What are Scars?

Scars are an undesirable yet normal outcome of skin healing.  A scar is an area of fibrous tissue that replaces normal skin after injury - it is a biological process of skin repair.  The human body possesses a remarkable capacity to heal, and scars are a natural part of this healing process.  

How do Scars Form?

Scars form when the dermis is damaged.  The body forms new collagen to repair the damaged area, resulting in a scar.  The newly formed scar tissue will have a different texture and quality than the surrounding tissue.  Scars form after damaged skin is completely healed.  

Not all scars are made the same...

The healing process can differ from person to person and even from skin injury to skin injury within the same person.  This is why there are different kinds of scars. 

 

Most scars are flat and pale.  However, in cases where the body overproduces collagen, scars can be raised.  Raised scars are called hypertrophic scars or keloid scars.  Both of these kinds of scars are more commonly found in younger people & people with darker skin-tones.  

 

Some surgical scars and acne scars have a sunken or pitted appearance.  This occurs when underlying structures supporting the skin (i.e. fat or muscle) are lost. 

 

Scars also can be the result of the skin stretching too rapidly (i.e. stretch marks - growth spurts in adolescence &  pregnancy).