While some people consider their scars to be marks of pride, many people just want them to go away. Since they can affect your appearance, they can make you feel self-conscious.
If you want to get rid of an old scar, you need to understand what a scar is and what type you’re trying to get rid of.
A scar forms as part of the natural healing process following an injury. When the dermis — the second layer of skin — is damaged, your body forms collagen fibers to repair the damage, and that results in a scar.
There are different types of scars, each with defining characteristics.
Atrophic scars are characterized by the loss of tissue. They appear depressed, serrated, or flat against the upper layer of the skin. Often atrophic scars have darker skin pigmentation than other area of your skin. Examples of atrophic scars include acne scars and chickenpox scars.
Hypertrophic scars are characterized by excess tissue that forms over the skin as it heals. Unlike a keloid scar, it does not grow outside the injured area. Hypertrophic scars are commonly darker than other skin in the area.
Keloid scars are the result of aggressive healing and an overproduction of tissue. They are characterized by a raised, thick, puffy appearance. They are typically darker than the surrounding skin. Unlike a hypertrophic scar, keloid scars can grow beyond the injured area.
Contracture scars result from large areas of skin being lost or damaged, typically from burns. They are characterized by tight, shiny skin that can restrict movement.
Frequently Asked Questions
Scars are not harmful and do not require removal for medical reasons. However, if they are painful, limiting, or affect a person psychologically, a range of methods can reduce their appearance and discomfort. Laser treatment can help with scars by: decreasing pain or itchiness
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In some cases, a doctor or dermatologist may suggest a chemical peel or microdermabrasion to help improve the appearance of scarred areas. These milder treatments can be done right in the office. For serious scarring from previous bouts with acne, several types of treatment can help: Laser resurfacing.