When the skin goes through trauma it develops scar tissue to repair and protect the site of injury. There are a few phases to scar tissue formation. First is hemostasis where blood clotting begins and scab formation occurs. Next is the inflammatory phase where there is inflammation and edema. After that is the proliferation phase where collagen, elastin, and other components of granulation tissue are grown. Lastly is the remodeling stage where old cells are destroyed and new cells form. Errors in this stage can lead to excessive growth of tissue leading to hypertrophic scarring or keloids.
Keloids appear as pink, flesh, or red colored raised growths that can continue to grow larger. Growth can occur for months to even years. Hypertrophic scars are thickened scars that are more localized to the area of injury compared to keloids, are easier to treat, and can become less noticeable with time.
Ways to treat hypertrophic scars or keloids include steroid injections, dermabrasion, or lasers. It is important to discuss with your surgeon what options would work best for you!