DefinitionA scar is skin that forms over a wound as the skin heals. There are five main types of abnormal scars:
- Keloid—Thick scars that grow out from the skin. They spread beyond the site of the wound.
- Contracture—Often the result of a burn injury. The scar appears as a tightening of the skin. This type may also affect muscles and nerves below the skin.
- Hypertrophic—Thick, raised scars. They look like keloid scars but do not spread beyond the site of the wound.
- Atrophic—Thinned out, cigarette paper-like scars.
- Pitted or Acne—May look like deep pits or be angular and wavelike.
CausesA scar is part of the normal healing process. The scar is made of the same material as the surrounding skin but it is made a little differently. As a result, the scar tissue appears different than the surrounding skin.
Risk FactorsFactors that may increase your chance of having a scar include:
- Injury or type of injury to the skin, such as a cut, scrape, puncture, or burns
- How your skin scars—some people scar more easily than others
- Where the injury occurred
- How long it took for your skin to heal
- Age, heredity, gender, and ethnicity
|Normal Surgical Scar|
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Signs and SymptomsA scar may first look red and thick. It may may feel numb, itchy, painful, or sensitive. Some scars may also cause physical difficulties. For example a scar on the face may affect movement of the eyelids, or restrict motion, especially at a joint.Over time, the scar will change. It may become raised/thick, flat, depressed, dark, or light in color. The type of the wound will affect how noticeable the scar is.
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