What Can Make Scars Worse?

What Can Make Scars Worse?

Scars can worsen just from what happens in the early stages of wound healing or in the later stages when the scar is maturing.

In the early stages of healing, five factors affect how bad the scar will turn out:

  1. The type of wound, whether it has jagged edges or is a clean cut such as a surgical incision
  2. How the wound was taken care of after it happened
  3. Whether or not the wound was infected
  4. Whether or not the person is smoking in the early stages of wound healing
  5. If the wound is exposed to sun

In the later stages of healing when the wound has healed, the scar will start to mature. There are four primary influences on how the scar will end up looking:

1. Individual factors

Age plays an important role. The younger you are, the easier it is for the skin to heal itself. Scars have a greater chance to look good the younger you are when you get them.

Similarly, skin type you have also affects the way a scar heals. The darker your skin, the greater the chance there is to form hyperpigmented scars that look darker than usual. Also, the darker your skin, the more likely it is that you will form a keloid scar or a hypertrophic scar.

If you have health issues such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, or lupus, the changes in the body that result from these diseases cause poorer wound healing. This could result in scars that are more prominent and look worse.

One last individual factor that affects how scars look is the smoking habit. The nicotine in cigarette smoke causes blood vessels to shrink. This decreases blood flow.  When a scar gets less circulation, it doesn’t get the nutrients it needs and doesn’t heal as it should.

2. External factors

If you want to create a dark scar – one that is hyperpigmented – then make sure it gets a lot of exposure to the sun! Sun exposure first makes scars redder, and then they get darker with more and more exposure. The darker the scar is, the more visible – and uglier – it will look.

3. Allergic reactions

One of the most common allergic reactions that can happen in the area of a scar is an allergy to vitamin E. We’ve all been taught that vitamin E is important for healing but researchers discovered that many people are allergic to the topical vitamin E. Any time you have an allergic reaction, you’ll also have more inflammation. And more inflammation worsens scar healing, creating worse scars.

4. Where the scar is located

If a scar is located over a joint, then the movement of that joint will cause a scar to stretch. The result is a scar that widens over time. A wide scar is more visible than one that is thin.

Now that you know how these factors can influence scar healing and the way a scar matures, you may have have a little more control over the way your scars end up looking long term.

Even if your scar is over a year old and has matured, don’t worry, there’s still hope! With the help of the latest scar treatment technology, it’s still possible to fade scars.

Subscribe to Scars and Spots to get our posts delivered directly to your inbox!

Have you purchased InviCible Scars risk-free yet?

Please follow and like us:
Do Scars Change Over Time?

Do Scars Change Over Time?

People who have visible scars are usually the ones who ask whether or not scars change appearance over time. We can’t help but be concerned about what the scar looks like to others and if it will draw attention or cause embarrassment.

All scars mature over time. A wound heals to form a scab and when enough healing has occurred under the scab, the scab falls off and leaves a scar. At first, the scar is quite red, indicating that there’s blood flow to the area as well as inflammation. It may be firm and thick at first, but over time it softens and feels more like the surrounding normal skin. Eventually, the redness fades and the scar turns lighter in color.

Sunlight on a Scar Doesn’t Help Healing

One factor that affects how scars change over time is their exposure to sunlight. Scar tissue acts differently when exposed to the sun than regular skin. Scars don’t like the sun’s rays, which may aggravate them and make them redder or darker. This is known as “hyperpigmentation.”

The Location of a Scar Can Determine How Obvious it is

Another factor that affects how scars look is their location. For example, an incision from surgery may be strategically placed in a natural skin crease or in a shadow where it is not as noticeable. Plastic surgeons are very skillful at this.

For example, when a plastic surgeon performs a rhinoplasty (or “nose job”), the incision is usually made under the tip of nose where it is hidden in the skin crease or by the shadow of the nose. The resulting scar is usually unnoticeable within six months.

Even if the scar is placed in the “ideal” location, there are no guarantees it will heal well and be unnoticeable. Your scar may become thick, raised and red. This is known as a hypertrophic scar. With the right treatment, hypertrophic scars can soften and become smaller over time.

Scars that initially look like hypertrophic scars but then grow beyond the initial injury to involve normal skin are called keloids. A keloid scar doesn’t get smaller on its own. In fact, it’s quite the opposite; without the correct treatment, keloids can keep growing and can be very difficult to control. Keloid scars tend to occur in darker skin individuals.

Should You Just Wait for Nature to Take its Course?

If you have a problem scar, particularly a hypertrophic or keloid scar, it’s best to start treatment as soon as possible. The earlier you start, the better your chances of improvement.

Please follow and like us: