Scars -- Overview
- Keloid—Thick scars that grow out from the skin. They spread beyond the site of the wound.
- Contracture—Often the result of a burn injury. The scar appears as a tightening of the skin. This type may also affect muscles and nerves below the skin.
- Hypertrophic—Thick, raised scars. They look like keloid scars but do not spread beyond the site of the wound.
- Atrophic—Thinned out, cigarette paper-like scars.
- Acne—May look like deep pits or be angular and wavelike.
- Injury or type of injury to the skin, such as a cut, scrape, puncture, or burns
- How your skin scars—some people scar more easily than others
- Where the injury occurred
- How long it took for your skin to heal
- Age, heredity, gender, and ethnicity
|Normal Surgical Scar|
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Signs and Symptoms
Creams, Ointments, and Gels
- Corticosteroids—can also decrease itching
- Silicone-containing patches, gels or creams
- Hyaluronic acid
- Work with your doctor to create a plan to properly treat and care for your skin.
- Avoid the temptation to pick or pop an acne pimple, since this can cause scarring and infection.
- Protect your skin from the sun.
- Wear pressure garments. Pressure garments are tight-fitting clothes that are worn over a burn. These garments can reduce scarring.
- Wear a splint to keep a joint straight.
- Practice range of motion exercises to keep muscles and joints flexible.
- Keep active. This will keep the scar stretched and prevent it from tightening.
The American Academy of Dermatology http://www.aad.org
American Osteopathic College of Dermatology http://www.aocd.org
Canadian Dermatology Association http://www.dermatology.ca
Healthy Canadians http://www.healthycanadians.gc.ca
Hypertrophic scar. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated December 3, 2013. Accessed September 28, 2014.
Keloid. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated September 3, 2014. Accessed September 28, 2014.
Preventing scars and contractures. Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters website. Available at: http://www.chkd.org/healthlibrary/content.aspx?pageid=P01754. Updated May 26, 2013. Accessed September 28, 2014.
Scars. National Health Services website. Available at: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Scars/Pages/Introduction.aspx. Updated September 4, 2014. Accessed September 28, 2014.
Facial scar revision. American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery website. Available at: http://www.aafprs.org/patient/procedures/facial%5Fscar.html. Accessed September 28, 2014.
Tips for taking care of your skin. Nemours Kids Health website. Available at: http://kidshealth.org/teen/your%5Fbody/take%5Fcare/skin%5Ftips.html. Updated June 2014. Accessed September 28, 2014.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 08/2014 -
- Update Date: 09/30/2013 -
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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