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Scars and Stretch Marks : unpleasant skin conditions
The sight of scars and stretch marks on the skin are not appealing at all. They are unpleasant skin conditions that everyone wants to get rid of. The skin being the part of the body that is exposed for others to see is very important and needs to be taken care of as well. But, there are some situations beyond control that causes these aberrations to occur, well let’s take a deep look at them.
When a wound on the skin undergoes a process of healing, the fibrous tissue of the skin covers the normal skin within that process and as such a scar is formed. So, a scar is the result of the natural healing that occurs after an injury on the skin. Its gravity is dependent on the deepness and severity of the wound on the skin.
Stretch marks are scars on the skin that are propagated when the body undergoes a process of rapid growth; it is a result of excessive stretching of the skin. Stretch marks are also called striae occurs during periods of excessive transformation like pregnancy, rapid weight gain, muscle building, or puberty.
The collagen in the scared/fibrous tissue is similar to the one in the normal body tissue that it covers up during scaring. However, the collagen fiber of the scar tissues is of a lower-grade to the original skin tissues it replaced. When scaring occurs, hair follicles and sweat glands can no longer grow on the fibrous tissue that is now visible, thus preventing hair growth on scars.
Scars are caused when injuries occur and the normal skin tissue is covered up by another tissue called the scared or fibrous tissue during healing. This occurs for all types of wounds except minor injuries that can heal without leaving scar.
When the skin is trying to recover from an injury and that process is extended, then scaring occurs. That is not the case with minor scratches or lesions that are easily healed within the shortest period. Since deeper injuries take a longer time to heal, then a scar would be left afterwards.
Stretch marks are caused by the rending of the dermis layer of the skin as a result of the excessive stretching that occurs. Thus the cortisone level of the skin is increased. So any process that causes the rapid expansion of the skin like puberty, weight gain, pregnancy and others leads to stretch mark occurrence.
There are also cases that cause the increase of cortisone in the body through medication that can also lead to the occurrence of stretch marks on the skin. Medications that contain Corticosteroids and steroids such as creams, pills and body lotions can lead to the occurrence of stretch marks on the skin, since they raise the cortisone levels in the skin.
Types of Scars
When scaring occurs the level of elasticity of the fibrous tissue that covers the normal tissue is very low. Therefore scars tissues are not elastic. With reference to collagen, both the fibrous tissue and the normal tissue that previously existed are the same, both the fibrous tissue contain collagen with a different fiber formation which makes it less superior to the original skin tissue. These conditions are true for all types of scars. There are four major types of scars which include:
Stretch marks are also a type of scar. Stretch marks are scars on the skin that are propagated when the body undergoes a process of rapid growth; it is a result of excessive stretching of the skin. Stretch marks are also called striae occurs during periods of excessive transformation like pregnancy, rapid weight gain, muscle building, or puberty.
Hypertrophic scars are types in which the scaring tissue is elevated high above other parts of the skin. This is caused by the excessive increase of collagen levels in the body. In such cases the scars are pronouncedly high and elevated above other areas on the skin.
These Keloid scars do not have definite size, as it can increase to any level, becoming as large as possible. They are benign natured tumors and are seen as the most severe types of scars. These types are predominant of humans with darker skin complexion. However, it can be experienced by all no matter the complexion. Keloid scars are usually aftermaths of surgical operations, body piercings, accidents, cosmetic problems or acne.
Atrophic scars are the types that have a deep look and that appears like a depressed recess on top of the skin. The reason for this type of scar is the loss of muscles and fat that are underneath, that provides a backing for the skin. This loss can be because of a malfunction within connective tissues. The Atrophic scar can occur after one experiences acne, accidents, insect bites or surgery.
All types of scars can be treated with the use of the following methods:
- Laser Treatment – hypertrophic, keloid scars and stretch marks can be treated with non-ablative laser therapy. Ablative laser therapy is a good treatment for atrophic scars and stretch marks.
- Chemical Peels – this is the use of special chemicals to terminate the epidermis in a precise way. These chemicals are used strategically on scars to eliminate them.
- Fillers – injected collagen fillers can be used fill up the deep patches caused by atrophic scars and can be used for stretch marks too.
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