Marks… The mementos of our injuries, surgeries, and traumas on our bodies… A surgical cut, a burn, or an injury that spoils the integrity of the skin leaves a scar on the skin.
The mark of it can be mild or prominent, more or less noticeable, painful or painless. Although it does not pose a threat to human health, most people see this as an aesthetic problem. Which scars are permanent? Will the scars in childhood heal faster? What are the treatment methods?
We have investigated the answers to all these questions for Raillife readers.
A wound will not heal without leaving a scar
Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery Specialist Prof. Dr. İsmail Kuran highlights that the persistence of a scar has a number of factors and says, “A wound does not heal without a scar. Even though that scar can come to a hardly noticeable state. There are many factors that determine the persistence of a scar. The type of injury, the characteristics of the injured area, the genetic or physical characteristics of the person, the type of treatment administered, the materials used, and the approach of the treating physician play important roles in healing of a wound and the persistence of its scarring.”
Childhood scars are more persistent
“The type of injury is very important in determining what kind of a scar it will leave. A smooth incision or injury caused by a clean object usually results in a better scar. An incision made by the surgeon with a scalpel, a smooth glass cut can be examples of this. In contrast, a dirty, irregular wound heals hard and leaves a striking mark behind. Age affects the quality of scars that occur after injuries. In older people, contrary to what is believed, the scars are much less noticeable. The worst scars are seen in adolescence. Childhood period should be divided into two. While infancy is positive in terms of scarring, play age childhood period is poor. A hot water burn on the skin surface heals faster and better while a deep hot oil burn leaves a bad mark.”
As your skin becomes thinner, smoothness increases
“The relationship of the wounds with the curves and lines of the body is quite interesting. Professor Kuran explains this: “Different regions of the body can react differently to the traumas that occur in the same way. For example, if a smooth and clean incision is formed on the eyelid, the eyelid skin perfectly heals, while an incision with the same trait may leave a very noticeable mark on an area such as a back, or a shoulder. The skin is thicker in these areas and the stretching effect of the underlying muscles is more severe, affecting the healing process in a negative way.”
Diabetes effect wounds negatively
“Diseases such as diabetes and arteriosclerosis can also lead to delayed wound healing and tough scars. The color and physical properties of the skin are also very effective. In dark-skinned subjects, scars are more noticeable and less noticeable in light-skinned subjects. Excessive scars, thick, puffy, and itchy scars are more common as the darkness of the skin tone increases.”
A history of bad scar marks in the family?
“Some genetic predispositions may lead to bad scars. If these tough scars seen often in the family, a similar situation may be encountered. The first treatment in injuries is very important in determining the outcome, but the follow-up care of the wound should be done with care. Sometimes, even if it is repaired very well, a wound infection may occur if the treatment is not applied well and this can lead to a bad condition.”
Good treatment; unnoticeable mark
Prof. Kuran states that an important factor that determines the type of a scar that a wound will leave is how the treatment is done and who performs it. He says: “The treatment should be done in a very well-lit environment with very precise and appropriate instruments. No treatment done with rough tools and materials is good. If the wound is to be stitched, it is very important that the tissues are connected correctly. This is very important in areas such as eyebrows and lip line. No matter how thin, a scar that will spoil the eyebrow or lip line would be very noticeable. It is also difficult to correct such marks.”
Regions with natural curves are less noticeable
“If a mark coincides with a natural curve of the body (like the forehead or groin area), it becomes less noticeable among the natural curves and does not attract much attention. The marks of the body, especially those that do not coincide with the curves and lines of the skin, can be very evident. In fact, every incision we make leaves a mark. With the parameters we mentioned, they do not attract much attention. Like hiding eyelid operations in the fold of the lid.”
Fractional laser treatment can be applied
“The situation in accidents and burns is slightly different. The treatment options are decided according to the location, width and size of the scar. The thinning and refining of the mark, and fractional laser treatment to peel off the surface can be applied. The mark formed for any reason cannot be completely erased. However, less visibility can be obtained.”