Different types of scars

If you’ve ever undergone a surgical procedure or been involved in an incident which involves cuts and incisions, chances are you will have a scar as a result. This is as a result of the skin naturally trying to heal and repair itself.

However, you may not be aware that there are various different types of scars.

Fine-line scars

This is your generic scar which occurs after you’ve had an incision or cut the skin. When the scar is new, it can appear red and raised. However, with time this type of scar will fade in colour and shrink in size. This may take up to two years to occur, depending on the size of the scar and your own skin. This scar will not completely disappear but will become less prominent with time.

Keloid scar

When too much collagen is produced at the site of the incision, too much tissue will produce and a keloid scar will occur. This can often appear to be large and unsightly and will continue to grow once the incision is healed. When a keloid scar is new it may appear red or purple but will fade to a lighter colour with time. Keloid scars can often cause problems with restricting movement if the scar is near a joint. This type of scar will most commonly occur with those who have darker skin.

Hypertrophic scar

A hypertrophic scar is very similar to a keloid scar, in that too much collagen production causes excess tissue. However, unlike a keloid scar, the scar will not exceed the size of the original wound. The hypertrophic scar will initially appear red and raised before becoming paler and flatter.

Atrophic scar

This is the opposite of a hypertrophic scar. Rather than a scar that is large and protrudes from the wound, an atrophic scar will generally have an indentation.

Contracture scar

If your skin has been burnt, you may experience a contracture scar. This happens when the skin shrinks, which causes it to tighten. This can cause your movements to be restricted. If the contracture scar is deep, it may also affect tissue and muscle.

Pitted or sunken scars

Some skin conditions such as chicken pox or acne can cause pitted or sunken scars in the skin. Pitted scars can also be caused because of a lack of underlying fat as a result of an injury.

Scar treatment

Fortunately, if you do not like the appearance of your scar, or it is causing physical movement problems, you can undergo scar treatment. While this cannot fully remove the scar, it can approve the aesthetic appearance of the scar. This is particularly appealing to those who have large scars which resulted from trauma or emergency surgery, such as a C-Section or appendix removal, to name a few.

There is a large range of scar treatment options available. The type of treatment you choose will vary depending on the type of scar you have, the outcome you are aiming for, whether or not you want to undergo a surgical procedure, or whether other options have not worked previously.

Scar treatments include:

Surgical options

  • Scar revision surgery
  • Dermabrasion
  • W-Plasty
  • Tissue expansion
  • Excisions
  • Skin grafting

Fat transfer

  • Fat grafting
  • Lipo-dermal grafts
  • Microsurgical fat grafting

Non-surgical treatments

  • Laser treatment
  • Steroid injections
  • Microdermabrasion
  • Chemical skin peels

If you undertake a surgical scar treatment, you may experience some slight pain and discomfort after the procedure. You may wish to take pain medication to help manage any symptoms. You may have to take at least one week off work to fully recover. You will have to avoid strenuous physical activity for up to six weeks, in order to avoid any injury to the new scar. It is important that you take care of the new scar, and avoid excessive sun exposure by wearing sunscreen or clothing which covers the scar.

Are you interested in scar treatment? Centre for Surgery offers a range of surgical and non-surgical scar treatment options. Contact us today to find out more or to book a consultation with one of our surgeons. 

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