CAUSES & TYPES OF SCARRING

It is estimated that, on average, an individual has three scars on their body. Most scars can be attributed to everyday cuts, grazes and minor burns (34%). The remaining causes of scars include hospital surgery (20%), trauma (15%), elective surgery (15%), cosmetic surgery (10%) and mole removal (6%).

Common scars appear inflamed and dark in the beginning, but become flat and less noticeable over time resulting in a fine line scar.

Atrophic scars cause depressions or indentations below the surface of the skin. Examples are scars from acne or chickenpox.

Hypertrophic scars are raised above the surface of the skin characterized by excessive amounts of collagen. They remain within the boundary of the wound.

Keloid scars are also raised scars. However, keloids are characterized by the fact that they spread beyond the boundaries of a wound. They may continue to grow over time and usually recur after excision.

Contracture scars occur when the skin tightens permanently. They often develop following burn injuries or when scars cross joints. The scar tissue is resistant to stretching and can inhibit normal movement.

Stretch marks (Striae) occur during periods of rapid changes in weight, when the body expands faster than the skin covering it, causing internal tears in the skin tissue which form dermal scars.

Scars can cause physical discomfort and, in some instances, distressing psychological effects, particularly on a person's confidence and self-esteem.