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Scars


What is it ?

Following skin traumas such as burns, injuries, severe acne or surgeries, the skin regenerates itself to protect against infections and then closes and heals the damaged area. Healthy cells migrate to the wound and then multiply to complete the healing process. The latter can cause hyperkeratinization – the abnormal multiplication of epidermal cells, which results in a texture that is different from the rest of the skin.

There are several types of scars:

Depigmented scars

Which are lighter in colour than the natural pigmentation.

Hyperpigmented scars

Which are darker in colour than the natural pigmentation.

Atrophic scars

Characterized by the formation of an indentation caused by a lack of dermis.

Hypertrophic scars

Which, through a thicker dermis, form a small raised relief at the site of the lesion.

Keloids

Which come from a protrusion of the dermis.

What are the causes?

The healing process is carried out more or less quickly depending on our lifestyle, our age, the location of the wound and its degree of severity. Nevertheless, several factors influence the healing process and the long-term appearance of scars:

The immune system

Some drugs, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and immunosuppressants, and treatments, such as chemotherapy, and certain diseases such as diabetes and kidney failure affect the body's immune system and healing capacity. Healing may then be more difficult and the appearance of scars may be accentuated.

Age

Over time, cells multiply and regenerate less quickly and collagen production slows down. This explains why children's scars form quickly and why those of adults and older people form more slowly and tend to remain more apparent.

Lifestyle

Diet, physical activity, stress management, alcohol and tobacco consumption, as well as environmental aggressors such as cold and sun are all factors that influence healing. Lifestyle can have an impact on collagen production and skin cell multiplication, which in turn can slow down healing making scars more noticeable in individuals with unbalanced diets and sedentary and/or stressful lifestyles.

Skin Type

Skin type is an important determinant of how the scars heal. Darker skin types (IV and up) are more likely to heal with hypertrophic scars or keloids. Areas where there is a lot of movement such as around joints can result in a worse looking scar due to constant stretching of the scar. Hypertrophic scars are excess scar tissue within the boundary of the original scar, whereas keloid scars are excess scar tissue that goes beyond the original scar.

Causes

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