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What is a Scar

What is a Scar?

A scar, also known as scar tissue, is the fibrous tissue that replaces normal skin after injury. It is a mark that is left on the skin after a wound or injury has healed. Some scars fade after some time, but they never completely disappear. A burn, injury, scratch, or other kinds of trauma on the skin can leave a scar on the body. 

In some parts of the body, the scar can be concealed easily. But when it forms on body parts like the face, neck, etc., it becomes difficult to hide them. Bothered by the scar’s appearance, many people seek treatment to conceal it or modify it to improve its appearance.

How does a scar form

Why does scar form?

Scars form as a result of the biological wound repair process of the skin. It is a natural part of the healing process. When the skin gets injured, collagen is released to heal the skin and replace the damaged tissues. However, the fiber composition of collagen released in this manner is slightly different and inferior to the normal collagen alignment. That is why, as the wound heals and skin repairs, the original composition of the skin is not restored, which leaves a visible mark. 

Besides minor skin lesions, wounds from accidents, disease, or surgery often don’t heal completely and result in some degree of scarring.

Types of Scars

Atrophic

Atrophic

Keloid

Keloid

Hypertrophic

Hypertrophic

Contracture

Contracture

Causes of Scarring

  • Scratches
  • Injury
  • Accident
  • Surgery
  • Disease
  • Burns
  • Skin issues like acne

Symptoms

  • Itchiness
  • Tenderness
  • Pain
  • Dark skin
  • Stretch marks
  • Reduced range of motion

Diagnosis

The self-diagnosis of a scar is very easy. You will only have to keep an eye on the skin tissues as it heals from the injury. In the beginning, the skin will be dark, light, or pink compared to the surrounding tissues.

You may notice that the texture of the scarred skin is thicker than the rest of the body. In some cases, the scar may also cause pain and itching.

Self Diagnosis of scar

Severity

The severity of the scar is assessed on the following basis-

  • Anatomical location of the scar
  • Symptoms like pain and itching
  • Functional impairment of the damaged tissues
  • Stigma or mental effect of the scar on the patient

The quantitative assessment of the scar is also done using different techniques to determine its severity.

  • How to prevent scar formation?

    It is not always possible to prevent the formation of scars. If you get an injury and the skin tissue is damaged, a scar may start to develop. You can take some measures to make the scar less noticeable. 

    Here are the things you should follow to prevent major scarring- 

     

    • See a doctor, dermatologist, or plastic surgeon to get the scar examined and get care tips to reduce scarring as the wounded skin heals. Make sure that you follow the doctor’s instructions carefully. 
    • Clean the wound properly and regularly with soap and water to prevent dirt, dust, or dried blood accumulation. 
    • Keep the wound covered with a bandage to keep the germs out, and change the bandage frequently. 
    • Use petroleum jelly or moist burn pads to keep the wound moist and hydrated, thereby preventing scab formation due to dryness in the skin. 
    • Protect the skin from direct sunlight or UV rays. Always use sunscreen while going out and avoid prolonged exposure, as it can darken the damaged skin. 
    • Get ample nutrition and eat foods that are rich in vitamins C and D. Also, get an adequate amount of high-quality protein to promote the healing of the scar.

When to consult a doctor for scar removal?

You should consider seeing a dermatologist or a plastic surgeon regarding a scar in the following scenarios-

  • If the scar’s appearance bothers you. 
  • If the scar changes appearance. 
  • If there is itchiness in the scar. 
  • A mole, freckle, or abnormal growth is present on or near the scar.

Questions to Ask Your Doctor

Do you have specialized training in scar removal procedures?
How many procedures have you performed?
Why am I a good candidate for scar removal surgery?
When and how will you perform the surgery?
What are the potential risks and complications of the suggested treatment method?
What will be done to reduce the risks during the surgery?
Can you show before and after photos of the specific procedures so that I know what to expect from the procedure?
What are my options if I am dissatisfied with the results of the surgery?

Treatment options & Cost

All types of scars are composed of the same collagen, which is different from the normal tissues and also lacks elasticity. Based on the amount of collagen produced, the scars are classified into various types. The common types are- 

  • Hypertrophic Scars- This type of scar arises when the body produces collagen in an excess amount. Due to this, the scar rises above the skin and appears as a lump. 
  • Keloid Scars- This type of scar is a severe form of scarring and they can grow indefinitely large like benign tumors. They are distinct from hypertrophic scars by the lack of growth outside the original wound area. 
  • Atrophic Scars- Also known as depressed scars, they often form as a result of diseases like chicken pox, acne, etc. They appear as small indentations on the skin. 
  • Contracture Scars– This type of scar forms when the skin has been burned. After the burn, the tissues tighten, which also impairs the individual’s mobility. Moreover, these burns are deeper than other types of scars and also affect muscles and nerves.  
  • Acne Scars– Even the acne that forms on the skin can sometimes leave scars. The scar may have deep pits to an angular or wavelike appearance.
  • Stretch Marks- This type of scar appears when the skin (connective) tissues expand and shrink quickly. They often develop mainly due to weight gain or weight loss and occur mostly on the breasts, stomach, thighs, and upper arms.

Insurance coverage

Treatment of various types of skin problems, including scars, is covered in health insurance policies. It is a common belief that dermatological issues are not covered under the base insurance policy. The exact amount of coverage you can get for a specific treatment might vary depending on your policy. Thus, it is always important to discuss the matter with your insurance provider.

Even at Pristyn Care, we accept all major health insurance for scar removal procedures. Moreover, we also assist our patients with the insurance approval and claim process.

Latest Research

  • Researchers find a drug that enables healing without scarring

  • Research progress of scar repair and its influence on physical and mental health

  • Scientists uncover how a molecule improves the appearance of surgery scars

FAQ

Is a scar permanent?

Scarring on the skin is often permanent. A scar may gradually fade away and become smoother, and softer as it heals. However, the mark may be left on the skin for a very long time. Typically, if a scar doesn’t fade in 2 years, it is unlikely to fade more after that.

How long can a scar take to heal?

Typically, a scar can take around 12 to 18 months to heal completely. The exact period may vary depending on the type of scar. Initially, the scarred skin will appear dark and after some time, it will start to fade.

Can scars grow with age?

As you age and grow, your skin elongates naturally. During the growth, if the old collagen throughout the body is replaced by new collagen, then the scar will shrink with age. However, if the collagen growth is not stimulated in the scar, it may appear longer or bigger due to elongation of the skin tissues.

What are the different options to get rid of scars?

There are various treatment methods available to improve a scar’s appearance. The common methods include-

  • Chemical peels 
  • Filler injections
  • Laser treatment
  • Radiotherapy 
  • Dressings or topical silicone 
  • Steroids 
  • Surgery 
Can I use makeup to conceal my scars?

Yes. You can use either cosmetic products or medical makeup to conceal the scars. However, these products are mostly available for facial scars, not for other body parts.

Are all types of scars can be treated using the same technique?

No, each type of scar is slightly different, along with its composition. Thus, all treatment methods may not be applicable for all types of scarring. For example, a keloid scar can be treated with steroid injections, pressure therapy, cryosurgery, etc. Meanwhile, methods like skin grafting, Z-plasty, tissue expansion, etc. may be used for the treatment of contracture scars.

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Get Optimal Treatment for Scars at Pristyn Care

At Pristyn Care, we provide treatment for all types of scars, including keloid scars, contracture scars, hypertrophic scars, acne scars, etc. We have the best team of plastic surgeons who have 10+ years of experience in treating scars.

The most appropriate method of treatment is chosen for the patient after a careful and precise evaluation of the scar. Our doctors leverage modern techniques to improve the appearance of the scar. In many cases, we use the skin grafting technique for scar revision or removal. To learn more about the treatment methods, you can give us a call. 

Benefits of Choosing Pristyn Care for Scar Removal

Pristyn Care is a patient-centric healthcare provider. Our services are inclined in such a way that benefits the patients in every aspect. The all-inclusive care ensures that every patient has a seamless experience with us. With us, you will get- 

  • Optimal care at the best clinics and partner hospitals. 
  • Highly experienced plastic surgeons skilled in skin grafting and other scar revision techniques. 
  • Free pick and drop service on the day of surgery. 
  • Flexible payment options, including cash, cheques, credit cards, debit cards, and insurance.
  • No-Cost EMI service is provided to the patients to pay for the treatment in easy installments.  
  • Assistance in the insurance approval and claim process. 
  • Free post-surgery care, recovery guide, and follow-up consultations.

At every step of the journey, our representatives will stay in touch with you to provide complete assistance with every treatment-related formalities.

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