Scars & Keloids
Scars are the body’s way to repair skin that has been damaged. They are usually flesh-colored, but can darken with sun exposure, and are at the site of skin injury. Keloids are scars that expand beyond the site of injury.
A scar is caused by the body producing collagen, a fibrous protein found in the skin, to repair the damage to the skin. The initial damage to the skin can be from external trauma or underlying skin disease like folliculitis (inflammation of the hair follicles), or acne.
Anyone who has a skin injury is at risk for developing a scar, but the likelihood of a scar forming is based on the severity of the skin injury as well as age and overall health of the body and the skin. A scar can also form if a skin wound is not properly cared for.
Keloids are more common in darker skin types. Common sites for keloids are on the ear lobes after piercings, and on hair-bearing skin like the face, back of the scalp, and the chest from inflammation of the hair follicles.
A scar will usually form under a scab. Side effects of scarring may include:
- Sleep disturbances
- Anxiety and/or depression
- Disruption of daily activities
*Source: American Society for Dermatologic Surgery Kids HealthColumbia University Medical Center Department of Dermatology