Monday, August 3, 2009

Scars, Keloids and Hypertrophic Scars


Please tweet and retweet



This blog covers skin scars only but does not include burn scars or scars related to breast implants.

Virtually everyone who lives long enough will have a skin scar from elective surgery or an injury. There has been a barrage of cosmetic surgery procedure modifications to decrease total incision length in the hope of creating less scarring. The healing of these disruptions in the skin surface follows a specific process. After the injury or cut there is bleeding. Once this stops an inflammatory process starts to get the cells needed for healing into the wound. New blood vessels grow into the area bringing in the energy needed to complete the healing process. You see this as a red color of the scar and the skin immediately next to the scar that blanches white with finger pressure. Within a week or two the healing is sufficiently strong that the wound should not reopen and any sutures that were placed can be removed. Even though the wound is healed it then must mature over the next 6 to 9 months depending on the type of injury, affected body part, age of individual etc. before the redness goes away and the increased blood flow is no longer needed. Once the scar has fully matured it usually does not blanch with finger pressure. Any problems in this process such as an infection, failure to suture a wound closed, certain vitamin deficiencies etc. prolong the healing time and in doing so result in worse more visible scarring. The skin of younger individuals makes strong repairs and tends to over heal, resulting in larger, thicker scars than on older skin. Skin over the jawbone is tighter than skin on the cheek and will tend to increase a scar's prominence. All scars are more amenable to treatment early in their life span before they mature. It is easier to prevent a bad scar from forming by control/manipulation in the early phases of wound healing than to treat one that has already formed.


facebook comment box