When you skin is injured, there are subtle mechanism working feverishly within you to patch it up so that the integrity of your body is maintained. The end result is that you will have a scar to remind you of your journeys.

What is interesting, however, is the fact that your scars might look completely different from those that you sister is exhibiting. Weird, right? I mean, it is all skin and it should heal in a similar way. Wrong!

There are different kinds of scars and there are underlying causes that lead to the dissimilar ways of scarring.

The three main types of scars include:

  • Hypertrophic scars
  • Keloids
  • Atrophic scars


Hypertrophic scars are the kinds that grow out over the surrounding skin due to inadequate control of the proliferation of connective tissue. This causes the scar to become distended but still maintaining the bounds of the wound.

During – and even well after – the development of the hypertrophic scars, the patient is bound to feel pain and a good amount of itchiness on and around the scar. The fact that a lot of fibrous tissue is deposited at the site of injury means that the hypertrophic scar becomes tough and appears cosmetically repulsive.

Over time, though, hypertrophic scars can degenerate and take on the appearance of near normal scars.


Keloids differ from hypertrophic scars in a way that they can occur any time after the wound has healed. They then proceed to burgeon, extending out over the normal skin and surpassing the boundaries of the original wound.

These kinds of scars are really a burden psychosocially to those who have them because of the cosmetic and aesthetic damage that they cause. Keloids are also more common in people with dark pigmented skin.

Keloids can continue to expand and need to be dealt with; surgery often being the go to measure.


Atrophic scars differ from the above pair in almost every way. The hypertrophic and keloid scars involve the over-proliferation of collagen beneath the skin. On the other hand, atrophic scars involve little or no collagen under the skin that is affected. The result is a depression in the skin, kind of like a pit.

Healing from acne vulgaris is a common manifestation of these kinds of scars. All these kinds of scarring pose quite a challenge to a number of dermal clinicians to treat effectively. 


Niessen, F. B., Spauwen, P. H., Schalkwijk, J., & Kon, M. (1999). On the nature of hypertrophic scars and keloids: a review. Plastic and reconstructive surgery, 104(5), 1435-1458.

Ketchum, L. D., Cohen, L. K., & Masifrs, F. W. (1974). HYPERTROPHIC SCARS AND KELOIDS A Collective Review. Plastic and reconstructive surgery, 53(2), 140-154.

Types of Scars. (2018). [image] Available at: http://aboutdermatology.com/skin/skin-common-conditions/introduction-to-scars-and-types-of-scars [Accessed 14 Mar. 2018].