Scars come in all shapes and sizes.They can be flat or raised, darker or lighter than your own skin, ooth or puckered. Many scars - such as those from burns, cuts, and scrapes - can result from an fec tion or inflammation. Of course, scars can also come from surgery.Whatever the cause, scars often cause us embarrassment when they appear on our faces. However, today's surgical techniques make it possible to revise scars, making them much less noticeable.
What Causes Scars?
Scars are actually nature's way of protecting you. When skin is damaged or lost, your body's natural response is to form collagen, which supports healing, replaces the injured skin, and protects the area from infection and outside irritants.
The characteristics of a scar depend on many factors, including:
- The size, direction, and depth of the original injury
- Its location on your body and the blood supply to that area
- Your age at the time of injury
- Your skin characteristics, including thickness and color
- Your overall health and nutrition.
Types of Scars
Contracture scars develop after a large area of skin is lost.This often results from burns.These scars are contracted, meaning they are tight or puckered, because they cover a smaller area than the original skin, sometimes pulling on nearby muscles and tendons.
Keloids occur when collagen formation, which occurs naturally after an injury, continues after the wound has healed, causing these scars to spill out of the boundaries of the wound.These scars may be thick, puckered, or "ropey" and tend to be red or darker than the surrounding skin. Some keloids grow to resemble tumors.The scars may itch or cause a burning sensation.
Though keloids can occur anywhere on the body, they tend to form on the chest, the shoulders, the back, or the earlobes, usually after ear piercing. Keloids rarely occur on the face but may occur on the neck or jawline. More common in people with thick or dark skin, a keloid can develop a year or more after the original injury. Keloids are so stubborn that they often return despite a surgeon's best efforts to remove them.
Scar revision with laser skin resurfacing
Hypertrophic scars are overdeveloped scars that occur most often when a wound's healing is delayed, for example by infection or reinjury. Though hypertrophic scars may be thick, red, and ropey like keloids, they differ from keloids in that they stay within the boundaries of the original wound. Hypertrophic scars may improve on their own or with steroid applications or injections. When they are removed surgically, they usually don't come back as keloids often do.
Hypopigmented scars are whitish, silverish or pale in color due to a lack of the skin pigment melanin, the substance that gives color to skin.These scars result when pigment-producing cells are damaged by broken blood vessels and inflammation. Sometimes scars that are lighter than the surrounding skin are treated with micropigmentation - basically t a tt ooing the scar tissue. If you choose this method, find a micropigmentation technician who is skilled and experienced in scar camouflage. Ask your plastic surgeon for a recommendation.
You might also ask your surgeon to recommend a licensed cosmetologist. Someone who is experienced in camouflaging all kinds of scars can be a tremendous help to you both before and after your scar revision procedure.
Scars are permanent, though many fade, practically becoming invisible with time. Qualified plastic surgeons experienced in scar revision do an excellent job of camouflaging facial scars using a variety of techniques.