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Practice update: Scarred for life?

Wound healing is a complex process, so it is important to manage the wound correctly and use the right dressings to provide optimal healing conditions.

While a scar is formed as part of the natural healing process following trauma to the skin, this can be problematic for some patients.

Collagen builds up where the tissue is damaged, helping to heal and strengthen the wound. New collagen continues forming for several months and the blood supply increases, causing the scar to become red, raised and lumpy.

The healing and scar maturation process can take anywhere between three weeks and two years. Once matured, the scar differs from normal skin in that it will never attain the normal strength of the surrounding skin. Hair follicles and sweat glands will not grow back.