What is a scar?
Whenever your skin is injured -- cut, scaped, pierced, or gashed -- your body immediately reacts to repair the damage. The repair work depends on how deep the wound is. If it’s just the top layer of skin, new skin will cover the area after it heals. If the wound goes deeper than the first layer, your body repairs it with tissue thicker than your skin. After the wound is healed, a scar usually develops from that repair tissue. The more repair tissue your body makes, the more raised the scar will be. A sunken scar, from acne or chickenpox, is due to skin inflammation, which destroys the collagen in your skin. Collagen gives skin its structure, smoothness and elasticity.
Scars can be pinkish to reddish in color, but turn lighter or darker than the surrounding skin over time. Most scars are flat with slightly wrinkled skin on top. Good wound care can minimize a scar or even prevent it from forming.
Do I need to be concerned about my scars?
Having a scar means the wound has already healed, and there’s not much you can do about it. However, get medical attention for any scar that becomes irritated, oozes or bleeds. If a scar is prominent, or rubs on clothing, you may want to have it treated so it’s less noticeable. The chief concern is that skin cancer can develop in scars, especially scars from a deep or widespread burn.