Scar is a mark left on the skin or within body tissue where a wound, burn, or sore has not healed completely and fibrous connective tissue has developed.
Scars occur at the site of tissue damage and appear as firm red to purple fibrous tissue that over time usually becomes flatter and lighter in color. Initially, a scar is red because blood vessels are created while the body forms scar tissue. The damaged area is covered by a protective scab that eventually falls off. The scar may become brown or pink. It generally fades over time and becomes less visible.
types of scars
All scarring is composed of the same collagen as the tissue it has replaced, but the composition of the scar tissue, compared to the normal tissue, is different. Scars differ from other scars in the amounts of collagen overexpressed.
- Hypertropic scars: It occur when the body overproduces collagen, which causes the scar to be raised above the surrounding skin. It takes the form of a red raised lump on the skin. They usually occur within 4 to 8 weeks following wound infection.
- Keloid scars: They are a more serious form of excessive scarring, because they can grow indefinitely into large, tumorous neoplasm. They are most common in dark-skinned people. They can be caused by surgery, accident, acne or, sometimes, body piercing. Keloid scars are only inert masses of collagen and therefore completely harmless and not cancerous. However, they can be itchy or painful in some individuals. They tend to be most common on the shoulders and chest.
- Atrophic scar: An atrophic scar takes the form of a sunken recess in the skin, which has a pitted appearance. These are caused when underlying structures supporting the skin, such as fat or muscle, are lost.
- Stretch marks: Stretch marks (technically called striae) are also a form of scarring. These are caused when the skin is stretched rapidly (for instance during pregnancy significant weight gain, or adolescent growth spurts), or when skin is put under tension during the healing process, (usually near joints). This type of scar usually improves in appearance after a few years.
The primary way to prevent scarring is to avoid injuries. People should wear protective gear when participating in sports. Furthermore, acne should be treated before the condition reaches the severe stage.
If injured, a person should immediately treat the wound because this reduces the risk of scarring. The wound should be cleaned and covered. If stitches aren’t needed, a butterfly bandage is effective at keeping the wound closed. Moreover, a balanced diet also helps with the healing process.