Scar - Western SummaryWestern Medicine Summary

Western Medicine

Western Summary

Scars form as a response to injury and there are many different kinds of scars. While scarring is a normal response of the skin, scars can also form abnormally when there is too much of a scarring response. Three kinds of scars include: 

1) Regular scars - the typical form of a scar

2) Hypertrophic scars - a thickened scar that stays within the bounds of the original injury or wound

3) Keloid scar - a thickened scar that spreads beyond the original injury or wound

Symptoms

A scar is an area of skin in which the local structure and architecture was changed due to healing after an injury or surgery. Scars can come in different shapes, thicknesses, and colors. 

Causes

Scars primarily form after some type of injury to the skin. 

 

Treatments

Once scarred, the skin will never return to its previous state. Because of this, the different treatments that are available focus on improving the appearance of the scar, rather than curing it. The effectiveness of these treatments often depends on how long the scar has been present; in general, older scars do not respond to treatment as well as newer ones. 

Depending on the type of scar (ex: keloid, hypertrophic, etc.) and its color, different laser therapies may be implemented to correct a scar’s appearance. Various medications can also be injected into scars to reduce their thickness. Massaging the scar can sometimes help break up thickened tissue within it.

Some scars can be surgically removed or augmented (if they are too thin) to create a less noticeable scar, or to change the direction of the scar to allow better movement of the affected body part. There is no way to entirely remove a scar once it is present. All treatments are meant  to improve the function of the affected body part if the scar is causing a restriction in movement and/or make the scar less visible.