Everything You Need To Know About Scars: Causes, Types, and Treatments

Everything You Need To Know About Scars: Causes, Types, and Treatments


Scars are a part of our body and they can be used in a way to tell the story of our lives. Scars can be caused by any number of things like accidents, surgery, sports, or even acne. In this article, you'll learn everything you need to know about scars: their causes, types, and how to treat them.

What are scars?

A scar is a raised tissue layer that forms when skin cells are destroyed or damaged beyond repair. They are physical reminders of an event that occurred- sometimes physical, sometimes not. 

People most commonly get scars on their faces- this can be caused by a number of issues ranging from acne to burns. When the skin breaks or gets injured, it attempts to repair itself. Acne breakouts damage the skin to a great extent so scars are a common remainder. 

Scars as a form of self-expression

Scars are a form of self-expression. They are a reminder of what we've gone through and can be used to tell the story of your life. From scars on our hands, to scars on our legs, and even scars on our face, they are all a part of who we are.

There are many ways that you can prevent scars such as wearing gloves and long sleeves when you're working with knives or cutting tools. You should also avoid spilling liquids near your body so that you don't get any cuts that lead to scars later in life. Some people even choose to wear tight clothing so that there aren't any large gaps where the skin is exposed to damage.

4 Types of scars

There are many different types of scars. Each has its own characteristics and generally they are classified based on how they form. 

1. Keloid scars

These kinds of scars are large and raised. They form from small injuries but you’ll find that the skin around the injury is also raised. This is a keloid scar. 

You can get a keloid scar at the point of incision after a surgery or as the aftermath of acne. They don’t hurt in a painful way but they can look quite large and unattractive so some people have doctors try to minimize the damage. 

2. Contracture scars

Sometimes, when we get injured, the wound tries to minimize the damage by closing in on itself. This is called wound contraction. It is a healing response to reduce the number of skin cells that need repair. 

After the healing process is over, a scar might remain called a contracture scar. These look like wrinkles in a neat circular pattern- as if the skin pulls itself together by pulling on the edges. 

Contracture scars aren’t necessarily harmful but can be treated with skin grafts or other surgical procedures. 

3. Hypertrophic scars

Hypertrophic scars are abnormal responses to healing but that might be because they form after some form of skin trauma. High degree burns or surgical mishaps can elevate the skin and make it red. Pus forms under the surface as the skin tries to heal itself. 

This kind of scar can be treated using medications, freezing techniques, lasers, or surgery. It usually goes away 6 months to 3 years after it has formed. 

4. Acne Scars

Acne scars are their own thing. They are the most common of scars and even though they do improve over time, there is no telling how long they will last or their intensity. They can still be permanent if proper measures aren’t taken. 

There are even multiple categories of acne scars- boxcar, ice pick, rolling, etc. You can do at home treatment or you can visit a dermatologist if the issue persists. 

The best way to prevent acne scars is to maintain a healthy lifestyle and take care of your skin so that you prevent the acne itself.  

Causes of scars 

1. Accidents

Accidents are one of the most common reasons why someone would get a scar. If a person were to experience an accident that left them with a scar, they may feel overwhelmed with the size and shape of their scar. Some scars are more severe than others, but they're all still caused by accidents.

2. Surgery

There are many different causes of scars. One of the most common causes is surgery. Surgery can cause scars in a variety of ways like: incisions, tissue loss, and healing issues.

3. Sports injuries

Sports injuries are a major cause of scars. Some of the most common types of sports injuries that lead to scars are bruises, cuts, scrapes, burns, and fractures.

It is important to remember that your body heals itself. Scars can become red or worse after a while and they will eventually fade away on their own. There are ways you can prevent scarring as well. For example, proper form during sports activities can help prevent an injury from leading to a scar. Being aware of how to protect your skin with clothing and equipment will also reduce the risk for damage. It’s always good to talk to your doctor if you have any questions about this though!

4. Acne

Acne scars are those marks left behind by pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads. Acne scars can be easily seen on the face or body, but they often go unseen on the neck and behind the ears. These scars can be treated, but it's important to understand what causes them in order to prevent them from occurring. A good treatment method can even transform your skin

5. Burns

One of the most common causes of scars is burns, cuts, and other injuries. A scar can appear anywhere on the body due to burns, cuts, scrapes, or scratches. Burns heal with a bumpy texture that’s different than the rest of the skin. Scars from burns are most noticeable on light-skinned people because they’re darker in color when healed.

Treatment methods for scars

It is important to remember that the cause of a scar isn't always apparent so it's important to seek medical attention as soon as you notice one forming on your skin. There are over a hundred different treatment methods for scars. Here are a few: 

1. Over the counter creams, gels, ointments etc.

For mild scars (like acne scars or scars from small cuts) an over the counter cream can do the trick. Usually these have ingredients that stimulate collagen production and skin cell regeneration. They help moisturize the skin and protect against further damage. 

2. Surgical treatments

For more severe scars, surgery is the only way. You can change the size of a scar through surgery and make it less visible. Sometimes, surgeons recommend skin grafts in which the skin itself is covered up or replaced with other skin from a different part of the body. 

Even though the surgery sounds simple, there are some downsides. A few risks of skin grafting include bleeding and infection. Make sure you’ve spoken to your dermatologist and doctor before taking any treatments. 

3. Laser scar removal

Scars can be removed with lasers as well. Intense light can help change the appearance of the scar and diminish it. It is a precise method which targets the scarred tissue and effectively removes the scar. 

4. Injections

Injections can also make a big difference when it comes to scars. The steroids reduce the scars themselves and some of the side effects like redness, inflammation, or aches. Steroid injections are mostly used to treat  hypertrophic and keloid scars but the method is a bit painful and therefore not preferred.  


Scars are a common physical injury that can be caused by many different factors. In order to prevent scarring, it is important to understand the different types of scars and their causes. If a scar does happen, it is important to have a plan in place to prevent the scar from getting worse, treat the scar, and ensure that it heals properly.

Scars Infographics

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