Scar Types and Treatments

Skin acts as a seamless organ, shielding precious items with a delicate fabric. Think of a silky material. Even a tiny rip can have a significant impact on how it appears. The same holds for the skin. A scar might result after a burn, an injury, or another trauma, such as surgery.

A scar is okay if it is minor or in a place where it can be covered up easily. But if it is not, you might be curious as to whether there is a different approach you can take to treat it that would either make it go away or at least modify how it appears, other than hiding it beneath your clothes.

The scar will not ever totally disappear, in actuality. However, various techniques may be used to lessen its size and alter its look.

What is a Scar?

The body uses scars as a mechanism to repair and replace skin that has been lost or injured. You will probably get a scar if you lose skin as a consequence of an injury or surgery. To close the wound and fill in any holes, your skin will begin to create new tissue, leaving a scar. Collagen-rich fibrous tissue generally makes up scars.

On the body, scars can appear everywhere. Your face and your toe both have the potential to develop scars. In the end, it just comes down to where the wound occurred. Each person’s scar may seem different based on the type of scar they have.

Some scars are painless and flat. Some scars are itchy and raised. Scars can be painful, pigmented, or sunken. All of it just relies on how you acquired the scar. Distinct traumas, medical treatments, or infections can result in a variety of distinct forms of scars.

A scar’s appearance varies from person to person. For instance, keloid scars, which we will discuss further below, are more likely to form in persons with darker skin. The ultimate appearance of a scar depends on a variety of factors, including age, skin type, injury kind, wound orientation, and more.

Most of the time, a scar will disappear on its own, but not all scars do. The type of scar might affect how it feels and looks, which can lead to anxiety.

Scar therapy is a fantastic option if this is a problem you are having. To reduce the visibility of scars and reduce discomfort, there are several therapeutic alternatives.

woman with scars on her skin

Common Scar Types

You may be curious about the sort of scar you have if you have one on any region of your body. Scars are more complicated than you would imagine. Scars from accidents or surgeries come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes.  

a person holding her leg

Stretch Marks

Stretch marks develop when the skin quickly stretches or contracts. Due to this, the connective tissues under the skin are harmed, leaving a scar. Stretch marks are frequently seen throughout pregnancy and adolescence. Stretch marks might also appear if you significantly change your weight.

Stretch marks can appear everywhere on your body, but the stomach, arms, and breasts are where they appear most frequently. Stretch marks often appear as lines over the body and, depending on the person, might be pink, red, brown, or another color. Stretch marks first appear black and visible but with time they will progressively disappear.

Stretch marks may be treated in a number of different methods, both at home and by a professional. Stretch marks can be treated using over-the-counter ointments to help them lighten. You can utilize prescription medications like tretinoin cream or hyaluronic acid. In addition, doctors can use a variety of techniques including chemical peels and laser treatment to lessen the appearance of stretch marks.

postoperative keloid on the wrist


Raised scars that develop above the skin’s surface are called keloid scars. Keloid scars are large, irregular masses of tissue that develop at the site of a lesion and extend beyond it. This growth can be bothersome and restrict movement. Keloid scars are often red or dark in color, however, the exact shade depends on the person’s skin tone.

Anywhere that the skin is injured, a keloid might develop. A keloid can develop following surgery, a cut, a piercing, and more. The scar basically grows outside of the wound site as a result of an excessive healing of a skin wound. Up to a year after the initial wound, a keloid might develop.

Keloids can appear anywhere on the body, but the chest, back, shoulders and earlobes are where they most frequently appear. This is due to the fact that certain parts of your skin are less fatty, which makes them more prone to keloid development. Keloids are also more common in those with darker skin tones.

Keloid scars can be treated in a variety of methods; however, recurrence is frequently seen following therapy. One alternative that helps to lessen the potential itching and redness is steroid injections. Another alternative includes freezing the scar from your body using cryotherapy. The appearance of keloids can also be reduced with the aid of pressure treatment, surgery, and radiation.

Hypertrophic scar (4 months after incident)

Raised (hypertrophic)

Keloids resemble raised scars, commonly referred to as hypertrophic scars. They develop when too much collagen forms at the site of a wound. Contrary to keloid scars, a hypertrophic scar will not spread over the edge of a cut. However, a hypertrophic scar may thicken and become more obvious over time.

After cosmetic procedures, a hypertrophic scar frequently develops. There will always be a scar when an incision is made to do cosmetic surgery. In places where the skin is stretched, such as the back, chest, shoulders, and upper arms, hypertrophic scars frequently develop.

A hypertrophic scar may not appear for a few weeks after the incision has healed. It may go away on its own, although this process can take more than a year. Therefore, if you’re self-conscious about a hypertrophic scar, looking into treatment options is a smart idea.

One method of treating hypertrophic scars is using steroids. Direct application or an injection may be used for this. Another treatment that targets the blood vessels in the scar to stop development is laser therapy. You can also have the scar physically removed by surgery, but this is usually a last resort.

Scar tissue on an arm


A flat scar will first be elevated and will eventually become flat. They typically have pink or red colors. The scars may develop somewhat darker or lighter than the surrounding skin depending on your skin type and skin tone.

Even while flat scars usually fade on their own, there are a number of techniques to lessen their visibility if you are self-conscious about it. Effective treatments include surgery, silicone injections, and silicone sheeting.

A boy presenting with the characteristic blisters on chickenpox

Depressed (atrophic)

Chickenpox commonly leaves behind depressed scars, also known as atrophic scars. Atrophic scars, which resemble a slight depression in the skin, develop when the skin is unable to repair tissue. These scars are most frequently found on the face, where they can become worse over time as collagen production declines with age.

Atrophic scars commonly appear on the face, which can lead to many insecurities. Fortunately, there are a number of professional and non-professional approaches to healing atrophic scars. You can receive treatments including chemical peels, fillers, and skin needling at a dermatologist’s clinic. You can also utilize a variety of over-the-counter treatments to lessen the visibility of atrophic scars.

Wound contracture following deep burn injury


Usually, a burn scar develops into a contracture scar. Due to the skin and underlying tissue squeezing together during the healing process, a contracture scar can tighten the skin and limit movement. Muscles, joints, and tendons may all be affected by a contracture scar, which ultimately causes less mobility.

This immobility can be very upsetting, depending on the size and placement of your contracture scar. Thankfully, there are several approaches to repairing a contracture scar.

A typical case of a teenager with acne, pimples in various parts of the head

Acne scars

You most likely have the scars to show for your bad acne. Acne scars come in a variety of shapes and sizes, from deep pits to waves or angular scars. The sort of acne scars you have will determine the available treatments.

a doctor doing a facial treatment on a patient

Scar Treatment Options

Even though scars are very common, the majority nevertheless feel insecure about them. You could feel incredibly self-conscious if you have a scar that is a certain size, color, or kind. Finding the right treatment for your scar is so important.

But make sure you visit a dermatologist first before you go ahead and self-diagnose yourself with a certain kind of scar. A dermatologist is educated about all different kinds of scars and may offer helpful advice on how to manage them.

Different scars call for various treatment approaches, thus treating scars is not a one-size-fits-all problem. A dermatologist can identify the type of scar you have, determine if it will naturally disappear, and recommend the most effective course of therapy.

Your dermatologist may suggest one of several scar treatment treatments, including:


Dermatologists can use cryosurgery to freeze scars by removing the scar tissue. The main purposes of cryosurgery are to minimize the size of keloids and to relieve discomfort and itching. A keloid’s size can be reduced by more than 50% with one therapy session.

Scar surgery

A dermatologist manually removes the scar during this procedure. Scar surgery is a therapy option that has a chance of success but should only be performed after all other options have failed. This is due to the fact that a scar might reappear even after being medically removed.

Scar surgery is frequently performed to improve mobility if it is restricted by a scar, reduce the size of a keloid scar, or both.

Laser therapy

A widely common kind of treatment, laser therapy may significantly lessen the visibility of scars. In addition to lessening the look of scars, laser therapy can help prevent scars from developing, diminish post-operative scarring, lighten scar color, relieve discomfort and irritation, and do a variety of other things.

Generally speaking, laser treatment is a highly safe operation with little adverse effects. Just be sure to speak with your dermatologist to see if it is the best course of action for you.

Radiation therapy

Another alternative for treating scars is radiation therapy. Radiation therapy can lessen keloids and elevated scars, ease itching and discomfort, and lower the possibility of a scar reappearing following surgery.

Due to the possibility that radiation therapy might cause cancer, it is not nearly as prevalent as the other treatment alternatives. Radiation therapy may also have a few adverse effects, such as swelling and black patches. Only as a last resort should radiation treatment be thought of.

Silicone gel

Silicone gel works well for treating a variety of scar types and can be applied as an ointment or a sheet. A raised scar can be treated with silicone gel to reduce its size and toughness. Additionally, it can be used to avoid scarring, particularly following surgery. Usually, silicone gel sheets outperform ointments in terms of effectiveness.

Pressure therapy

To stop a scar from growing as it heals, pressure therapy uses a pressure garment, such as an elastic bandage or stocking. If you have a keloid surgically removed, pressure treatment may also be able to stop it from coming back.

It is important to keep the garment on as long as possible during pressure treatment. Depending on the size and severity of your scar, you might need to wear your pressure garment for more than a year.

Injections of corticosteroids

These steroid injections are frequently used to treat keloids and elevated scars. A corticosteroid injection performed by a dermatologist will help to lessen the size and look of the scar as well as the itching and pain associated with it.

This has shown to be a very effective course of therapy, and it may cut a scar’s size by more than 50%. Usually, many injections are needed.

a dermatologist checking the client’s face


Injuries, surgeries, or skin disorders like chickenpox can all leave scars behind. Whatever their cause, it is essential to seek a dermatologist’s advice for the best course of action to lessen their look and pain. Do not allow scars to lower your self-esteem; get the right care and feel better about your skin.