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Scars

The formation of a scar is part of the body’s natural healing process, because a scar is what happens when the skin experiences some sort of trauma, whether it be a burn, an injury, or a surgery. A scar will feel and look different from the surrounding skin, because it is actually made of collagen fibers, a protein produced by the body in its attempt to heal itself. Damage to the top and outermost layer of the skin, or the epidermis, usually doesn’t result in a scar. However, damage to the deeper layer, called the dermis, normally does. The appearance of scars varies, as they change with the type and extent of one’s injury. Other factors that can alter the appearance of scars include one’s age, sex, ethnicity, and even genes!

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There are different types of scars. The most common are acne scars, which as suggested by their name, are scars that are caused by severe acne. Contracture scars, which can reach the muscles and the nerves, are scars that result from being burned. These tighten the skin, making it more difficult to move. Raised, red scars are called hypertrophic scars. Keloid scars have an appearance similar to those of hypertrophic scars, but keloid scars are caused by a defective and aggressive healing process. Keloid scars are red knobby bumps that go beyond the injury. These scars are often itchy and thick. Hypertrophic scars and keloid scars are more common in younger people and those with dark complexion.

For treating hypertrophic scars, one may choose to have steroid injections or use silicone sheets like ScarHeal to flatten the scar. For keloid scars, one can undergo surgery for removal. One can also use creams like Blackmores, M&R Essentials, Sukin, and Natures Sunshine to soothe the tissues of the scar.

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