Explaining the 7 Different Scar Types & How They're Treated
Mar 17, 2023
Scars are a natural part of the healing process, but they can be unsightly and sometimes even cause physical discomfort. There are various types of scars, each with unique causes and treatment options.
In this article, we will discuss the seven most common types of scars, their causes, and the treatment options available.
1. Keloid Scars
Keloid scars are raised, thickened, and often darker than the surrounding skin. They are caused by an overgrowth of collagen during the healing process and can develop even after a minor injury, such as a pimple or a scratch.
Keloids are more common in people with darker skin tones, and they can be itchy, tender, or even painful. Treatment options for keloids include corticosteroid injections or surgery, although there is a risk of the keloid recurring.
2. Hypertrophic Scars
Hypertrophic scars are similar to keloids but tend to be smaller and less raised. They are also caused by an overgrowth of collagen but are more common in people with lighter skin tones.
Hypertrophic scars can be itchy, tender, or even painful. Treatment options include corticosteroid injections or silicone sheets, which help to flatten the scar.
3. Atrophic Scars
Atrophic scars are sunken or depressed scars that occur when the skin does not produce enough collagen during the healing process. They can be caused by acne, infections, or even surgery.
Atrophic scars can be shallow or deep, and they are often more noticeable on the face, arms, and legs. Treatment options include dermal fillers, which help to plump up the skin, and laser resurfacing, which helps to smooth out the scar.
4. Contracture Scars
Contracture scars are tight, shiny scars that occur when the skin is burned or damaged. They can cause restricted movement or even affect the function of nearby muscles and tendons.
Contracture scars are more common after severe burns or injuries and can be painful. Treatment options include surgery and physical therapy, which help to release the scar tissue and restore movement.
5. Acne Scars
Acne scars are caused by severe acne, which can leave behind pitted or raised scars on the face, chest, and back. They can be shallow or deep and are often more noticeable in bright light.
Acne scars can be treated with chemical peels, microdermabrasion, or laser resurfacing, which help to smooth out the skin and reduce the appearance of scars.
6. Stretch Marks
Stretch marks are a type of scar that occurs when the skin stretches rapidly, such as during pregnancy or weight gain. They can appear as red, purple, or white streaks on the skin and are most commonly found on the abdomen, thighs, and breasts.
Stretch marks can be treated with topical creams, such as retinoids or hyaluronic acid, which help to improve the texture of the skin.
7. Surgical Scars
Surgical scars are caused by surgical incisions and can vary in size and shape depending on the type of surgery. They can be raised, flat, or sunken, and they are often more noticeable in areas with thin skin, such as the face.
Surgical scars can be treated with silicone sheets, which help to flatten the scar and reduce redness, or laser resurfacing, which helps to smooth out the scar.
Scars are a natural part of the healing process, but they can be unsightly and sometimes even cause physical discomfort. There are various types of scars, each with unique causes and treatment options. Treatment options for scars include corticosteroid injections, silicone sheets, dermal fillers, laser resurfacing, physical therapy, and topical creams.
If you have a scar that is causing you physical or emotional discomfort, speak with your dermatologist or healthcare provider to determine the best treatment option for you.
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