Scars are a natural part of the healing process, and a common one too. Whether you’ve fallen off a swing or severely burned, chances are you’ve got a scar to prove it. Scarring is one of the last stages in the wound healing process, and even though your wounds may be closed up, it is still important to take care of your scars as needed. Here is what you need to know about scar tissue:
What is Scar Tissue?
Scar tissue itself is a collection of cells—skin, muscle, etc.—that covers a wound as it heals. Typically, scars are discolored and rigid against someone’s skin and will stand out for a while as it heals. There are a few common types of scars as well, each with different appearances on the skin.
Normal-fine line scars are scars you’ll see after a surgery or when stitches are removed. These scars are usually thin and will heal to leave a raised red line for a while. If there is too much collagen and tissue growing over the wound, a hypertrophic or keloid scar may form. While hypertrophic scars stay in the area of the injury, keloid scars usually expand farther.
Sometimes, a scar may look different based on other skin complications. For example, if a scar has acne or some kind of welt on it, it will appear pitted and sunken. If the scar comes from a burn, then it will be taut and difficult to move.
How Long Does it Take for Scars to Disappear?
Unfortunately, there is no set time for any scar to disappear completely. Typically, the deeper the wound, the longer a scar will last. However, without proper care in its early stages, a wound may take significantly longer to fade.
Can my Scar Reopen?
Yes, your scars can reopen, but mostly in the early stages of healing. When a wound reopens, it’s often because of extra stress put on the area around it. For example, if someone pushes themselves too hard while exercising, a wound may reopen. Other times, physical strain from bending over, coughing, or sneezing may cause a wound to reopen. Always take it easy for the first few weeks after surgery!
Why do my Scars Ache Sometimes?
When you first get wounded, your nerves are damaged and unable to function correctly. As you heal, these nerves regenerate, causing pain. Sometimes, this pain can happen during the main healing process, but other times, scars may ache years after wounds have healed. This is all because our nerves regenerate differently. However, if an old wound hurts to the point where you can’t move, speak with your doctor immediately.
Aches from old injuries can be frustrating, but there are many pain care options for dealing with healing tissue. Temperature therapy with hot and cold packs is a common way people treat scar pains. Over the counter painkillers, and electrostimulation therapy (TENS/EMS units) also work well at relieving pain. Be sure to talk with your doctor about which method is best for you. Sometimes, they may prescribe a pain medication specifically for healing tissue.
To browse other alternative pain care methods, visit Medical Supply Depot.