How Long Does it Take to Get Rid of Scars?

How Long Does it Take to Get Rid of Scars?

Healing is a series of steps on a very long journey, but the destination proves worthwhile when scars eventually fade. Individuals hoping to minimize (or even eliminate) the appearance of hypertrophic, atrophic, and other types of scars should understand how their bodies react to each stage of the process.

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The Inflammatory Phase

Healing begins with the inflammatory phase. A cut to the skin triggers a sudden dilation of blood vessels, which allows enzyme-rich fluids to rush to the wound. These fluids attack damaged tissue, breaking it down to eliminate bacteria, erythema, and broken collagen fibers.

The Proliferation Phase

To combat the amount of nutrients lost from inflammation the body increases its collagen production. This creates a new network of tissue. However, all too often this network proves excessive, with protein chains layering against each other. This raises the skin and forms a scar.

Epithelialization Phase

Skin serves as a barrier against infections. However, newly formed scars are structurally weaker than traditional tissue. Lipid bilayers appear infuse the skin surface with moisture, sealing scar sites against free radicals.

Maturation Phase

Scar tissue eventually begins to mature. Surrounding blood vessels shrink back to normal size, collagen production decreases, and hydration levels settle. The wound closes completely and bonds with the tissue. Eventually, the scarring begins to fade.

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How Long do These Phases Take?

Scars are unique – and so is the healing process. Each phase demands an individualized amount of time to reach completion. In general, however, patients can expect:

  •  Inflammatory Phase: 1 to 3 days.
  • Proliferation Phase: 3 to 4 weeks.
  • Epithelialization Phase: 1 to 2 days.
  • Maturation Phase: 1 – 2 years.

Impacting Factors

The healing process is, unfortunately, fickle. A variety of factors impact its effectiveness:

Genetics

Certain elements, such as metabolism, oxygenation rates, and enzyme levels, are inherited. Genetic precursors play pivotal roles in the overall speed and efficiency of healing.

Nutrition

Dietary choices directly impact healing. Patients suffering from low Vitamin A (which promotes balanced cell growth), Vitamin C (which promotes anti-oxidation), or Zinc (which promotes enzyme production) often experience slow healing.

Age

Younger skin is more prone to abnormal and exaggerated healing. This can lead to hypertrophic or keloid scars. Older skin takes longer to recover. These factors affect the body and its ability to heal, keeping scars from fading and potentially increasing their appearances.

Read More: Scar Healing

Each patient is different – shaped by specific genetic traits, dietary choices, and their age. Because of this, it remains impossible to definitely chart a scar’s healing process.  However, most can expect the process to take about a year.

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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.

Comments

  1. Thanks!

  2. I have a lump in my breast that I believe is scar tissue. Will the pathologist be able to tell the difference between cancer and scar tissue?

  3. I’m 15 and I burned my forehead with tea tree oil trying to get rid of a pimple and now I have this big scar in the middle of my forehead
    I’ve been putting sunscreen and vitamin E oil on it and occasionally some aleo Vera gel from the plant and lemon to lighten it
    How long do you think it’ll take to heal?

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