What Are Scars?

What Are Scars?

Have you ever wondered how a scar forms? Why some wounds heal without a mark, while others leave an unsightly scar?

Scars form after most skin injuries, if you’ve picked at acne, or after surgery. Scarring is the way in which our skin repairs damaged tissues. Scars can heal very nicely with only a faint, flat line, or not so nicely….leaving behind a red or dark mark that can also be firm, raised, very obvious and even itchy and painful. While a scar is unattractive, its formation is an essential part of proper wound healing.

Unlike normal skin, scars lack moisture since they do not contain normal skin glands. Scars do not contain sweat glands so cannot sweat. They also cannot grow hair as they do not contain hair follicles. However, hair from surrounding skin can grow through some scars.

Scar healing is influenced by several factors:

– age: older folks heal with less scarring

– skin-type: darker skin creates more obvious scars

– wound location: scars across joints tend to get wider over time

– complications like infection

– hydration: wounds need moisture to heal well

– diet: its crucial to eat the right nutrients

– environmental conditions: too much sun exposure leads to permanent hyperpigmentation (dark scars)

– medical conditions: diabetes, vascular conditions, and autoimmune disorders are just some examples of diseases that can lead to poor healing and ugly scarring.

– smoking: the nicotine in cigarette smoke causes a decrease in blood flow to the injured skin and increases the chances of poor healing.

Also, the larger wound, the longer and more complicated the healing process and the greater the chance of a noticeable scar.

Do you have a question about your scar? Let us know in the comments!

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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