Common Questions & Answers on Scars

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I Scar Easily, What Should I Do?

No scar can be completely avoided, although there are steps that you can take to reduce the visual impact of your scar.  If you know that you scar easily then it is a good idea to inform your surgeon if you are going to have any form of surgery.  They may be able to position the scar differently so it is not very noticeable.  Afterward surgery, or if you cut or burn yourself, it is important that you keep the wound clean to prevent any infection.  If you have stitches leave them alone until your doctor or surgeon is happy that they can be removed.  Removing the scab from a wound can re-open it, and make the scar larger than it would have been previously, and leaving it exposed to sunlight can make it appear more pronounced. If you are very concerned about a scar forming then you can use pressure garments or gel pads to help reduce the extent of the scarring.  Unfortunately the degree to which we scar appears to be linked to genetics, and keloid scars can be seen to be more common in certain families.  In these cases there is little that you can do to prevent or reduce these scars.  Your GP will be able to talk you through the best reduction methods for your skin and scar type.

Do Scars Disappear with Time?

Scars can take up to two years to completely stabalise.  This is due to the bodys healing methods, at first your body will try to close the wound as quickly as possible, creating an abundance of collagen and other scar materials.  Your body will also create new blood vessels and pump extra blood to the wound, making it often appear dark in colour.  Over time this becomes slightly more refined, less blood is taken to that area and your scar will begin to flatten and blend in better with the rest of your skin.  It is important, therefore, that you leave your scars alone until this two year period is up.  Only then can you truly judge the full extent of your scar. 

Why Do My Scars Hurt?

Scars sometimes, although rarely, hurt as they develop.  Pain within scars is still very unknown, and the true reasons behind it are not fully known.  It is believed that it could be due to nerve endings getting confused in the rapidly closing skin.  This also explains why scars can sometimes feel more sensitive than normal skin.   Pain in scars can also be linked to underlying problems such as the scar being attached to muscle or over a joint.  This can also cause problems with mobility, and if this happens to you then it is likely that you will need to have some form of treatment on the scar.

Why Do my Scars Itch?

Your scar might itch for a number of reasons.  As your wound heals itching is a healthy sign of the healing process.  It is very tempting to scratch at your wound, but ill advised as it might make your scar appear worse.  Some scars continue to itch for a long time after they have healed.  This can cause severe discomfort.  It is thought that the reason for your scar itching is linked to the damage done to nerve endings around the wound.  If your scar stretches then they will be irritated, and are likely to itch as a consequence.  If your scar itches it is best to ask the advice of your GP and to ensure that it is not because the skin is dry.  Using a good moisturiser can help to ease any itching of the skin.  

How Can I Fade Scars Quickly?

Ensuring that your scars fade after a wound is not something that you can particularly enforce.  Trusting your GP or surgeon and following their advice is a good idea, however if a scar is going to form then you cannot prevent this from happening.  The best thing to do is to let your skin heal with as little interference as possible.  If after some time you are unhappy with the appearance of the scar then you can try creams, bio oil or gel pads to help your scar heal well.  There is nothing more that you can do if a keloid scar starts to form. 

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