Scars are an often inevitable byproduct of life, appearing after serious cuts, surgery, acne, childbirth, and more. Scars can be raised or sunken, the same color as surrounding skin, lighter, darker, or colored red or purple.
There are individual responses to the cause of scars too. For example, some people are prone to keloid scars, thick, raised scars that might be discolored, itchy, or uncomfortable.
While many scars fade over time, keloids and other scars such as sunken acne scarring, may get worse.
Treatment can reduce the appearance of scars of any type, but the best chance to avoid scars altogether starts with the right wound care.
Facial plastic surgeon Alexis Furze, MD, and our team in Newport Beach, California, can help you with wound care and scar revision procedures when you want to avoid or treat scar tissue.
How scars form
Scar formation is a natural healing process that repairs and replaces skin that’s damaged in some way, like a cut, incision, infection, or inflammation. Scars can form anywhere on your body and may have different compositions, depending on their location, direction, and other factors.
Scars come in different types. We’ve already discussed keloid scars, which occur when your body continues to manufacture new collagen even after the original injury heals, up to a year later, and beyond the boundaries of the injury. Other scar types include:
- Atrophic scars, which develop as an indentation below the normal level of the skin, such as with acne scarring
- Contractures, which form at the site of a large area of skin damage that can affect movement of muscles and joints
- Hypertrophic scars, which are similar to keloids, though these stay within the boundaries of the initial trauma
Another type of scarring called an adhesion forms internally, between organs that aren’t normally connected. These don’t usually affect your appearance.
Will scars go away on their own?
Many scars fade over time without treatment. If they’re discolored, this could become less severe as the years pass and the scar blends in with surrounding skin.
Keloid and atrophic scars generally won’t fade. Keloid tissue often stays lighter than surrounding skin, and its elevated nature makes it more prominent. While revision surgery can remove keloid scars, there’s a chance the keloid could form again.
Atrophic acne scars can become deeper and more visible as you get older and your skin loses elasticity. The redness that’s often associated with these scars can persist without treatment.
Preventing and treating scar tissue
To reduce the risk of scar formation, you can treat any injury that might result in a scar. Dr. Furze recommends the use of Biocorneum® silicone gel, an advanced scar treatment product that’s cleared for use by the Food and Drug Administration for scar reduction.
Simply spread this fast-drying gel over the wound. It forms a protective layer that’s breathable and moves with your body, giving your natural healing process the best chance to prevent the formation of scars.
Dr. Furze also offers in-office scar revision surgery for older scars from previous injuries. Scar revision can reduce the appearance of a scar and restore restricted movement. Revision may also fix issues like chronically itchy scars.
To find out more about your scar treatment options, schedule an appointment by calling our Newport Beach, California, office today.