there but my self harm marks have never stayed this long or red

  12. I used some mole removal cream and the cream got on the skin and made a scab which came off and left red/pink discolouration. Now I have a bumpy red scar in that area and I am wondering if this will fade? When I put pressure on the scar the colour fades so does that mean eventually it will lighten?

  13. 2 months ago I scraped my face with my nail and it bled. It was yellow at first and then as healing process went on it scabbed up and I never picked it. And it heal and it was barley red…. BUT NOW the past month it look like it’s healing up but once I take shower or get it wet or something it turns SO BRIGHT RED like it’s a brand new wound. I sleep with neosporen every night and let it harden during the day… please help me I have it so much!!! What can I do

    • Hi Kendra, this is normal during these first few months of healing. Neosporin is good for when you have an open wound, but it won’t do much beyond moisturization now that the scar is closed. Try a scar treatment instead, and make sure you are wearing sunscreen daily (the sun will also redden scars.)

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