What are scars?
Scars are part of the body’s natural healing process. They can form on any part of the body — anywhere skin has become damaged and then repaired itself. Scars come in a variety of forms depending on how the skin ‘repairs’ itself.
There are lots of reasons why scars may form due to injury and trauma. Usually some sort of scarring can occur after skin damage, but there are some rare exceptions such as tattoos and superficial scratches.
Scars can be flat, raised or sunken, may be a different colour to the rest of the skin and some can be painful and itchy.
How are scars formed?
Scars form when the skin is wounded and the body’s protective processes kick-in and start healing the damage. Collagen (a structural protein) is released, and new collagen fibres start to form at the site of the injury helping to repair and strengthen the wound — eventually a scar is formed which has a different structure to the original skin tissue it replaced.
- Scarring can be in the form of depressions or indentations — these are called atrophic scars
- Scarring can be raised or lumpy — these are ‘hypertrophic’ or ‘keloid’ scars and can sometimes be darker colours such as brown, pink or red.
Different types of scaring
There are lots of different types of scars, including:
- Normal fine-line scars
These are thin, raised lines of scar tissue that form after minor cuts or surgery
- Sunken and pitted scars
These atrophic types of scars are generally small, often round and commonly seen after chicken pox or acne has healed
- Keloid scars
Occur where too much collagen is produced and the scar continues to grow, becoming raised and spreading beyond the original area of skin damage (they can also be itchy and painful). They are commonly found on earlobes, shoulders and the upper back and chest
- Hypertrophic scars
These are also raised scars caused by extra collagen being produced but stay within the area of the original injury (unlike keloid scars). They can be red, itchy and painful, and are likely to form after a burn
- Widespread scars
These are soft, flat, pale scars that appear after fine lines of surgical scars have been gradually stretched. Stretch marks are a form of widespread scar.
- Scar contractures
Develop when scars form across joints or are at right angles to skin creases and the skin appears to shrink or contract. They are often seen after burns injuries heal.
Caring for scars
There are a variety of things you can do that can either improve or soften the appearance of scarring— but it may not be possible to completely return the skin to its original natural texture.
A combination of methods may be required depending on the type of scarring (atrophic or hypertrophic/keloid).
Using Bio-Oil Skincare Oil, for example, can help improve the appearance of scars but if you have severe scarring or are concerned about what to do, talking with your doctor or dermatologist can help you decide on the best options for you.
How can Bio-Oil Skincare Oil help?
Applying topical skin treatments — such as Bio-Oil Skincare Oil — can help improve the appearance of scars and reduce the redness of macular (flat) acne scars. Bio-Oil Skincare Oil is non-irritating and suitable for sensitive skin.
Bio-Oil Skincare Oil should be massaged in a circular motion into scars (avoiding broken skin), twice daily, for a minimum of 3 months. Results will vary from individual to individual.
You can use Bio-Oil Skincare Oil on a scar as soon as the skin on the surface has fully healed.