Do Scars Spread?

Do Scars Spread?

The answer is yes and no. Typical scars, like acne scars, surgery scars or c-section scars do not spread. Of course, if you gain weight, then it is merely the skin stretching rather than the scar actually spreading.

However, there is one type of scar that will spread beyond the bounds of the wound, and that is a keloid scar.

Keloid Scars

In the simplest of terms, keloid scars are scars that become enlarged because your body is producing too much collagen—and therefore, too much tissue—at the site of the wound. Typically, keloid scars become raised in a dome-shaped fashion and begin to expand beyond the original location of the wound. Keloid scars are usually pink, shiny, and tender to the touch.

Read: Do Genes Determine Keloid Scars?

Needless to say, developing keloid scars can be bizarre and frightening for those who have never experienced keloids before. The good news is that keloid scars are no more dangerous than other types of scar tissue. Some patients complain about them being more painful, but usually, they are just itchier as they heal. The bad news is that they are often more unsightly than other scars, leading patients to seek surgical methods or other solutions to try to shrink them or have them removed.

Read: Who is at Risk for Developing Keloid Scars?

The Difference Between Scar Types

Though many people aren’t familiar with the lingo, there are several different types of scars out there. The first and most common type, of course, is a simple flat scar. If you cut your skin, you will normally heal quickly, with nothing but a pale white line on your skin to mark the spot where you had your wound. These scars can’t spread at all and don’t even become raised above the skin. In other words, they are the least invasive of all scars.

The second type of scar is called a hypertrophic scar. The word hypertrophic means “enlarged” or “excessive growth,” but unlike keloid scars, hypertrophic scars don’t spread beyond the wound. Instead, these scars may thicken and appear to be raised above the skin. Hypertrophic scars are typically redder and more visually obvious than flat scars.

There are other types of scars—including contracture scars, which actually tighten your skin, usually after a burn, and pitted scars, which can result from picking or itching at acne or chicken pox. Of all of the types of scars, keloid scars are unique in their ability to spread beyond the area of the original wound.

Have a question about your scar? Post 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.

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Do Genes Determine Keloid Scars?

Do Genes Determine Keloid Scars?

Genetics play a significant role in the healing process of the body, which affects the formation of scars. Scientists have noted some factors that seem to suggest that genes play a role in the forming of keloid scars, including facts such as that people with darker skin are more at risk than people with fairer skin and that keloid scars seem to run in families. A study out of Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit recently identified a gene that seems to play a significant role in the development of keloid scars.

What are Keloid Scars?

Keloid scars are those that are raised, dark, and larger than the original wound. They typically become itchy or painful, and may even continue to grow into a very large and unsightly scar. They can form in any area, although places where the skin stretches are more at risk of keloid scars. Scars formed due to piercings, especially in the ear lobe, are also at a higher risk. Because this type of scar tends to cause more problems than other types of scars, scientists have tried to understand why they form in order to find better ways to prevent and treat them.

Read: Where Do Keloid Scars Form?

The Genetic Link of Keloids

Doctors have tried to discover a reason for the formation of keloid scars, often looking for answers in genetics, especially as it is more common for keloids to form in families and certain skin tones. Previous studies have found that keloids more often form in dark skinned individuals, especially those of African heritage, while albinos have the lowest rates. It has long been recognized that certain cellular signals in change of controlling the growth become altered, which lead to keloid growth. Because genetics controls the cells, including these signals, a common hypothesis is that genes must play a role in the formation. This recent study sheds more light on the subject.

Read: Who is at Risk for Developing Keloid Scars?

Study Findings

Researchers from Henry Ford Hospital were able to demonstrate for the first time a relationship between an alteration of the AHNAK gene and keloid scars. The AHNAK gene has associations with cell-cell adhesion or exocytosis, which is involved in wound healing. The researchers reviewed normal tissue and keloid tissue for the expression of this gene, and found that three of the five keloid samples had a large reduction in the expression when compared to the normal samples, thus demonstrating a relationship. Although it remains in the early stages, it promises to provide better understanding about keloid scars, including how they form and the function of healing. This study was small, so subsequent research is necessary to provide further information.

Understanding the genetic link involved in the formation of keloid scars can help doctors learn better forms of treatment. Although researchers are still searching for more information, if you have a family history of keloids, then you have a greater risk of developing them yourself. There is a high chance that keloid scars are determined in some extent by your genes, but genetics are never the only factor involved. Lifestyle, environment, and other factors can also affect the healing process, leading to different types of scarring, including keloids.

Have a question about your scar? Post a comment and we’ll be happy to answer.

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InviCible Scars Review on Beyond Beauty Lounge

InviCible Scars Review on Beyond Beauty Lounge

Do you have a burn scar or keloid that you are looking to minimize the appearance of? Mercedes of Beyond Beauty Lounge recently burned her neck while testing out a curling wand. That is the type of accident you aren’t ever really prepared for.

As Mercedes asked in her InviCible Scars review, “Have you ever come across a product that you wish you had discovered sooner? That is exactly how I feel about the product I’m bringing you today, this is the type of product you want to have on hand even though you may not need it at the moment.”

Beyond Beauty Lounge InviCible Scars Review.

Mercedes also has a keloid scar from a bad ear piercing, which she also tried InviCible Scars on. She stated, “The keloid I have has decreased in size and color and is somewhat flatter.”

Be sure to check out her complete review on Beyond Beauty Lounge. Have you tried InviCible Scars yet to fade your scar?

Have a question about your scar? Leave a comment and we’ll be happy to answer.

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Who Is at Risk for Developing Keloid Scars?

Who Is at Risk for Developing Keloid Scars?

Unfortunately, even though many people might want reassurance that their surgery, piercing, or other skin injury will not lead to a keloid scar, there is no accurate way to predict this. A keloid scar is a scar that remains large, raised, dark, and possibly painful or itchy after the injury is healed; it also may continue to grow, resulting in a large, lumpy, puffy, or otherwise unsightly scar.

The fact is that it is not well-understood why some people develop keloids and why some people don’t, or why the same person might form a keloid scar in one area and not in another. It is known that the cellular signals that control growth change somehow, causing the keloid formation, but it is not understood why or how these changes occur.

Keloids Sometimes Run in Families
Men and women are equally likely to develop keloids. In the past, keloids were more common in women, because women got more earlobe and body piercings. Now this is no longer the case, and keloids are found with roughly equal frequency in men and women. The tendency for keloids to form may also run in families in some instances, so if someone in your family has a keloid, you may want to rethink a piercing, tattoo, or nonessential surgery.

At What Ages Do Keloids Form?
Although a keloid scar can form at any age, they do seem to occur most often between the ages of 10 and 30, with the average keloid sufferer in his or her early 20s. Keloids are less common in children and in the elderly, but they do occur at these ages, too.

Read: Do Scars Grow With Age?

Keloids More Likely to Form in Certain Skin Types and In Certain Areas
Keloids can occur in all skin types, although people with certain skin types may also be more vulnerable. There is a higher incidence of keloids in people with darker skin types as well as extremely fair skin types. Keloids can also occur on any part of the skin, but certain areas may be more likely to see keloid formation. Areas where there are piercings are particularly susceptible, as are areas where the skin stretches or otherwise experiences tension during wound healing.

Prevention Is Key
Because keloid scarring is difficult to treat, people should make choices that minimize their risk of developing a keloid scar in the first place. People who know that they are in a high-risk group – because they have dark skin, for example, or are the right age or have had a keloid scar before – should avoid any type of piercing or elective surgery. If you do get piercings or surgery anyway, or have some other type of skin injury, then steps should be taken to ensure fast and complete healing, avoid infection, and reduce skin tension as the area heals. Be sure to eat a healthy diet, get plenty of exercise, and avoid smoking for optimal healing of any wound.

Treatment
If you do find that you are developing a keloid scar, immediately becoming proactive in treating it may minimize the size and appearance of the scar. A silicone-based scar treatment will definitely help. See your dermatologist or plastic surgeon as soon as you see changes that you find concerning. If you are developing a keloid, the next step in terms of treatment options is a steroid injection into the scar. This can make the scar much softer and prevent it from getting worse. Occasionally you may need more than one steroid injection over time, but be sure to discuss the risks with your physician beforehand. If steroid injections don’t work, more invasive options are available for really severe cases. These include re-excision, often in conjunction with another steroid shot, and even radiation therapy if the keloid is exceptionally severe.

Have a question about your scar? Post a comment and we’ll be happy to answer.

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How Do I Get Rid of Vaccination Scars?

How Do I Get Rid of Vaccination Scars?

As a result of the smallpox and tuberculosis vaccines, people often have scars where the vaccine was administered. Both vaccines are given by breaking the skin multiple times in a small area – typically on the upper arm—and the scab that results gives way to a small pitted or raised area. People who are vaccinated for smallpox or tuberculosis usually have one of three types of scarring: a low pitted area, a keloid, or a hypertrophic scar. Though treatment is similar for each reaction, there are some important differences.

If you have a pitted scar on your body, you will want to use a cream that contains Vitamin C, which will improve your skin’s elasticity and encourages growth of healthy collagen during scar healing. Products with aloe, licorice extract and essential fatty acids (EFAs) will even out skin tone and decrease any inflammation that you may have weeks after the vaccination.

Keloid scars are raised, thick scars that are often larger than the vaccination site itself. Keloids are caused by an overproduction of collagen in the skin, and they can continue to grow years after the vaccination. Though it is important to let the site heal, wrapping the area tightly with silicone sheeting can decrease the size keloid. Aloe, licorice extract and EFAs will also help to change the color of the scar closer to the color of your skin.

The final type of scar that could occur from smallpox or tuberculosis vaccines is the hypertrophic scar. Like keloids, hypertrophic scars are raised and caused by too much collagen growth, though hypertrophic scars are typically smaller and will not continue to grow after they have formed. Similar treatment is recommended, but you should consider focusing on ointments and gels with Vitamin C, aloe, and silicone. Silicone sheeting may be helpful; however, if your scar is small, the presence of silicone in a cream may be just as worthwhile.

Ultimately, you should not be ashamed of your vaccination scar, but you can use these easy treatments to improve the appearance of your scars. However, make sure that the skin around the vaccination site has healed before treating the scar to ensure that your skin is not infected after the vaccination.

Do you have a vaccination scar?

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