A scar is a mark left on your skin after an injury heals. When you injure your skin — by accident or from a surgery — your body works to repair the wound. The body creates collagen (a tough fiber in your body that gives the skin strength and flexibility) to reconnect the tissues broken apart by the injury. While the body does this work, it creates a scab over the wound. The scab protects the wound from germs as the body heals.
When the injured skin is repaired, the scab dries up and falls off. In its place, there may or may not be a scar. If there is a scar, it can be pale pink, brown, or silver.
Here are some things you can do to make a scar less visible:
- When you injure your skin, keep it moist and covered while it heals. You can use petroleum jelly to keep the wound moist. This can prevent a scar or keep a scar from getting too large, deep or itchy.
- Silicone gel sheeting — This is a sticky, clear pad that goes over a cut and can speed healing. It also can also make scars less red and painful.
When scars do form, they are usually pale and flat, although some can be raised. Called hypertrophic or keloid scars, these occur when the body produces too much collagen.
Keep in mind, though, that scars cannot be completely erased. No treatment will return your skin to the way it looked before an injury.
Reduction of scar appearance can be achieved by protecting the scar from the sun with regular and frequent applications of sunscreen. Additionally topical prodcuts can help reduce scar discoloration. Fraxel laser resurfacing, a procedure done in our office, offers a more aggressive treatment for scar treatments. Keloids can be treated with topical or intralesion injections with steroids.