What Are the Different Types of Scars?

Scars can vary by appearance, texture, size and severity. This variety depends on how you obtained the scar in the first place, how deep the initial wound was, whether you got treated for it (stitches), and where it occurs on your body. For instance, C-section scars will look and feel much different than acne scars.

So what makes them so different? What are the contributing factors? How are they each treated? Let’s explore this further.

How Scars Form

Scars can be formed in many different ways:

  • Infection
  • Acne
  • Surgery
  • Tissue inflammation
  • Injury
  • Burns

Any scar is the body’s way of healing. The healing process varies with each scar, resulting in an area of your skin to look discolored, flat, lumpy, sunken or even feel itchy long after the injury. Some areas of the body heal better than others. For instance, scars on the elbows and knees may take longer to heal because they are located on joints that are constantly flexing. Other scars, such as acne scars, may never go away because of the continued systemic flare ups that occur throughout one’s life. And if a person picks at a wound, such as with acne or a small child with an injury site, this can prolong healing and hasten scarring.


Treatment also varies. The specific treatment recommended will depend largely on the type of scar, the extent of the injury, and the patient’s wishes. Treatment can include:

  • Laser surgery
  • Skin grafting
  • Topical gels and ointments
  • Dressing and sheets
  • Cryotherapy
  • Pressure treatment
  • Steroids

For most standard scars, a topical ointment such as Scarfade will be enough to fade the scar over time. Surgery is a drastic solution and should be a last resort. Where the scar is placed can affect the decision on what kind of treatment to go with. Facial scars can pose embarrassment to many people and treatment may be more aggressive, for example.

Four Types of Scars

  • Hypertrophic scars: These are red, raised, and contained to the area of initial injury. Treatments include laser surgery and steroid injections.
  • Keloid scars: These tend to spread beyond the initial spot of injury, as a result of cell over production. These scars, when severe, can impact mobility. Treatments include laser surgery, traditional surgery, steroids, radiation or cryotherapy. To prevent keloids from occurring, use pressure treatment and silicone gel on a daily basis. 
  • Contracture scars: These result after burns, leading to a tightening of the skin and impacting mobility. This scar type often affects the underlying muscles and nerves.
  • Acne scars: They can be shallow or deep, and result from severe cases of teen and adult acne. Treatment includes topical retinoids, salicylic acid, chemical peels, laser resurfacing, fillers and injections.

In many cases of mild to moderate scarring, silicone scar gel along with regular massages of the area can lead to reduced scar appearance. We recommend you try Scarfade before resorting to other more invasive procedures. And as always, talk to your dermatologist first before engaging in any type of treatment.