About Scarring

What is a scar?

A scar is a mark left on the skin after a wound or injury has healed. When the human body suffers an injury, a biological process to repair the wound is triggered. Scarring itself is the production of excessive amounts of connective tissue produced as the body reacts and repairs the wound. Our body’s priority is very much on fast wound closure rather than restoring the injured area to how it was previously. This imperfect process results in the creation of scar.

For some people, scarring is by no means the endpoint of their illness or injury.

Along with changing the way we look, scars can considerably affect how we are able to use our bodies and even our ability to breathe.

The physical impact of severe scarring can include pain; itching and loss of movement requiring the need for frequent operations; skin grafts; the application of cream, and daily physiotherapy. Internal scarring, known as fibrosis, can seriously affect internal organs.


Why is Scarring a problem?


ISSUES WITH FUNCTION

Scar tissue is very different to skin tissue. In healthy skin, the collagen forms a lattice structure that allows easy and flexible movement. After wound healing, the collagen fibers lie in parallel to each other instead, which limits movement, and can cause major issues with functionality.

My scars stretch and hurt and they are itchy, I can’t hold onto the bars in gymnastics because it hurts my hands' - Elizabeth (6)

ISSUES WITH MENTAL HEALTH

Scarring can serve as a constant reminder of a traumatic event. People with scarring may also feel different to other people, causing a feeling of isolation and reduced self-esteem.

'A scar is something that happened in the past, yet you still have to take it with you forever. It’s a constant reminder of something you don’t want to be reminded of' - India (21)

ISSUES WITH APPEARANCE

Scarring can cause aesthetic concerns, which can be distressing. This can have an effect on an individual’s social life.