ZocdocAnswersHow do you prevent a scar from forming?

Question

How do you prevent a scar from forming?

I got a bad scrape on the side of my cheek. I do not want a scar on my face. How can I make sure that it heals right so I do not get a scar? Do I just put a band-aid on it?

Answer

Fibrosis, or scar formation, is the normal process of healing after tissues have been injured. Virtually every skin injury heals with some amount of fibrosis (scar), however with very small abrasions, this is typically not visible. The amount of scar formation is dependent on many different factors, including the extent of the trauma to tissues, the tissues involved, and the individuals immune system and own response to healing tissues. For example some people are predisposed to keloid formation which is a hypertrophic scar that has forms beyond the extent of the original injury. To be able to give you the best estimate on how to manage the injury to your cheek, you would need to have it examined by a physician (dermatologist or facial plastic surgeon would be good options). In general however, if the scrape is superficial (meaning that it doesn't go very deep into the skin), and if it is cleaned well, it should heal (re-epithelialize which happens by skin re-growing over the area) within a couple weeks with minimal to no visible scar formation. It is important to make sure that the scrape is clean however, and that there are no foreign bodies left behind within the injury, because dirt can potentially pigment the skin which can be permanent. I hope this is helpful. If you are concerned, I would recommend making an appointment to get evaluated by a dermatologist.

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