Ever noticed a protruding scar that appears after your pimple or acne heals? Hypertrophic scars can commonly occur as a result of the acne healing process. Fibrous tissue, or scar tissue, forms over the injury wound to repair and protect the skin. Due to abnormal overgrowth of skin tissue as the wound heals, this forms a raised scar on the skin’s surface.
It can leave a disfiguring appearance; thus, most people would turn to acne scar treatments to remove them for cosmetic reasons. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at understanding these hypertrophic scars.
1. They are sometimes confused with keloids
Both hypertrophic scars and keloids share similar characteristics, but they are still different from one another. Keloids can continue to grow beyond the original skin injury even after the wound has healed, resulting in a large mass of scar tissue. Hypertrophic scars are smaller and remain the same size as the acne lesion that caused it. Keloids are usually pink to purple in colour, while hypertrophic scars are generally red or pink in colour.
2. Hypertrophic scars can develop anywhere on the body
They are most commonly found on the chest, upper arms, shoulders, neck and earlobes. You can identify a hypertrophic scar by checking if it restricts movement, as the skin is thicker, hardened and no longer flexible. They can be formed as reddish and raised scars initially, and become flatter and paler over time. In most cases, hypertrophic scars cause mild discomfort but they can also be itchy and painful.
3. They can be caused by other types of skin injury
Similar to keloids, hypertrophic scars can be present in areas affected by cuts, burns and other minor injuries. They can also form due to trauma to the skin, such as piercings, if the injury affected deeper layers of the skin or if the wound is left to heal without stitches.
4. The formation of hypertrophic scars depends on how your skin heals
When there is blockage in the pores along with dead skin cells and excess oil, inflamed blemishes can quickly occur. These acne lesions can be minor and heal quickly, but if there is deeper inflammation, the more likely it is to scar upon healing. During the wound healing process, scars are common but hypertrophic scars are the result of the body’s abnormal response to an injury.
As the skin attempts to repair the acne lesions, it starts to form new collagen fibers to replace the old collagen that has broken down. But in certain people, their body can produce too much collagen during healing due to one’s skin type and healing tendencies.
Reduce your chance of scarring
To reduce the chance of scarring, it is important to seek acne treatments early so you can lower the risk of deep inflammation. It is also advised to avoid picking or squeezing your acne as it can exacerbate the infection and create deeper lesions. For those who wish to reduce their thick and protruding scars, our doctors use a combination of topical creams, injections and lasers to treat hypertrophic scars and reduce the thickness as well as colour.
Get in touch with us to find out more on our acne scar treatments and restore your skin complexion.