article_scar-care.jpgWhether you’re stressing over scars sustained from childhood accidents or concerned about unsightly marks obtained from cooking burns, we got all you need to know about scars in this article.

First things first: scar classification. Are they just raised discolorations or mean-looking keloids? The type of scar you have may largely depend on how it originated. It may have come from an insect bite your skin reacted to badly, leading to discoloring and hardening in the area; from a burn; or from a deep-cutting injury or surgery.

There are two common kinds of scars: hypertrophic scars and keloid scars. Hypertrophic scars are reddish, raised tissue growing at the site of injury. This is common in scars you've had since childhood. They often come from burns, cuts, or embedded foreign bodies such as sand or wood splinters, and they appear over areas of movement such as knee or elbow joints. Cell division in children is more aggressive, hence the overreaction to an injury to the skin, making them prone to hypertrophic scars.

Keloid scars, on the other hand, are like hypertrophic scars but more extensive. Like hypertrophic scarring, keloid scars are raised, often reddish, and may also be itchy. These are common in the back, shoulders, and even earlobes. People with darker skin are more susceptible to keloids. Like hypertrophic scarring, keloids may also cause some amount of pain. Some types also expose the person to undue trauma or irritation from nodular protrusions of the skin over exposed parts of the body.

Browse through the gallery for inexpensive yet effective ways to care for scars as well as tips to prevent them from developing in the first place.

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(First published as “Scar Care” in the “Good Health” section of Good Housekeeping Philippines’ June 2008 issue. Adapted for use in Female Network. Photo by Rocky Sun via Flickr Creative Commons.)

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