Scars - when wounds heal

Minor or major injuries happen daily. Be it accidents, operations, burns or carelessness. Any of these wounds can become a nuisance scar. The reason is plausible: the body immediately activates a self-healing mechanism in the event of an injury with the aim of closing the wound. Unfortunately, scars often remain as a visible sign.

What happens if the skin is damaged?

If the skin is injured by an external impact, a wound is created. A wound can be caused by a mechanical injury, eg. B. by cutting, puncture, bruising or bite injuries. But also by heat as in burns or scalds; or chemically, e.g. B. by chemical burns.

The body responds to an injury with a series of well-coordinated steps aimed at closing the wound and healing it. A complete cure is z. B. in internal organs possible. For skin wounds, however, the body can only repair. The resulting "gap" is first closed with a blood clot and then filled from the inside with a connective tissue - a scar is formed.

Properties of a scar

This scar differs in function and appearance from the surrounding skin. The scar is red at first, later it turns white, and it stays lighter. Hair, sebaceous or sweat glands are not re-formed in the scar tissue. The scar tissue has less elastic fibers (collagen), which can lead to shrinkage and hardening: the scar can move inwards.

The scar tissue is also less perfused, the tissue contains less water. Well-treated surgical wounds with smooth wound edges that are very close to each other usually heal quickly and easily. The scar is very small and narrow - almost invisible.

Problematic scars

But healing does not always go so smoothly. Wounds that involve larger areas of the skin, or where non-smooth wound edges diverge widely, require a much longer healing time. Here, too, connective tissue fills the defect. Often a broad, eye-catching and also cosmetically unsightly scar remains. Some scars cause problems during and after healing: they do not close properly, become bulging and hard, tense. If there is a scar on or over the joints, it can push and restrict mobility.

  • Atrophic scar
    The wound heals badly, the formation of new connective tissue fibers is not enough. The result is a "sunken" scar, which is below the skin level.
  • Hypertrophic scar
    It develops shortly after wound healing or during its course. There is an overproduction of connective tissue fibers. The scar tends to bulge, it rises above the surrounding skin level, but remains basically limited to the original area of ​​injury. Hypertrophic scars can occur especially if the wound is not sedated or spared, or if an additional infection occurs.
  • Keloids
    It only develops after a long time after wound healing has ended due to the strong overproduction of connective tissue fibers, which always proliferate like cancerous scissors beyond the wound area and into the healthy tissue. It affects mainly adolescents and young adults of the female sex. Even scars on body parts that are exposed to great skin tension tend to keloid. This tendency is inherited relatively frequently. Furthermore, keloids are about ten times more common in people with colored skin than in people with white skin.

scar care

A scarred skin needs attention and must not be neglected. For many years, treatment with ointments (eg Contractubex) has proved its worth. The sooner the therapy is started after the wound closure, the more promising is the treatment and the result. In scar therapy, it is like sport: only stamina is rewarded. But even older scars benefit from an effective scar treatment. Several times a day, the scar gel should be applied to the scar and gently massaged into the tissue. This makes the tissue soft and supple again, itching and feelings of tension are being addressed. Fresh scars should be protected from external irritation and dehydration.

  • Fresh scars should not be exposed to strong temperature stimuli for about half a year to one year. Intensive sun and UV radiation, solarium, sauna visits and cold weather can negatively affect the new, particularly sensitive tissue in its scar formation and disturb the regeneration of the tissue. In addition, undesirable changes in the color and texture of the skin may occur. Protect the scar from the sun with a particularly bright preparation.
  • Avoid tight or abrasive clothing over scarred skin. The scar tissue is more sensitive than healthy skin and can respond to such irritation with redness and hardening.
  • Especially scars that are close to the bone, z. At the elbow, tibia or ankle.
    Make sure that you do not hurt the scar tissue again, eg. B. by hard Schuhränder. Also, in sports by the impact z. B. a ball a fresh scar easily burst. The chances of recovery are then unfavorable, because an already damaged skin can not regenerate so well.
  • Relatively smooth scars on the face, on the neck or in the décolleté area can be achieved through a specific make-up technique (camouflage, French word for disguise). B. cover for an evening at short notice.
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