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Are you still dealing with blemishes left by teenage breakouts? Maybe you’re wondering whether products claiming to remove stretch marks are real. Get the lowdown on different types of scars and how to address (or live happily!) with them.

What Is a Scar?

A scar is the body's natural reaction to healing and replacing lost or damaged skin. The process involves growing new tissue to fill gaps in a wound. They can come in many shapes, colors, depths, and sizes. According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, these are the main reasons scars differ in appearance:

  • Aftercare
  • Body part
  • Cause
  • Genetics
  • Skin color
  • Wound

Types of Scars

The first step to addressing a scar is understanding its nature. How did it get there? How long has it been there? How did you treat the wound? All these contribute to how your skin reacts and repairs itself. Here’s what you need to know about the six types of scars:

1. Contracture scars are thick and can restrict movement.

Contracture scars are generally a result of second and third-degree burns from an accident or even a . During the healing process, the skin and underlying tissues become thick and taut. This tight sensation can impact your muscles, joints, and tendons, leading to restricted movements. For instance, a contracture on your elbow can make straightening your arm difficult.

If you're searching for a remedy, grafting is the most common solution for this type of scarring. The process involves replacing the affected area with healthy skin from a different body part.

2. Keloids are visible reddish bumps on the skin.

Ever wonder what the misshapen, itchy, reddish bump on your shoulder is? A keloid is a thick tissue overgrowth that appears on the site of a healed wound. Often, the scar occurs in the area of a piercing, cut, or surgery.

Like many scars, keloids can appear anywhere on the body. However, the most susceptible spots are less fatty areas like the back, chest, earlobes, and shoulders. Occasionally, the raised marks can grow large or appear on joints, minimizing your ability to move.

As such, it's not uncommon to search for ways to flatten keloid scars naturally. Unfortunately, the only proven method for eliminating keloid scars is professional removal. So, if a keloid has been keeping you from doing basic movements (or if you simply want to remove it for other reasons), consult your dermatologist about the following methods:

  • Steroid shots: reduces itchiness and redness
  • Cryotherapy: removes the scar through a freezing process
  • Surgery: eliminates the blemish through grafting
  • Lasers: flattens the keloid and removes abnormal discoloration
  • Radiation: decreases the reoccurrence of removed scars

3. Stretch marks are white streaks that cause zero discomfort.

The most common stretch mark myth is that only pregnant or postpartum women have them. The reality is that occur when skin rapidly expands or shrinks – at any age. When this happens, the underlying connective tissues become damaged, resulting in a scar.

Although stretch marks can appear anywhere on the body, they are often on the arms, chest, stomach, and booty. Typically resembling stripes, their color (pink, brown, red, purple, white, or silver) varies depending on a person’s skin tone. 

Like many types of scars, there’s no way to erase them completely. Even if you have the budget, procedures like chemical peels, lasers, and microdermabrasion only make them less noticeable. Instead of wasting money on pricey treatments, focus on self-care. Having a routine can make your complexion look healthier and encourage love for your skin, scars and all.

Try adding Vaseline Gluta-Hya Serum Burst Lotion Overnight Radiance Repair to your self-care routine. It has 10x Amino Peptide Complex that moisturizes the skin, making it plump and more radiant. Its lightweight formula is easy to absorb, penetrating deep into the dermis to deliver much-needed hydration. Use daily to improve your skin’s radiance and resilience.

4. Depressed scars appear rough and textured.

Are pitted acne scars or chickenpox marks making you feel insecure? You’re not alone. A of adults with acne found that 27% are self-conscious about their depressed or atrophic scars.

If you have these blemishes, you're likely searching for ways to minimize their appearance. But before that, it's crucial to learn why this type of scarring happens. Depressed acne or pox scars occur when the skin cannot regenerate tissue, resulting in small indentations. This type of scar is common on the face and becomes more noticeable .

Many over-the-counter products claim to eliminate pockmarks; at best, creams can offer slight improvements. The best approach to effectively addressing atrophic scars is with the help of a dermatologist. Professionals may recommend any of the following:

  • Chemical peels: minimizes sun damage, color irregularities, and superficial scars
  • Fillers: plumps and fills in pitted scars to make the skin appear even
  • Skin needling: triggers collagen production through tiny needle penetrations
  • repairs skin damage and stimulates collagen production

5. Raised scars can bulge and can limit motion.

At first glance, hypertrophic or raised scars and keloids look alike. You can generally find them on taut areas such as the chest, back, shoulders, and arms.

Since they are so similar, how do you tell them apart? Keloids tend to grow beyond the site of the wound. However, raised blemishes will only grow within the injury's borders. But perhaps the main difference is that a hypertrophic scar may flatten within a year.

If your raised scar is staying put, you can opt for steroid injections. Alternatively, a dermatologist can recommend laser therapy or surgery as a last resort.

Flat scars lighten and go away on their own.

Flat scars can be deceiving since they start off raised before gradually evening out. They are typically pink or red but can vary depending on the color of the surrounding skin. Although flat marks can fade on their own, there are methods to hasten the process. If a flat scar from an appendectomy is bothering you, silicone injections are an option.

Developing different types of scars is inevitable as you live a full life. They make you unique and may even mark your personal growth. However, if they do keep you from feeling your best self, the methods above can help. They’re not magic cures or erasers, but they may help ease your self-consciousness. Talk to your dermatologist about your scar to determine the best management route for you.