Is a Red Scar a Permanent Scar?

Is a Red Scar a Permanent Scar?

If you have a scar that appears very red, you may be wondering how long it will stay red or whether it is permanent. First of all, all scars are permanent. Some scars can be lightened and softened so much that they barely show, but scars do not disappear completely, leaving normal, healthy skin behind. Also, the redness of a scar does not tell how permanent the scar is or how much it will heal and improve in the future.

If you want an idea of how long a red scar will last (or stay red), a better question is what kind of scar it is, or why it is red. For example: Is it a keloid scar? A hypertrophic scar? Which type of acne scar is it?

Almost all new scars are red, although they tend to be redder in some people than in others. When a wound first begins to heal, a lot of scar tissue is produced. This healing process is nourished by lots of tiny blood vessels that the body produces to (temporarily) provide an extra blood supply. This causes the area to appear red.

In children, scars often get redder and redder for the first few months. The scar may be slightly raised and feel firm to the touch. In adults or children, there is typically a peak of redness within the first few months, and then the scar will become flatter, softer, and lighter in color.

Once you have a scar, you will always have it. However, a mature scar will in most cases be much less noticeable than a new scar. If your scar is red because it is new, give it some time – it’s too early to predict its final appearance. Some people heal with finer, thinner, lighter, or otherwise less obvious scars than others. It can take up to a year or more before you see the final scar.

Some quick tips to treat scars: Gently massage scar as soon as the wound has healed over (about 2 weeks), progressively becoming more aggressive as the scar matures. Old scars that are firm and raised can be massaged aggressively to break up the abnormal collagen creating the firmness. Use a scar treatment containing specific ingredients to treat redness and dark pigment such as dimethicone silicone, Vitamin C and licorice extract.

Do you have a question about your scar? Leave us a comment and we’ll be happy to answer.

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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. courtney says:

    My scars hurt and i have them for almost a year…its like they are turning redder…i used almost everything that i know…i just want to know why they hurt…i understand my skin broke but why does it still hurt after almost a year….

  2. I have an ingrown hair scar from shaving my navel area. What can I do to make it less noticable? Mederma burns when I apply it and I’m not sure why. I’ve been looking into laser hair removal, will that help?

  3. Took a nasty spill on a bicycle two and a half weeks ago and scraped up my face on concrete under my left eye, and two different spots on my nose. All scrapes are dime sized or smaller. Very unhappy and very self-conscious about it of course. I started with Neosporin for the first four days and then transitioned to a product that claims to help skin repair with natural ingredients. In the last five days I have seen my scrapes go from pink to more of a defined red. They are not irritated to the touch nor does it appear any sort of infection is present. I’m wondering why my skin would have went from a pink to a darker red? I have been loading up on protein, zinc, iron, and Vitamins A, C, and E in my diet, as well as continuing exercising to hopefully promote blood flow to the areas which I read can help in healing. Is turning from pink to red normal at my early stage of recovery or should I be concerned? And when would be a good time to introduce a silicone gel like InviCible? Trying to heal up as quickly as possible. Thanks.

    • Hi Wes, sounds like you are doing all of the right things. A scar changing from pink to red can happen for two reasons – Have you been wearing sunscreen when outdoors? If you haven’t, this might explain why your scar has gone from pink to red. UV rays will darken a scar. Since this scar is on your face, it’s best to always wear sunscreen SPF 30. Alternately, when a scar turns red in the beginning, this is part of the healing process called the Inflammatory Phase: http://www.inviciblescars.com/scar-healing.html It’s completely normal, although it may cause you to worry that your scar is getting worse.

      As long as the scrapes are closed and not open, you should be able to start using InviCible Scars. Otherwise, continue what you are doing until the scabs have fallen off.

  4. sandy herzig says:

    i have a scar on my nose ihadit for years it was clear for years just last week it turned red with a pimple

  5. David Phillips says:

    I had a skin shave type biopsy on the antihelix portion of the ear. Was diagnosed as AK with coexisting dermatitis. Healed well for 6 months. The biopsy spot has recently turned red. No pain, not raised, just red. I do use sunscreen and wear a hat. Any ideas. The redness is confined within the boundaries of the biopsy. Thanks

  6. rahul yadav says:

    My scars were soo old n soo dark i used mederma for about 5 month the scars has become soo reddish
    Is that will be permanent or will go away

  7. I had a treatment to remove some acne hyper pigmentation on my back and it has made it SO much worse…the esthtician used microneedling followed by a peel, which left my skin with raw wounds that became infected and have just recently began healing for about 2 weeks now. The spots are still very red and are definitely fading, but I’m wondering what I can do to speed up the healing process and make sure that it doesn’t leave scarring or hyper pigmented skin behind. I have been using Vitamin C oil and an Aloe Vera/Vitamin E/Vitamin C oil about two times a day and I’ve heard that lavender helps so I’ve been using Dr. Bronner’s lavender soap to wash every day…I also go to light treatments once a week. Any suggestions? I am so unbearably uncomfortable in my own skin and am looking for any answers!

    • Hi Aimee, it sounds like you are on the right track with the Vitamin C to fade the hyperpigmentation and aloe to combat the inflammation. Vitamin E won’t do anything except hydrate the area. Make sure the Vitamin C you are using is a stable form of Vitamin C (which works the best.) With any Vitamin C treatment, it will take consistent application twice per day for 12 weeks to begin seeing a difference. If this part of your back is exposed to sunlight (like when swimming, etc.), make sure to also wear sunscreen over these marks as UV rays will darken them.

  8. I have an old scar on my left breast after lumpectity for cancer I 1986 now the scar is red and so is the skin around it and very itchy anti itch cream did a little . Am going to Dr just wondered what you thought. Having clothing touch it makes it worse.

  9. Hi! About 8 months ago had a tiny incision made in my wrist to remove some cysts, and the scar is a little over an inch long. In the beginning I was rubbing on vitamin E oil and using ScarAway strips. I discontinued it a while ago and I massage the scar periodically. I have just started to use the strips again. The scar appears reddish when I’m indoors and the lights are bright. Other times, it blends in with my skin a little more, but it’s not how I’d like it to ultimately look. What can I do to speed up the process?

    • Hi May, unfortunately healing scar tissue takes time and there is no quick fix. It takes 1-2 years for your scar to mature – so what you see on the outside, doesn’t necessarily mean it is healed on the inside. Keep applying a scar treatment and keep up the scar massage. You are doing the right things.

  10. I have a large red scar on my leg that’s been there for around 4-6 months. I never had a serious injury but I believe the scar is present because I had multiple bug bites in the gerneral area and scratched at them in my sleep and occasionally during the day when I could not syand the itchy sensation. It has healed tremendously but continues to itch every once in a while. What can I do to reduce the itching?

  11. I had a mole removed 2.5 years ago. It was red at first of course and then after about a year it was my skins color and looked quite good and normal. Now it has come back and is bright red. Facial hair grows out of it and sometimes that might seem to irritate it? How can i get it to lighten up again and become skin color now that it is years later?

  12. I had a severe garlic burn (size of a coin) on my right cheek near to ear last month, the skin peeled completely and it was an open wound which took 2 weeks to get normal and to get relieve from pain, now after one month it’s still red like an open would, I tried putting petroleum Jelly, Aloe Vera, raw honey but nothing seems to help me with the redness.. It’s not a scar as the skin is flat, just want to get my healthy skin back. I got an interview next month and I want to get it removed by then so please help. Also there are lots of other brown spots on face near to nose mostly how should I get rid of them

  13. Hello, I had a lifted freckle of some sort under my nipple, I’m a 15 year old male -around may I used apple cider vinegar to get rid of it, it did but it stayed red, so two/three weeks ago I did it with regular vinegar to try and remove redness and the scar tissue all together, so far no success 🙁 I really hate it, how can I reduce redness, is it permanent, if not how long will it take to not be red, please help! I’m really embarrassed about it!

  14. I got a pimple in my left cheek and I popped it and used turmeric and lemon to heal it immediately then my skin got burnt like … and then it turned black and I used momate cream and skin peeling a month later … now it’s like pink and looks odd …I’m still using momate cream … what should I do to heal or get rid of my scar completely…

    • Hi Aasha, Momate cream is a steroid and doesn’t get rid of scars. You can minimize a scar’s appearance by using a scar treatment with vitamin C, silicone and skin soothing ingredients.

  15. I had abdominoplasty July 2015 and most of my scar has faded except one side (on my side) and right above my mons pubis (the mid point of the scar about 4 inches) these areas are red. The one on my side is flat, the one in the middle is raised. Anything I can do to lighten them? I generally scar pretty light. The rest of the areas are almost flesh toned already. I’ve used a silicone based product given to me by the plastic surgeon. Thank you!

    • Hi Melinda, all scars heal differently, even on the same body for the same surgery. Your dr giving you a silicone treatment is definitely the way to go. Silicone is one of the best ways to flatten and increase elasticity in scars. Not sure which scar treatment he/she gave you, but we also have one that contains silicone and vitamin C. InviCible Scars has 17% stable Vitamin C to fade redness and dark discoloration.

  16. I used ro cut myself and there is a scar that is probably two to three inches long on my arm and is red and puffy after five months will it fade and is there any way to do it faster?

    • Hi Anonymous, scars take 1-2 years to completely heal. 5 months is normal for it to be changing. If it is puffy and red beyond the bounds on the initial injury, then it is likely a keloid.

  17. Before I went on holiday I used the sun beds an awful lot like everyday 12 mins each time for about 3-4 weeks
    Then when I went on holiday I burnt my neck and it scabbed .. still now 5 months later it still becomes bright red every now and then is this normal?

  18. Hello,
    I was involved in a very bad car accident a little over 4 months ago. I suffered lacerations on the left side of my forehead (temple area), it also cut a little bit of my hairline, and my left upper eyelid. I have been religiously putting scar away gel 2 times daily and using the silicone sheets overnight. I’m not 100% sure if it is improving it anymore. Maybe it is, I’m not sure. Should I keep using it? Also, how long do you think it will take till the scar is mature? My eye is a little droopy one one side now, is there anything I can do about that? A little bit of my hairline is gone and little patches. Anything I can do about that? Sorry for all the questions, I appreciate your time.

    • Hi Nicholas, no worries on all the questions, it’s why we have the blog for our scar treatment, InviCible Scars.

      To answer your questions – yes, continue treating your scar. It takes 3 months or more to fade and minimize a scar, and unfortunately most people give up too soon. In total, scars take 1-2 years to completely heal – so what you see on the outside is not necessarily a representation of what is going on under the skin. The longer you treat your scar, the better your results will be.

      For the droopy eye, that might require a consult with a plastic surgeon.

      Since the laceration went into your hairline, scars don’t grow hair unfortunately. Hair will grow around it, but never within the scar tissue itself.

      Hope that helped answer your questions.

  19. My only just 2 year old daughter had an accident a couple of weeks ago. It resulted in stitches on her forehead leaving quite a big scar on her lovely little face. I am so worried about how she will feel about it as she gets older and is there anything I can do to help with the healing process or to help minimise it.

    • Hi Jodie, I believe you also sent us an email about this – but in case you did not receive it, here was our response:

      Sorry to hear about your little one!

      Are her stitches out yet? If they aren’t, you should wait until they are to begin applying a scar treatment. You should still apply an antibiotic type cream like Neosporin though, to help prevent infection.

      Once her stitches are out, you can begin applying InviCible Scars. Do this twice per day for a minimum of 12 weeks. (One bottle typically lasts 4-6 weeks.) You don’t need to apply a large amount each time, but you should utilize scar massage as you apply it – this will help to soften the scar tissue and flatten it a bit.

      We also have a post we wrote specifically about childhood scars on the forehead and one about children and scars.

      Additionally, from this point on, you will also have to apply sunscreen with SPF 30 daily. This is because scar tissue is different from normal tissue and UV rays will darken the scar, yet it won’t fade like a normal tan would. So for example, if you were to fade the scar, but then not apply sunscreen, her scar will re-darken.

      I see you are located in the UK. InviCible is available on Amazon UK.

  20. I have a self harming scar about the size of a pinky finger. I thought the scar would get less hard and less dark but after more than a year it is still red and hurts when it hits gently somewhere. I don’t think it is infected, it doesn’t look like it. I tried lemon, coconut oil, vaseline, etc. it just doesn’t want to fade or at least turn less red. I decided to get a tattoo to cover it up. Is it safe to tattoo over it?

    • Hi Ana, it sounds like the remedies you tried are the remedies that are known not to work on scars. Vaseline and coconut oil would hydrate the scar tissue, which is important, but it has no effect on fading the discoloration. Lemons will make your skin photosensitive in the sun, and could make it redder. Here are some tips – if this scar is on your arm and exposed to the sun, wear sunscreen over the scar. UV rays can darken your scar and will not fade like a tan would. Try a scar treatment with Vitamin C – vitamin c is what fades scars.

      It’s likely that it hurts when touched because you damaged a nerve ending when cutting. This is something to consider if you want to get a tattoo. It may feel worse during the process. Here’s another article you should read regarding tattooing over scars.

  21. Jason reid says:

    Hello I’ve got a red line which is fading very slowly. It’s 3 years now since I got the scar , any suggestions please

    • Hi Jason, is this scar on an exposed part of your body (e.g. face, arm, hand, etc.)? If it is, you should be applying sunscreen (SPF 30) daily. UV rays can darken a scar, sometimes permanently, and it does not fade as a tan normally would. Lifestyle-wise, if you smoke, eat unhealthily, don’t exercise, etc., this also affects the scar healing process. Additionally, a scar treatment like InviCible Scars can help to fade the redness in 12 weeks as a complement to the above recommendations.

  22. Benjamin says:

    Hello , I am a 14 year old boy who got a scar back in November. I tripped while running and got a pretty nasty and large scar on my elbow, the scar is more toward the side that faces my body and it is pretty noticeable. It is generally super red and sometimes purple and just barely raised. I am of course SUPER self-conscious about it and I would really like to know if there is anything I can do to help it, or get rid of it.

  23. Mandeep says:

    Hi I got stitches on my nose and it’s been one and a half month my scar still red / pink in color. I am using silicone gel from one month. I wanna know how much time it will take to fade away or turn into white in color. Thanks

    • Hi Mandeep, you’re on the right track with a silicone gel – does it also contain Vitamin C? That is what will do the fading. It typically takes a few months for a scar to fade, one month is not enough time.

  24. Hi there

    I had a cyst removed on my chest back in December. The healing was fine but my doctor said it has turned into a hypothrophic scar. I have tried scar sheets for a while but unsure of what else to do. Sometimes it is really flat and other times it is very hard, very risen on my chest and bright red. Will this scar go down one day? I know it takes time but it feels like it hasn’t changed at all.

  25. Hello. I got pink-reddish scar after I electrocauterized my syringomas. Will it eventually fade? Its been 1month after electrocautery.I’m very worried it might turn into keliod or a permanent scar.

    • Hi Dexie, hopefully you had a professional to perform this. Since it is trauma to the skin, it will remain red for a while. You can apply a scar treatment to help fade it, just be careful not to get it too close to your tear ducts.

  26. Red scars ( hypertrophic)How much time take after co2 laser treatment?

  27. hey i am a sixteen year old girl, and i have some scars on my abdomen and although all of the others are healing just fine, one of them (very small) is quite red – it has been several months, and it has gotten worse. any suggestions or ideas as to why this is happening?
    thanks

  28. Rachana says:

    Hi,

    I was never had pimples. But past three months , I am getting pimples and pimples leaving marks. I have scar from past 2 months. Before it was black now it convert to red.I am not getting is it getting heal or turning permanent. Please suggest me how I can heal this scars and new pimples. I want fast process as my marriage is deer in November.

    • Hi Rachana, if you are suddenly getting acne and never did previously, you may want to speak to your dr. as something in your diet may be causing it (dairy, etc.) He/she may suggest seeing a dermatologist that can help you with any OTC or prescribed acne medication. As for scars, if you are in the US, UK, Germany or France, you can purchase InviCible Scars.

  29. Devansha sinha says:

    I have cut marks on my hand which were somewhat normal cuts. Not very deep. The cuts are since 20 days. I don’t want scars to form. How do I treat them? Any medicine or naturally? I want the scars to heal very quickly. Please help

  30. About 3 months ago I was going down to tie my shoe and busted my head on a chair, the scab lasted about a week or so and it left a red scar about a quarter inch right between my eyebrows. Whenever i wake up or whenever you touch it it lifts up and turns redder, what is the fastest way to get this back to normal (preferably before school starts in about 1 1/2 months)

    • Hi Logan, when you wake up and it’s red could have to do with blood pooling while you sleep, which is completely normal and you will notice that once you are up for the day, the redness diminishes. Touching it could mean you still have bruising on your bone still, especially if you hit your head hard enough. Applying a scar treatment 2x per day until you go back to school can help fade the redness, but also make sure to wear sunscreen over this area as well.

  31. Ayush golyan says:

    I had an accident 25days ago.. I got stitches on my nose n eyelids but those have healed pretty well n are very less noticable.. but I had a 2inch by 2inch abbirition on my forhead the would has healed n most of the skin is pinkish but the centre of the wound that was a lil deep has a kind of scar.. it’s darks red/brown with a small derprssion towards the centre.. I have started using scar removal gel. What can u tell me about the scar on my forhead. It’s very ugly and noticable 😔

    • Hi Ayush, topical scar treatments can’t help with the indentation, but since it is on your face, you may want to talk to your dr about micro-needling or dermabrasion, which can help with both the indent and discoloration. As far as the scar treatment, make sure the one you are using has a stable form of Vitamin C and high concentration of it.

  32. I am 50+ I have a scar from when I was about 4 years old, the scar is from the cast being torn off my arm, it is about 2 inches in length. The scar has never been a problem until the past few years when it turns red and blotchy sometimes, not sure what makes this reaction, however I recently found that I am allergic to a specific yarn and the scar turned bright red and was puffy. Just curious why all of a sudden many years later it is having reactions?

  33. Hey, I got a deep scare on my arm from falling really hard on concrete which happened about 3 or 4 days ago but I was wondering why is a pinkish red color and also feels stinky is this from infection?

  34. I have a foot surgery scsr that is three years ago.. noticing that it’s getting really red.is this normal

    • Hi Maggie, has it been exposed to the sun without sunscreen? Is the area dry where the scar is? These could explain the issue. You need to keep the scar moisturized, and you need to use sunscreen when you won’t be wearing socks.

  35. Abigail Graves says:

    I’ve had my scar for a weeks, is this still classed as new? Also it wasn’t red at all but today it is, if it’s not new why is this?

  36. Hi
    I got a cat scratch on my arm that was small yet deep. (A few of the scratches went over my surgical scar from years ago. This happened about a month ago). The scatches are still red and started to raise. Since they are small it almost looks like raised bumps. Will the redness go away? And will the scar flatten out?

    • Hi Danielle, cats carry bacteria and sometimes when they scratch or bite, it causes an infection that needs to be treated with antibiotics. It’s best to have your dr take a look if the area is raising and turning red.

  37. Eliana Ahdout says:

    Hi.
    I’m Eliana.
    I removed a pretty tiny Dermatofibroma (as big as a pimple) on the back side of my right shin.
    Got 6 stiches, treated the surgery area very gently and was very hygienicly.
    It’s been a long time now, and the scar is RED-BROWN.
    Im terrified it’s going to stay red.
    The only reason I wanted to do the surgery was because I assumed there will be a white scar, and I was ok with that. Now I have a mark 4 times bigger then what I had originally.
    What can I do?
    I tried lemon and coconut oil, started eating way healthier and quit smoking. I’m thinking of buying Kelo-Kot even though it is very expansive where I live.
    I’ll love to hear you advice.
    Think you

    • Hi Eliana, lemon will only make the scar more photosensitive and more likely to redden/darken in the sun. Coconut oil will help keep it hydrated (which is important for scar healing) but it will not fade it. You didn’t mention how long it’s been since surgery, but if it is recent, then the red-brown is normal as your body heals. Try using a vitamin C scar cream to fade it, and keep it protected from the sun.

  38. Hello,
    On the 4th of July, I accidentally cut my arm with a serrated knife while cooking (not the best cook, apparently). My cut was about two inches long and was deep enough to almost show the bone. I got stitches, then had them removed after 2 weeks. It healed nicely, turned pink. It is still itchy and pretty painful, and is suddenly turning a dark red again. Not really sure if this is normal?

    • Hi Amber, if you have been out in the sun without sunscreen over the scarred area, then this is normal, as UV rays can darken and redden scar tissue. If you haven’t and you notice the area getting worse, you should speak with your dr.

  39. I had a mole removed on my neck almost 5 years ago and the scar is STILL red the mole was the size of a pea but the scar left behind is the length of a grape. It was professionally removed by cutting it off and just never faded. I have fair skin but all my other scars are white and or turned white within a year. Help me please .. people keep thinking it’s a hickey or I burned myself :/

  40. About 2 months ago I got hit in my mouth with a softball and it broke my one front tooth in half and cracked the other one and it busted my lip open my bottom lip was really big and my top lip was busted a little too it had a scab on it but it split open ones and the scab came loose and fell off it was red under and my lip was still swollen but now two months later the swelling went down but I can see the two splits I have and around them it’s like raised and really red I feel like it looked the same the passed month I want to get like surgery or something I’m so impatient It makes me insecure the splits are red and raised one of them is like more raised then in between there’s a small spot where it’s more of my lip color but where the splits were it goes up into kind of border line the of the inside of my lip where you can still see and that part doesn’t look like it is healing

  41. Melda Arteaga says:

    Hi, I have a scar on my leg which resulted from a fall I had at a concert. At the concert I was standing on a chair and fell through causing me to cut myself on the chair vertically on my shin about one inch in length, however it was deep. It bled for a few days but I never went to the doctor to get stitches. Eventually it formed a scab and I was left with a scar. This scar now is sensitive, where if I accidentally hit it or rub it against something, a sharp pain will follow. Is this something I should worry about? Any suggestions?

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