Scars May Occur

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two professionals performing a surgery

Lasted updated 01/19/2021

Chances are we all have at least one, unfortunately, some more than others. Scars are the noticeable sign after a wound has healed. The scar may present a different texture and appearance. Individuals may heal differently. The scar will never completed disappear. Most, with time, will fade and turn a lighter color.

Scars may form after an injury (dog bite) or a surgical procedure (Cholecystectomy). We may also develop scar tissue internally.

An Injury Causing a Scar

By skinning a knee, damage is caused to the skin. To heal the area the dermis will produce more collagen. A scab forms and this may cause a scar.

It is important to keep the injury clean using soap and water to prevent germs from getting in. It is not a good idea to pick at a scab, this could cause an infection. The bandage will need to be changed daily. Keeping the wound moist will benefit healing.

A minor cut will usually leave a red, raised line. Although, it may take a couple years, this gradually becomes lighter and flatter.

If stitches are needed; follow your Doctors instructions on the home care and the removal.

Using sunscreen on the wound will help with sun protection, reduce discoloring and the scar should fade faster.

A Surgery Causing a Scar

A surgical incision (cut) is made to expose tissue, bone or organ in order to perform a procedure. It may also include cutting through fat and often muscle to reach the surgical site.

A laparoscopic procedure may include three or four incisions for different scopes. It is easier for smaller multiple incisions to heal than one larger.

Each skin layer (we have several) needs to be connected again by stitch or staple to close.

Inner scars (also called adhesions) may form internally after surgery.

Stitching closure by Anna Shvets from Pexels

Risk Factors of Scarring

  • Age
  • Race
  • Inherited tendency
  • Size and depth of your incision
  • How quickly you heal
  • Health conditions

What is a Keloid Scars?

A keloid scar is an overgrowth of tissue. This happens because too much collagen is being produced. This is caused due to the scar continuing to grow, even though the wound has healed.

Keloid scars are raised above the skin. They are red or purple in color at first, before turning lighter. These can be itchy and painful. If they are tight and near a joint, this can restrict movement.

Keloids can develop anywhere but more common on the face, neck, ear (sometimes due to piercings or tattoos), chest or shoulders.

On those with darker skin, the scar may fade leaving a brown or white mark.

What is a Hypertrophic Scars?

Hypertrophic scars are similar to keloid in the result of over producing collagen but not as much.

Unlike keloids they don’t continue to grow in size but may still thicken up to six months.

To start they are red and raised. Over the span of several years they become flatter and lighter in appearance.

male has injured his leg and female looks on
male has injured his leg and female looks on photo by Andrea Piacquadio from

What are Pitted or Sunken Scars?

Pitted or Sunken scars can be left by conditions such as acne and chickenpox.

Pitted scars also called atrophic or ice pick scars, can also result from an injury that causes a loss of underlying fat.

What are Scar Contractures?

Scar Contractures are usually caused by burns. This results when the skin shrinks causing the tightness and the restriction of movement.

What are Stretch Marks?

Stretch marks are often caused by hormonal changes; pregnancy, puberty or weight gain.  As in pregnancy this takes place because the body is stretching the skin quickly as the area grows. The streaks or lines are reddish and may appear narrow on the surface caused by the dermis tearing.

Massaging your tummy with oils, lotions or creams may help prevent these during your pregnancy. The light massage can calm the baby.

How to Prevent Scars

These Can Harm our Skin. Certain factors can be controlled by quitting the activity or changing habits.

  • Smoking
  • Drinking
  • Nutrition
  • Hydration
  • Weight
  • Preventing infection

What Treatments can Help Scars?

Massage is encouraged. Begin massaging the scar after the wound has closed and staples or sutures are removed. This can be done with essential oil (extra benefits to skin) or lotion. Your hands should glide across skin not pull or tug. Massaging may smooth out bumps and lumps while healing.

Oils to use include:

Warning: some essential oils (Tea Tree) may cause an allergic reaction.

Always wear your sunscreen.  Because a scar is damaged skin the area won’t tan. It will remain lighter but it could discolor from the sun.

Aloe Vera may be applied to the scar. It has been known for centuries as a medical plant. Great for soothing inflammation around wound areas. Roman soldiers took it to the battlefields.

There are also estheticians who specialize in Skin Camouflage. This is applying a special make-up to cover skin imperfections (Vitiligo) and scarring resulting from burns. You are taught how to do this.

male having face sutured
male having face sutured photo by cottonbro from

How Scars Affect You Emotionally

Scars can leave an impact on our self-confidence and self-esteem. Scarring can leave an emotional affect as well as the physical. Having a facial scar for example, can be distressing. There may be feelings of others staring which can make the situation worse. Avoiding people due to your appearance can lead to social isolation and feelings of depression. There are support groups available.

Can a Scar be Removed?

If a scar is bothersome you should seek medical advice for options. Removing the scar entirely may not be possible but it would help improve the appearance.

A surgeon may suggest a large hypertrophic or keloid scar be removed. This procedure includes the surgeon reclosing the incision with a special cosmetic technique. This should result with a thinner and less noticeable scar.

Because this is a plastic/cosmetic procedure your health insurance may not cover it. This is something you should consider.

What is Reconstructive Surgery for a Scar?

For a scar due to a burn, which may cover a large area a reconstructive procedure, may be done. Like a skin expansion which is replacing the burn scar with normal skin.

A small balloon is implanted under the healthy skin with the scar. The expanded skin is then used weeks later to replace the damaged or burned skin. This new skin then heals naturally.

You are not alone. Most of us have at least one.

How and what caused your scar?

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Header Photo two professionals performing a surgery by Vidal Balielo from

Mary is the founder of All About Our Skin. Former esthetician and CPC. Enjoys researching skincare and has been studying our skin for the past fourteen years.


The listing or mention of an organization, website or product is not meant as an endorsement or promotional purposes of any kind but simply to educate and pass on information.

This website is for informational purposes and not for diagnosis.

If you have a health condition or concern, please consult your doctor.

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