Are Scars Permanent?

Depends on how deep the initial injury was. But by their very definition, scars are permanent because they leave a mark that lasts. Some are more severe than others, though, lasting for a lifetime as red, raised and then white, glossy scars. Some itch, some fade, some stick around. The nature of scars is that they can be unpredictable, unless you use a product like Scarfade to even out the playing field.

Whether an injury will leave a scar or not will depend on many factors, mainly certain biological processes that include:

  • The original wound’s characteristics
  • How that wound healed
  • The way the skin cells regenerate

Typically, when the skin has been wounded, the cut is not clean and the healing conditions aren’t ideal. The result is a scar. But scar formation is a completely natural process honed over millions of years. It’s the body’s quick response to a wound so as to repair the site and prevent infection. Once the skin splits open, your body starts to pull the wound’s edges together right away.

Essentially, it grows epithelial tissue over the wound at the rate of one millimeter every 24 hours. Fibroblasts then come to repair the wounded tissue and start rebuilding collagen to strengthen the skin back up. Problem is, that collagen is added so quickly, it doesn’t smooth out like regular skin does. Instead, it’s disorganized and haphazard. Yes, it does the job of protecting the open wound, but not such a great job in the aesthetics department.


Most scars gradually become smoother and softer, and while permanent, some are able to fade over a period of two or so years. Many minor scars fade on their own, especially with treatment, but keloids and depressed acne scars will not. In fact, acne stars tend to get more pronounced because your skin loses firmness as you age.

Keloid scars are especially stubborn because they are raised and initially pink, red or purple, caused by excessive collagen production at the time of scar formation. Keloids also worsen with time, as they often keep forming more tissue even after healing. This leads to a growth on the skin, and can even extend beyond the area of injury. Compare that to a hypertrophic scar, which stays within the borders.

Keloids can result from cuts, burns, surgical incisions, puncture wounds, acne, tattoos, and piercings, and most often occur on the neck, back, shoulders, chest and ears.

For minor scars, treatment with a silicone gel like Scarfade is the best defense against a more noticeable mark. Using a tube of Scarfade as directed, twice a day, can reduce the appearance of your scar over a period of weeks.