The Basics of Scar Formation and Discoloration

The Basics of Scar Formation and Discoloration

As a natural result of the body’s healing process, scarring can occur after any kind of wound, whether from an injury, surgery, or a skin condition. Scars come in many shapes, sizes, textures, and colors, with some being more noticeable and prominent than others. Here’s a look at how scars form on the skin and why they can sometimes appear so dark.

How Do Scars Form?

When the deepest layer of the skin, the dermis, is damaged, the body sends collagen and melanin to the affected area as part of the healing process. Collagen is the main protein found in human cartilage, bones, tendons, and skin, and melanin is the pigment that gives a person’s skin, hair, and eyes their color. This influx of varying levels of new collagen and melanin is what causes scars to form, and it determines whether scars appear raised, differently colored, or unusually textured.

What Causes Darker Scars?

Sometimes during the scarring process, the body’s cellular process is changed by a chemical response called post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. An excess of melanin moves to the injured area to speed up healing, and as a result, the surface skin becomes discolored, particularly around the edges of the original wound. Discoloration can occur in many different forms and levels of intensity, and colors can include shades of brown, gray, black, or red.

Reducing the Appearance of Scars

The effects of scarring and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation are purely cosmetic; generally, no pain or discomfort is associated with scarring. Nevertheless, some people choose to seek cosmetic treatment to reduce the appearance of scars after injury, skin conditions such as acne, or surgery. Treatment options include laser resurfacing, microneedling, and topical treatments.

While scarring is unlikely to result in any discomfort or complications, its appearance can be reduced with the help of cosmetic treatments. At The Dermatology Clinic in Baton Rouge, we offer several scarring reduction treatments as part of our wide range of cosmetic services. Schedule an appointment today by calling (225) 351-0622.

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