Scar (lat. cicatrix, -icis, f. ) - dense connective tissue formation resulting from tissue regeneration after surgery, injury or inflammation (for example, on the skin after wound healing, in the duodenum after the healing of an ulcer, or in the myocardium after a heart attack).
Scar tissue consists mainly of collagen and differs from the tissues that it replaces, reduced functional properties. For example, scars on the skin are more sensitive to ultraviolet radiation, and sweat glands and hair follicles are not restored, and the scar in the heart muscle after myocardial infarction is not involved in the contraction of the heart and can lead to heart failure. Some tissues, for example bone tissue, are able to significantly restore their structure and function after damage.
Scars on the skin are divided into normotrophic (flush with the surrounding skin), atrophic (sinking, below skin level), hypertrophic (elevated) and keloid (massive growths of scar tissue). Hypertrophic and keloid scars (or keloids) are combined into a group of pathological scars.
Scar in German means scarIn Russian, a scar in everyday speech refers to a scar on the skin, usually linear, from a healed wound.
In forensic science, a scar is one of the special features that can be used to identify a person.
The scar is reflected both in folk art and in the author's works. The expression "Scars adorn men" is widely known.
In 1932, the film The Scarface was filmed, and in 1983 a remake of the film was released with Al Pacino and Michelle Pfeiffer starring.
There are various methods of treatment of fresh, and correction of old scars (scars), depending on their type.
Some facts about scars
- Scars develop when the tissues have been significantly damaged, and after - healed.
- Scars are capable of producing changes that disrupt the physical architecture of normal skin or other tissue.
- Scars can occur after a physical injury or as part of the disease process.
- Poorly controlled wound healing can lead to thick, cosmetically incorrect scars.
- There is a genetic predisposition in some people for thicker, itchy, wide scars called keloid scars.
- Scars in areas of heightened skin tension or movement tend to have an unsightly shape.
- Surgical wounds are characterized by smoother symptomatology, as physicians use methods to minimize scar formation.
What is a scar?
Scar formation does not always occur at the site of injury to the skin, in the process of subsequent healing. Damage to the deeper layers of the skin (dermis) leads to scarring. Damage only to the epidermis - the most superficial layer of the skin, is not always characterized by the formation of a scar.
It should be noted that such phenomena are capable of producing structural changes in the deep layers of the skin, which are perceived as changes in the architecture of the normal functions of the surface of the skin. This is not just a change in the color or quality of the skin, it is a whole system of disorders that must be treated in order to eliminate the visible defect.
What are the different types of scars?
There are only a few types of scar tissue. The appearance of the scar depends on the nature of the wound, which has resulted in damage, the anatomical location of the wound and various genetic factors that are different for each individual.
Incorrect healing process can lead to keloid formations characterized by itching, thickness, red color, tuberosity. Keloid scars often continue to grow in size over time. Keloids are often larger than the original wound boundaries. In addition, distinguish:
If the skin was injured as a result of exposure to high temperatures, such as fire or hot steam, this type of scar tissue often develops. These scars tighten the skin, which can affect the ability to move. Contractures are often deep lesions, and therefore affect the muscles and nerves.
Red lesions that look like keloid scars, but not beyond the boundaries of the injury. Treatments include steroid injections to reduce inflammation or silicone sheets that smooth the scar.
If in the past the patient had a complex form of acne, a lot of scars remain in the memory of this disease in the face and other parts of the body. There are many types of such scars, ranging from deep, which have an angular or wavy shape in appearance, to slight. Treatment options depend on the types of scars.
Signs, diagnosis and treatment of scars
As already noted, scars occur at the site of tissue damage and appear as formations from red to purple in color with the presence of fibrous tissue. Over time, as a rule, scars become flatter and lighter in color.
Scars are almost always diagnosed by visual inspection. There are a number of rare cases where it may be necessary to examine the scar tissue under a microscope to determine its structure. This will require a biopsy of the skin under the action of a local anesthetic. Sometimes other skin diseases can form a scar, so a biopsy may be necessary for a correct diagnosis to be made.
Since scars are part of the normal healing process, they usually do not require treatment. Only when superficial scars become cosmetically undesirable are they removed. In addition, scars predisposed to the development of keloids are recommended for removal, as well as scars in anatomical areas, where the most severe defects are most often formed, which give a significant distortion of adjacent anatomical structures.
Thick and keloid scars are often smoothed after the injection of steroids directly into the fibrous scar tissue. They may react to prolonged pressure and the use of silicone rubber sheets. Thick scars can be smoothed using dermabrasion - a process that uses abrasives to actually rub over scar tissue.
Some types of scars can be smoothed by injecting cosmetic skin fillers. Others, especially in the face area, respond well to various types of laser treatments.
Sometimes surgical treatment of scars can lead to the formation of another scar, which is much smaller in size. Since it takes about a year to mature the scar, it is more reasonable to wait for the final formation before starting any invasive surgical treatment.
Scar treatment at home
Good wound care plays an important role in preventing the formation of excessively large scars, and also accelerates the healing process. Preventing the infection can help prevent unnecessary inflammation, which can increase the size of the wound, leaving large, unsightly scars.
Daily wound surface hygiene at the healing stage is important to remove crusts and scabs from the wound. As a rule, it is effectively carried out with careful handling of a washcloth, soap and water. The procedure must be carried out at least twice a day. In addition, it is recommended to keep the wound moist by treating with petroleum jelly or other inexpensive skin softeners containing antibiotics.
Provided that the wound heals normally, it would be reasonable to cover the wound area with a silicone pad for several hours a day for a month. There are medical observations proving that it can reduce the thickness of scars.
Pharmaceutical means for scar reduction can be purchased without a prescription. There is a specially developed Mederma tool for these purposes, which in some cases can effectively improve the appearance of scars quite quickly. Reasonable use of cosmetics can effectively hide many scars.
What are the effects of scars?
The scars generally stabilize their appearance during the first year. Therefore, considerations for treatment with invasive methods should be distributed and imputed reasonably until that time. On the other hand, scars usually involve cutting the tissue, so it is unlikely that scars that pull or unscrew other anatomical structures will have a favorable prognosis. Therefore, the more useful approach is the following: the faster the growing scar is processed, the less defects it will bring in the future.
Can scarring be prevented?
Scars are an integral part of the healing process. If we assume that the wound will not be infected, doctors plan an excision process to minimize cosmetic defects that occur during the growth of the scar. This can be achieved by orienting the wound so that it does not disturb other structures, so that the scar can be masked by concealment in wrinkles, skin folds, or near other high or deep anatomical structures.
It is also important to minimize the tension required to surgically close the wound. Of course, such conditions can be observed only with surgical wounds. Plastic surgeons have a very wide knowledge of masking scars, who make a lot of effort so that future scars are hidden from their eyes.
Health insurance does not cover cosmetic procedures, including the exclusion of scar tissue. However, if the scars have undergone changes that have caused or are causing other harm to health, besides a cosmetic defect, treatment is possible within the framework of a state-paid one.