What is scarring?

Scarring is a result of fibrous tissue forming around a wound during the biological healing process in the epidermis. The protective tissue which is created as a defence mechanism is an accumulation of redundant cell material which can create visible and permanent scar.

The degree of scarring varies from person to person, how healthy the skin is depends on the healing time of the wound. The pitted scarring that is often seen with acne scarring is called cuneiform scarring. This is a result of a slow healing process.

When the scars become irregular and rise above the skin's surface they are called hypertrophic scars. This is due to an irregular speed of healing. This type of scar generally does not fade or flatten with time.

Scar tissue is not identical to the tissue which it replaces and is usually of inferior functional quality; scar tissue for example is less resistant to ultraviolet radiation. Sweat glands and hair follicles do not grow back either after trauma. There are several types of scars that are the result of the body overproducing collagen to heal the wound.

HYPERTROPHIC which takes on the form of red raised lump on the skin, but does not grow beyond the boundaries of the original wound, and they often improve in appearance after a few years.

KELOID scars are more serious from scarring, because they carry on growing indefinitely into large, timorous benign growth.

ACNE SCARS have a pitted appearance in the skin and is caused when the underlying structures supporting the skin, such as fat or muscle have been depleted. This can also be a result of poor healing or a suppressed immune system.

STRIAE SCARS are caused then the skin is stretched rapidly during pregnancy, significant weight gain or adolescent growth spurts. This kind of scar is more commonly known as a stretch mark.