Scars and Self-Esteem

Scars and Self-Esteem

When you have scars, your self-esteem can be affected, especially if the scars are in an area not easily hidden by clothing. Although facial scars often cause the most problems for self-confidence, any visible scar can make a person self-conscious. However, you do not have to let your scars affect your self-confidence. There are several treatment options available for reducing the appearance of scars.

Why Scars Affect Self Confidence and Self-Esteem

A healthy body image leads to a healthy self-esteem and self-confidence. However, the opposite is also true. An unhealthy body image often contributes to low-self esteem, a negative self-worth and a lack of confidence. Often, scars cause a person to have a negative body image. When these scars are in a prominent location, especially the face, they can lead to even more problems with self-confidence. First impressions are largely based on looks, and if a person feels self-conscious about his or her appearance, it can make him or her more timid. A person will feel as though other people only see their scars, and believe it affects their attractiveness and ability to make friends.

Scarring also often leads to feelings of depression, which also affects a person’s self-worth and confidence. If the scar came from a traumatic event, there could also be some lingering emotions and feelings associated with that event. Other feelings may be associated the scar, including shame and embarrassment, that also affect a person’s confidence. Studies have shown that people with visible scars feel that the scars affected how others perceived them. In these studies, most people with scars felt that they had some sort of stigma attached to them and that others see them as less attractive. These feelings lead to self-consciousness and a lack of self-confidence. If these feelings of depression are affecting you so much that it is detrimental to your mental health, please seek out the help of a local therapist who can best assist you.

Non-Invasive Scar Treatments

You can get help with your visible scars. There are many topical scar creams available you can put on the scar to help it to heal and lighten faster, although it still takes time for them to work. You want to find a cream that uses effective but safe ingredients, such as silicone, licorice root extract and vitamin C. You should stay away from vitamin E, as it can cause contact dermatitis. If you experience pain or develop a hypertrophic scar or a keloid scar, you should to your doctor about steroid injections, which soften the scar and prevent it getting any worse.

Read: How Long Does it Take for a Scar to Heal?

Invasive Scar Treatments

There are also more invasive scar treatments you can discuss with your doctor to see if they work in your situation. Some of the most common include laser skin resurfacing, skin grafts, excision, dermabrasion, and microdermabrasion. Surgery and skin grafts are usually reserved for scars that impair function or are otherwise problematic. Dermabrasion and microdermabrasion are two different treatments that help to reduce the appearance of scars and even out the complexion.

Some of these treatments may be used in conjunction with others, or a person might try a few different methods over time if one does not work. The best place to start is usually scar treatment cream, which you can begin using as soon as your wound is healed.

As we like to say, fade the scar not your confidence.

How has your scar(s) affected you? Share your story in the comments, it may just help someone reading.

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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.


  1. 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.
  2. I have post acne hyperpigmention on the right side of my face and I been doing my best to help them fade , I wash my face morning and night with a cleanser from Image and then apply fresh aloe vera on them and leave it on overnight, some times I will wash it off after 30 minutes and apply ambi fade cream. Any other suggestions ?

    • Hi Jessica, aloe won’t fade your hyperpigmentation, but it will help to keep it moisturized and combat any inflammation. We’re not familiar with Ambi fade cream, but make sure that whatever you are using contains Vitamin C and licorice root extract which target hyperpigmentation to fade any type of scarring or dark marks. Our company is InviCible Scars, if you haven’t heard of our products, here is our website for more information: Additionally, since this is on your face, be sure to apply broad spectrum sunscreen SPF 30+ daily, as UV rays can further darken the area.

  3. my life is ruined because of the ugly scar right on my right cheek. it didn’t spoil my self-confidence only but my entire life indeed. i am just waiting for the day of departure from this planet. i don’t have any social life.

    • Jay, we’re sorry to hear you say this. Your scar doesn’t define who you are or your worth. Please seek the assistance of a professional to help you deal with your depression. Make an appt. with a dermatologist as well. There are many things that can be done for facial scars – from topical scar treatments to facial scar revision to dermabrasion and micro-needling. Just do a quick search on our blog, and all of those topics will come up for further reading.

    • Same here

  4. Jay nailed it. I also have a disfiguring scar on my face due to a recent accident. Prior to this, I was healthy, beautiful, and happy with large network of family and friends. Now, my social life is nonexistent and I can’t even setting foot outside my house without fear and anxiety. I suffer every day and am just wasting my life away. Don’t waste your time/money on topical treatment, dermabrasion, fillers, etc. There is no cure for a scar and these “treatments” are marketing ploys for dermatologists and plastic surgeons to make money while providing false hope to people. Once the skin is damaged, it is permanent and will NEVER be the same. And how’s a counselor going to help? A counselor can’t get rid of a scar. I guess they can just help you come to terms with the fact that you are disfigured, different from everyone else, and will never be the same. The reality is that those of us with a scarred face will never lead a normal, happy, fulfilling life. Our scars define us and will haunt us forever. We are handicapped, but almost worse because we don’t get the support that someone who is physically handicapped gets. Instead, we get discriminated against, starred at, made fun of, and often told to “get over it” because looks aren’t everything and it’s just a cosmetic problem. I too am counting down the days until my departure from this planet. Perhaps those of us who suffer on earth get an automatic ticket into heaven….

  5. siyanda kobokana says

    I hate myself I have a scar right next to my eye and it feels like everyone is looking at it I often think that maybe people think I’m a criminal but I’m not I had a car accident when I was 11 years old and since then my life has never been the same, I lack self esteem In so many areas.

  6. I have a scar above my right eye, someone through a glass picture frame at me around 8 years ago. This has caused me extreme anxiety and depression over the years. I am now waiting to see a therapist for this and hoping laser will fade this.

  7. kefentse hope ngoetjana says

    Greetings to all I have a facial birthmark on the left side of my face,most people look at me in different ways as if its a bad thing for some of us to be Extraordinary than the rest.Reality is the criticism will get to you if you take their critics into consideration Love the original you Fact is we were not all born to be the same some of us We were BORN TO STAND OUT NOT TO FIT IN.

  8. I have a scar after being assaulted by a man at age 17. He punched me repeatedly in my face until my skin broke. I got six stitches. The scar is ugly. I have suffered anxiety and depression ever since that day. It was 17 years ago and I still suffer. Men treat me like nothing even though it was not my fault a man assaulted me. All men see is my scar.

  9. I have a healthy weight and never been over weight but I have stretch marks behind my knees, tights, hips, and most on my breasts. I had a breast reduction surgery last year so what was already ugly it got much worst with all the new scars. I don’t feel feminine or good at all about myself. While I see all other women using cute outfits and just being free with their body There’s nothing I can do be better physically. It’s terrible I’m just waiting to dye literally I have no life.

    • your not alone. there is plenty of other women who have had breast reduction surgery and you can find support groups on facebook. A person i admire who had breast reduction is Ariel Winter.

  10. Hi All, i have about 30years old scars on both legs. These scars have taken away my confidence and self esteem making me an introvert though very pretty and working in a cooperate environment. I am always wearing trousers, i have tried several creams but none worked. Sometimes i feel so sad to the extent of ending it all because it affect all areas of my life. I want to wear skirt and dresses like any lady does.

    • I am 26. Scars on both legs as well. One from a childhood accident and another just recently on both knees. I’ve avoided wearing skirts and dresses that are above the knee. I never wear shorts. This has caused me to be very depressed for most of my life. I long to feel beautiful and comfortable like the other girls. I always try on dresses and skirts and shorts at home alone in the mirror just longing to feel beautiful. I just wish I can feel sexy, but I feel like it’s impossible with my scars. I wish i could go back in time and undo them ever happening. Sometimes I think I’d be better off dead than living with the shame they bring. It’s affected my life in all aspects, socially and romantically. Fun activities such as going to the beach are a living nightmare for me, when i have to bare my legs. I feel unlovable, hideous, and ruined.

    • Hi.
      I too have scars on both my legs from being severely mauled by my own dog whilst in an argument with my husband. Needless to say it was very traumatic.
      I work in a corporate environment and will only wear a dress or skirt with knock out tights. I’ve had these scars since I was 24, almost 29 now, and the one time I tried to go I public I was asked within 10 minutes what happened to my legs. Mortified, I made up some lame excuse and hurried home.
      I just wish I could have a “idgaf” attitude and own it, but I’m so embarrassed and full of shame on how I received these scars

  11. It’s so frustrating..I hv nail scratch scars all over my face..n I tried so many treatmens so far and nothing worked n currently am undergoing subscision treatment with a hope tat it wud lighten up a bit. the doctor said that he can’t guarantee a 100% result.. I feel so worthless.. and ppl talking about inner beauty is a total lie..

  12. I had my accident 1month and a half ago, truly is a life changer. I got a major scar above my right eye now, but all you can do is make the best of what you have/got now. Best way to look at it, is 1. Your alive enjoy it , try something new to brighten your life.
    2. Remember there’s always someone that has it worse .
    Best advice, unfortunately im a car sales men so im eager to see how my abnormal scar will affect my overall work performance and sales ….

  13. I recently acquired scars from acne creams…my life literally changed overnight. Then, few days ago went for laser hair removal on my face and acquired more scars…life feels utterly hopeless. I HAVE TO see BEYOND these scars now. But no, I don’t take cute selfies anymore. And I’m definwtly not returning for more laser hair removal treatments. I’m glad to read that I’m not the only one who feels so down and depressed over our facial scars.

  14. I had hair transplant 2 years ago and never be the same since
    They fool me by their marketing tactics in order to have surgery with them and i was fool to believe them
    At time of operation there was an inner sound tell me to stop everything but i did not listen, but i keep listening to the surgeon with hs fake smile telling me you will be happy in future
    After operating my head was like war territory, they ruin my whole scalp
    2 years till now i m extremly depressed, screaming, crying do not believe what i did to myself, to run from reality, i always sleep
    There was a time that i slept 3 days without waking up, i do not want to wake up

    Now my head is full of scars, the hair is so ugly in front and large bald spot i middle, i want to shave but i cannot because my scalp is not the same
    I do not go out, i do not like meet people or go outdoor Anymore
    My life totally ruin because my stupid decision, i went to a surgeon and paid him well to ruin my scalp

  15. anyone who says that scars never go away is talking complete rubbish. i’ve had scars on my legs from injuries from my childhood and those have faded, it’s all about patience. but recently i’ve gotten two new long scratches on each of my legs and i’ve lost all self confidence. i’ve always loved wearing my short skirts and shorts and i don’t know if i can do that this summer. i’m devastated because i just started loving my legs after the old scars faded but now i have two new ones and i can’t help but be depressed. i’m putting cocoa butter on them every night and all i can do is pray that it helps.

  16. I have a dark spot called hyperpigmentation on the front of my left leg that’s slightly smaller than a dime. The scar is flat but the area has caved in due to the pressure put on it when I grazed the edge of my nightstand during a nightmare I had five years ago. I was under stress at that time. I blame my husband because he was actually the reason for ny stress. He didn’t do much to clean my wound after I fell from the bed.
    I feel sad and regretful about my leg(s). I feel conscious wearing dresses. I apply leg makeup and it works well but I still feel bad and wish I had my previous skin back I see it everyday when I wake up as I pass the long mirror and I always have this sinking feeling of regret about what I never get back. I went to a therapist who advised me to go to a dermatologist. I made an appt I really want to get pass this negative thoughts about my leg. It feels like I am in prisoned by it.

  17. Jay & Jenny nailed it! There is nothing that can be done for scars & in fact many treatments/procedures make it worse. I’ve learned to “deal” for the most part, but definitely have those bad scar days where I can’t make it look remotely decent w/ makeup., but that’s life & I try to renember there are people that have far worse scarring etc….& I really don’t have a right to feel the way I do,. Honestly though, those dark days do suck especially if you were already considered flawed to begin with then scarred on the face where everyone can see. 🙁 I thank God for my faith & someday it won’t matter anymore & I will finally be free.

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