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The Skinny On Scars

If you’ve ever bumped your head on something hard or scraped your knee on the concrete, it may have left a mark on your body called a scar. So, what are these marks, how do you get them, how can you stop yourself from getting them and what can you do to get rid of them? Read on to find out!

What’s A Scar?

Scars are those pale pink, brown or gray marks on your skin that grow in the same places you once had cuts, scrapes or sores. Basically, a scar is your skin’s way of repairing itself after an injury. Most people have a few scars: it’s hard not to get injured at all over the course of a lifetime! Lots of things leave scars behind, everything from a short fall to a major surgery.

If you have scars, don’t worry. Not only are they a natural part of life, they’re actually kind of special in that they tell stories of some of the things you’ve been through! Maybe you look at one of your scars and remember the time you had chicken pox when you were a baby. Another scar could remind you of the first time you rode on a two-wheeler without training wheels. And then there’s that scar that you got from slamming your locker door on your hand – you’ll never do that again!

How Do Scars Form?

It doesn’t matter how you got your scar – for every million scars there are a million different stories. But here’s how every human being’s skin repairs itself through an open wound.

Once you get an open wound, your skin sends a bunch of collagen – tough, white protein fibres that act like bridges – to reconnect the broken tissue. As your body does its healing work, a dry, temporary crust forms over the wound. This is called a scab.

The scab’s job is to protect the wound as the damaged skin heals underneath. Eventually, the scab dries up and falls off on its own, leaving behind the repaired skin and, often, a scar.

But you won’t get a scar for every open wound injury you experience. It all depends on where the wound is located and your own body’s tendency to form scars. In other words, some people get scars more easily than others, and scars are more likely to form on certain parts of your body than other, tougher parts.

I Don’t Want Scars!

If you’re worried about getting scars on your skin, the best thing to do is not to get any injuries! You can reduce your chances of getting hurt when you’re playing by being careful, wearing safety gear and staying smart. Of course, even when you’re doing all these things you could get hurt and you could get injured. If this happens, there are ways to prevent or reduce scarring:

  • Keep the wound covered as it heals to keep out bacteria and germs.
  • Don’t pick your scabs because it may tear at the collagen or introduce germs to the wound.
  • Get plenty of Vitamin C (found in citrus fruits), which helps speed up the creation of new skin cells and the shedding of old ones.
  • Rub Vitamin E on the wound after the scab starts to form (talk to your parents and doctor about this first).

  • Sayonara Scars!

    Some scars fade over time. If your scar doesn’t fade and it bothers you, there are treatments that can make it less noticeable. But you’ll have to talk to your parents and doctor to find out what these options are and whether or not they’re right for you.

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