What are scars?

Scars are permanently visible skin disorders that appear on wounds when healing. As part of this healing process an excess of collagen connective tissue may be formed, causing a thickening that is less appealing than the original skin.


What causes scars?

Scars occur after the deeper layers of the skin (the dermis and/or the subcutaneous tissue) have been damaged. The skin consists of three layers, the epidermis (the upper skin), the dermis (the middle layer) and the hypodermis (the lower skin). If the epidermis has been damaged, for example by a superficial abrasion, no scar will be formed. A deep wound, such as cuts, usually goes through the dermis and hypodermis and will cause a scar. 

The type of scar that will be formed, depends on various factors:

  • The type of injury or skin condition
  • The predisposition to form certain scars. That might be hereditary or result from outer and genetic characteristics
  • An infection 
  • A bad condition of or blood supply to the wound
  • Scars as a result of a surgical procedure or another cause. When a wound is stitched closed, a different type of scar will emerge than when a wound heals itself. The size of wound also influences the type of scar that will be formed
  • The location on the body where the scarring has occurred. Surgical procedures on the torso result in thicker hypertrophic and keloid scars. A facial scar, on the contrary, usually heals naturally.

What kind of scars are there?

Regular/normal/small scars
When a wound heals normally, usually small unobtrusive non-pigmented scar develops in the form of a line or spot.


Atrophic scars

This scar tissue is normally thin, smooth, supple and elastic. This type of scar is often the result of a fungal or viral infection.

Scars resulting from (severe) acne
Acne scars can be deep depressions taking the form of pits in the skin.

Hypertrophic scars
Hypertrophic scars are red, thick and swollen and can be painful or itchy. They appear about three weeks after an injury has occurred. Over a period of several months to a year they become thicker, but do not expand beyond the original injury area. Hypertrophic scars occur on the torso, shoulders, neck and ears. There is normally a genetic or race-related predisposition for the development of this type of scar tissue. African people often have a predisposition to forming hypertrophic scars.

Keloid scars
Keloid scars are thicker and irregular scars as result of an expansion of the scar tissue outside the original injury area. They can cover a large area of the skin. Keloid scars usually arise after trauma and are comparatively common among black people.

Mature and immature scars
The different types of scars can further be divided into 'mature and immature' scars.

Immature scars are young, red and swollen scars, up to approximately 2 years old and can be itchy or painful. These young scars are still in the healing process. Once the healing process has stopped, a scar has matured. These are recognised by their light colour and even structure. These scars do not fade with time.


Treating scars

Scars can be easily treated at home. By using HeltiQ Scar Gel scars become less visible, more even, supple and smoother. In addition, the gel minimises itching, pain and redness of scars. HeltiQ Scar Gel is easy to apply and ensures an effective outcome.

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