“Scars are stories, history written on the body.”
– Kathryn Harrison, author
Scars – more than a cosmetic problem
Itching, tenderness or pain are well-known physical symptoms of scars which can impact the quality of life significantly. Scars that continue to grow can limit movement and may be functionally disabling. Some abnormal scars may take many years to soften and fade.
The psychological impact of scars must not be ignored as they can affect a person’s life and sometimes outweigh the physical symptoms. Some scars are highly prominent and constantly visible. This may lead to feeling stigmatized by the reaction of others which can then result in an low self-esteem. For some people, a scar can be a constant reminder of the event that caused it. If it was a traumatic event it may even result in distress and difficulties in social situations. All this may lead to a diminished quality of life and isolation.
To date, scars cannot be removed completely, but with effective treatment and good management, the appearance and side effects of a scar can be improved significantly in most cases. In addition, the likelihood of developing abnormal scars can be reduced effectively if treatment starts shortly after wound closure.