Scars 101: Types of scars

Types of scars

What type of scar do you have?

Scars come in various shapes, sizes and even colors. These different characteristics depend on many factors: how the skin was damaged, how well the skin heals, your personal and family history of scarring, how old the scar is and where it is on your body. Likewise, each different type might need different types of care or treatment.

Types of scars:

  • Atrophic scars from acne, chickenpox and injury
  • Keloid and hypertrophic scars which cause raised skin

Types of scars

atrophicAtrophic scars (pronounced aye TRO fick) form a depression or sunken area because of damage to the collagen, fat or other tissues below the skin. These scars are caused by: Acne, chickenpox, surgery and accidents.

keloidKeloid and hypertrophic scars are dense, raised scars that are thicker than surrounding skin. They occur when the body produces too much collagen while a wound heals. They can be removed by surgery, but might return.

  • Keloid (pronounced KEY loyd) scars occur when too many cells grow at the site of a skin injury. The resulting tissue covers the wound and some part of surrounding skin. These red-purple scars do not usually go away by themselves. They are more common in people who are African-American, Hispanic or Asian.

  • Hypertrophic (pronounced HI purr TRO fick) scars are also raised, but they do not usually expand beyond the wound. They can fade at least partially without any treatment.

All information in the Mederma® Learning Center is intended for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a replacement for professional medical advice. You should seek professional medical care if you have any concerns about your skin.