Who Can Develop a Scar?
The short answer to this is… everyone!
Creating a scar is a natural and necessary part of your body’s healing process as it works to repair any damaged structures. The type of scar you will end up with could be flat and a similar color to the rest of your skin. It may be a thin line or a wider, shiny scar. Some people can even be prone to developing keloids, which are a large and bulbous type of scar that can expand well beyond the borders of the original injury.
Types of Scarring
When your skin is injured, your body will do its best to close the area and repair any damaged structures. As a result, there are a few types of scars that someone can experience. In fact, someone can have multiple types of scars on their body depending on how their body reacted to the injury and whether or not it was closed professionally with stitches.
Vascular scarring occurs when scars are excessively red due to them containing a lot of blood vessels.
Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation occurs when a dark scar develops after inflammation from an injury. Many people experience this type of scarring as a result of acne.
Keloids, or hypertrophic scars, occur as a result of the body producing too much collagen during the healing process. The result is a scar that is raised and oftentimes darker than the surrounding area. Keloids can continue to grow past the size of the original injury and may require dermatological treatment.
Sunken scars occur when the underlying structures that support the skin are lost or damaged and the skin appears sunken or pitted. Most often, people with acne or who have undergone a surgical procedure get this type of scarring.
Stretched scars occur as a result of the skin stretching rapidly as a result of weight gain or pregnancy. This type of scarring is commonly known as stretch marks and almost everyone gets this type of scarring during growth spurts.
Treatment Options for Scars
Though scars are natural, many people find them unsightly and prefer to have them treated to completely remove or improve their appearance. Dr. Ip will examine each scar and talk to you about the potential treatment options available for you.
In the case of vascular scarring, Dr. Ip typically recommends sun protection to reduce the likelihood that a scar will become more red. When vascular scarring persists for more than six months, laser treatments may be a good option.
For post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, time may be all that’s needed to improve the appearance of this type of scar. If this condition persists, topical medications, chemical peels, and laser treatments can greatly improve the appearance of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
Treating keloids can be difficult as they are treatment-resistant and prone to coming back. It is important for anyone that is prone to developing keloid scars to talk to their doctor about this before any surgical procedure. Dr. Ip will work with you to discuss the treatment options available for keloids, including silicone dressings and other procedures.
Another type of procedure, known as scar removal or scar revision, may be an option for people who do not have raised scars. To improve the look of a scar, scar removal will use dermabrasion, microneedling, and laser resurfacing to help the scar blend in.
Fillers are also a surprising way to treat scarring, especially those with sunken scars since these injectables can help fill and smooth the scarred area.
Leave your skincare to the experts. Scars are a natural part of healing, but that doesn’t mean you have to live with a scar that is causing you some frustration or discomfort. If you would like to experience premier dermatological care to achieve beautiful and healthy skin, please schedule your appointment with Dr. Ip today.