Every single wound which causes damages to the skin is capable of causing scars. Scars, especially on a visible spot of the skin can be disturbing, as it takes sometime before it fades. In some people which is prone to scarring, scars might last longer and are more difficult to remove. Scraps is not necessarily based on the wound size and severity, as minor wounds are also prone to scarring. Cuts, scrapes, and puncture wounds have the same possibility of scarring.
How does scars develop?
Scars is basically resulted from excessive collagen production which is used for wound healing. When scrapes occur after injuries, skin dermis and epidermis are damaged. Hence, some tissues beneath the dermis are usually damaged as well. In order to heal the wound, new skin cells need to be developed. Our white blood cells promote an antibody which includes collagen production which is needed for new skin cells to form. The healing starts from the bottom of the wound to its top layer, and is best to be done under a moist environment.
A moist environment maintains proper formation of skin cells. During this process, scabs are formed on the surface of the wound, which functions to cover the newly-formed skin cells, which are still exceptionally fragile. When the scrapes fully healed, this scabs will fall off, exposing the tender, healed wound area. This tender area is commonly pinkish and has a different texture with its surrounding area. Along the time, the pink color fades and its texture resembles the rest of the skin. This pink, tender, healed wound area is referred as scars.
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Are scars harmful?
Most of the scars resulted from any kinds of wounds are commonly harmless. On the first days after the scabs start to fall off, the scarred area is still fragile and has a risk of being re-injured. When these scars get re-injured, worse scars will form. Medically, scars is not harmful, since it is a part of wound healing process and is resulted as collagen over-production. However, any kind of scars, especially those which are visible can be cosmetically disturbing. This is why people are trying to promote healing with minimized scars. Another kind of scars which is a big appearance problem is scars which has its potential to develop into keloids, although keloids itself is also not medically harmful.
Healing scrapes without scarring
Scarring definitely cannot be avoid, since this is the phase of healing a wound. However, it can be minimized through a proper wound treatment. Several risk factors include size, depth, and severity of the wound, location of the wound, and skin types, color, and structure. Certain scars are minor and may fade through time. However, some others—supported by one’s susceptibility may develop into unwanted keloids—the visible raised scars. Minimizing scarring mainly depends most on the right treatment for the scrapes. Several things need to be considered, while some others are better to avoid.
- Get a right closure for the scrapes. Minor scrapes do not require sutures, while some deep cuts might heal better with stitches closure.
- Promote a moist environment for the wound. This is important, since a moist environment help the new skin cells to grow properly, producing enough collagen needed for skin repair.
- Keep the wound hygienic. Bandaging open scrapes with non-stick bandage is advised, as this will keep the wound area clean and moist. A wound which is contaminated with strange substances may end up in infection, which will delay healing period.
- Do not pick any formed scabs. Scabs is formed during a natural wound healing period. This is a barrier for the inner skin which is still fragile. Picking it will slow down the healing process. Try a warm compress whenever the scrapes feel itchy to minimize it.
- Keep the scars from ultraviolet. When scars are formed, try to keep it from direct sunlight, as it may cause discoloration. Discoloration will cause imbalance skin color which makes the scars even more visible.
- Give the scars a gentle massage. This will promote sufficient bloodstream which brings oxygen throughout the skin cells. Massaging a scar with vitamin E also promote natural collagen to heal it completely.