As skin tries to heal itself, it produces excess collagen to close the wound. Scar tissue contains tough collagen fibers that arrange themselves haphazardly, rather than the even pattern they create regular skin. This distortion of fibers makes them stand out. They often first appear red, then fade over time.

Typically, the longer it takes a scar to heal the worse it will likely look. However, many factors affect how it will appear. Scars located in tight skin stretched over a bone or ones that are indented or raised will stand out more than ones in softer skin or with an even surface.

Scar types include pitted or wavy acne scars; hypertropic scars that are raised and red; keloid scars that are also raised and red but actually extend over the injury, occasionally impairing mobility; and contracture scars, which cause skin tightening and even pain if they affect nerves and muscles. Treatments depend on the kind of scar and its location, but here are some options that may be right for you.