Scar formation is a natural part of the healing process after injury. The depth and size of the wound incision and the location of the injury impact the scar's characteristics, but your age, heredity and even sex or ethnicity will affect how your skin reacts. Read more: Scars Article
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Picture of Keloid
A scar that doesn't know when to stop. See a picture of Keloid and learn more about the health topic.
Picture of Hypertrophic Scar
Hypertrophic scars and keloids are both characterized by excess fibrous tissue at a site of injury in the skin. Hypertrophic...
Picture of Erythematous Deep Acne Scars
Acne scarring is a common sequel of severe inflammatory or cystic acne. It can present in a mild or cosmetically disfiguring...
Picture of Leishmaniasis
The cutaneous form of leishmaniasis is caused by a protozoan (Leishmania tropica) that is transmitted by the bite of a sandfly...
Before You Tattoo: Types, Safety, and Removal
Get the scoop on tattoo safety, tattoo risks, tattoo care, and what to expect from tattoo removal.
Skin Health: 15 Tips for Clear Skin
Acne, pimples, zits and blemishes often appear on the face, back, chest, neck, and shoulders where skin has the most amount of...
IMAGESBrowse through our medical image collection to see pictures of the most common, and uncommon, skin conditions See Images
Related Disease Conditions
Acne is a localized skin inflammation as a result of overactivity of oil glands at the base of hair follicles. This inflammation, depending on its location, can take the form of a superficial pustule (contains pus), a pimple, a deeper cyst, congested pores, whiteheads, or blackheads. Treatments vary depending on the severity of the acne.
Burns (First Aid)
Burn types are based on their severity: first-degree burns, second-degree burns, and third-degree burns. First-degree burns are similar to a painful sunburn. The damage is more severe with second-degree burns, leading to blistering and more intense pain. The skin turns white and loses sensation with third-degree burns. Burn treatment depends upon the burn location, total burn area, and intensity of the burn.
Cuts, Scrapes, and Puncture Wounds
Cuts, scrapes, and puncture wounds are common, and most people will experience one of these in their lifetime. Evaluating the injury, and thoroughly cleaning the injury is important. Some injuries should be evaluated by a doctor, and a tetanus shot may be necessary. Treatment will depend upon the severity of the injury.
Melanoma (Skin Cancer)
Melanoma is a type of skin cancer which begins in skin cells called melanocytes and affects more than 53,600 people in the United States each year. These melanocytes can grow together to form benign moles which, after a change in size, shape, or color can be a sign of melanoma. Caused by sun exposure, early detection becomes extremely important to avoid a spread to other areas of the body. Diagnosis is confirmed through a biopsy of the abnormal skin and treatment depends on the extent and characteristics of the patient. Metastatic melanoma is melanoma that has spread to various organs.
Palpitations are uncomfortable sensations of the heart beating hard, rapidly, or irregularly. Some types of palpitations are benign, while others are more serious. Palpitations are diagnosed by taking the patient history and by performing an EKG or heart monitoring along with blood tests. An electrophysiology study may also be performed. Treatment of palpitations may include lifestyle changes, medication, ablation, or implantation of a pacemaker. The prognosis if palpitations depends on the underlying cause.
Scleroderma is an autoimmune disease of the connective tissue. It is characterized by the formation of scar tissue (fibrosis) in the skin and organs of the body, leading to thickness and firmness of involved areas. Scleroderma is also referred to as systemic sclerosis, and the cause is unknown. Treatment of scleroderma is directed toward the individual features that are most troubling to the patient.
Shingles, or herpes zoster, is a painful rash caused by the varicella zoster virus. Other shingles symptoms include headache, fever, nausea, and body aches. Treatment focuses on pain management and shortening the duration of the illness with antiviral medications.
Skin cancers occur when skin cells undergo malignant transformations and grow into tumors. The most common types of skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, are highly curable when they are diagnosed and treated early. Sun exposure, tanning beds, depressed immune system, radiation exposure, and certain viral infections are risk factors for skin cancer. Skin cancers are treated with surgery or radiation. The prognosis of nonmelanoma skin cancers is generally very good.
Lupus (Systemic Lupus Erythematosus or SLE)
Systemic lupus erythematosus is a condition characterized by chronic inflammation of body tissues caused by autoimmune disease. Lupus can cause disease of the skin, heart, lungs, kidneys, joints, and nervous system. When only the skin is involved, the condition is called discoid lupus. When internal organs are involved, the condition is called systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).
Mycobacterium tuberculosis is the bacterium that causes tuberculosis (TB). Symptoms and signs of TB include bloody sputum, fever, cough, weight loss, and chest pain. Treatment depends upon the type of TB infection.
Weber-Christian disease is a rare inflammatory disease that affects the body's fat tissues. It's also known as relapsing febrile nodular panniculitis syndrome and idiopathic lobular panniculitis. The disorder appears on the skin as red or purple tender, raised lumps. The thighs and lower legs are the most frequently affected areas. Other symptoms may include: nausea, vomiting, weight loss, joint pain, and abdominal pain. Though there is no cure for the disease, inflammation may be treated with various anti-inflammatory medications.
A Dupuytren's contracture is a localized formation of scar tissue beneath the skin of the palm of the hand. The scarring accumulates in a tissue (fascia) that normally covers the tendons that pull the fingers to grip. Dimpling and puckering of the skin over the area eventually occur. Dupuytren's contractures occur more frequently in patients with diabetes, epilepsy, and alcoholism. Treatment of a Dupuytren's contracture depends on the severity of the condition. Treatment options may include reassurance and stretching exercises with heat application, ultrasound, and cortisone injections for local inflammation.
Yaws is an infectious disease that mainly occurs in the tropical areas of South and Central America, Asia, Africa, and the Pacific Islands. The disease is caused by a bacterium called Treponema pertenue, which causes lesions that look like bumps on the skin of the feet, hands, face, and genital area. Yaws is treated with penicillin or another antibiotic.
Cold Sores (Nongenital Herpes Simplex Infections)
Herpes simplex infections are common and when they appear around the mouth and lips, people often refer to them as "cold sores" and "fever blisters." Canker sores are different than cold sores. Air droplets can spread the virus, as can direct contact with the fluid from the blisters. Cold sore treatment include over-the-counter medication, as well as prescription medications.
Heart Attack Prevention
Heart disease and heart attacks can be prevented by leading a healthy lifestyle with diet, exercise, and stress management. Symptoms of heart attack in men and women include chest discomfort and pain in the shoulder, neck, jaw, stomach, or back. Women experience the same symptoms as men; however, they also may experience: Extreme fatigue Pain in the upper abdomen Dizziness Fainting Leading a healthy lifestyle with a heart healthy low-fat diet, and exercise can help prevent heart disease and heart attack.
Impetigo: Symptoms, Transmission, Treatment, and Cure
Impetigo is a contagious skin infection caused by staph and strep bacteria. There are two types of impetigo: nonbullous and bullous. Symptoms of nonbullous impetigo include small blisters on the nose, face, arms, or legs and possibly swollen glands. Bullous impetigo signs include blisters in various areas, particularly in the buttocks area. Treatment involves gentle cleansing, removing the crusts of popped blisters, and the application of prescription-strength mupirocin antibiotic ointment.
A keloid is a scar that doesn't know when to stop. When the cells keep on reproducing, the result is an overgrown (hypertrophic) scar or a keloid. A keloid looks shiny and is often dome-shaped, ranging in color from slightly pink to red. It feels hard and thick and is always raised above the surrounding skin.
Itch (Itching or Pruritus)
Itching can be a common problem. Itches can be localized or generalized. There are many causes of itching to include: infection (jock itch, vaginal itch), disease (hyperthyroidism, liver or kidney), reactions to drugs, and skin infestations (pubic or body lice). Treatment for itching varies depending on the cause of the itch.
Monkeypox is a viral disease that causes symptoms such as fever, sweating, and a rash with papules and pustules on the face and chest. PCR, ELISA, or Western blot tests are used to diagnose monkeypox. Treatment usually involves administering a smallpox vaccination, cidofovir, and possibly vaccinia immune globulin.
Factitious disorders are conditions in which people pretend to have physical or mental illnesses when they aren't sick. These people may lie about or fake symptoms to obtain the sympathy and attention given to people who are genuinely ill. Symptoms of factitious disorders include dramatic, inconsistent medical history, the presence of many surgical scars, and a history of seeking treatment at many different hospitals.
Cleft Palate and Cleft Lip
Cleft palate and cleft lip are facial and oral defects that occur early in pregnancy. A cleft lip is a split of the two sides of the upper lip, and a cleft palate is a split in the roof of the mouth. Cleft lip the fourth most common birth defect in the U.S. Repair of a cleft palate or cleft lip may require multiple surgeries.
A birthmark is any abnormal mark, spot, or bump that is present in or around the time of birth on the skin of an infant. Types of birthmarks include cafe au lait marks, Mongolian spots, strawberry marks, and others. Depending on the birthmark type, birthmarks can be removed by scalpel surgery, lasers, and rarely radiation.
Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD)
Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is an illness where a person is overly preoccupied with some minor or imaginary flaw. People with BDD tend to have cosmetic surgery. BDD can be treated with SSRIs and cognitive behavioral therapy.
Lichen sclerosus is a skin disease that causes white spots to form on the skin, which later grow into large, thin, and crinkled patches of skin that tear easily. Symptoms include itching, pain, blisters, and bleeding. Patches on the upper body usually go away over time, but patches in the genital region may scar if left untreated, causing problems with urination or sex. Treatment may involve surgery or the use of a very strong cortisone cream.
Leishmaniasis is a disease caused by the bite of an infected sand fly. The most common types of leishmania infection are cutaneous and visceral leishmaniasis. Leishmaniasis is found mainly in the subtropics and tropics. Symptoms and signs of cutaneous leishmaniasis include skin sores with a raised edge and central crater, while those with visceral leishmaniasis usually have fever, weight loss, and an enlarged liver and spleen.
Keratosis Pilaris (KP)
Keratosis pilaris (KP) is a common skin disorder in which small white or red bumps appear around hair follicles on the upper arms, thighs, buttocks, and cheeks. The cause of KP is unknown. There is no cure for keratosis pilaris, and the condition may resolve on its own. Gentle exfoliation, professional manual extraction, chemical peels, and microdermabrasion, along with topical products, are the best treatments for this condition.
Ingrown Toenail (Onychocryptosis)
Ingrown toenails are caused by the growth of the toenail into the surrounding nail fold. Symptoms and signs include toe pain, swelling, redness, and yellow drainage. Treatment at home involves soaking the affected foot in diluted white vinegar or Epsom salts, elevating the foot, and trimming the nails straight across. Surgery is also an option for severe cases. Prevent ingrown toenails by wearing shoes with a wider toe box and avoiding repeated injury to the toenails. Avoid curving or cutting the nails short at the edges.
Sunburn (Sun Poisoning)
Sunburn is caused by overexposure to UV radiation from the sun. UV rays can also damage the eyes. Repeated overexposure to UV rays also increases the risk for scarring, freckles, wrinkles, and dry skin. Symptoms of sunburn include painful, red, tender, and hot skin.The skin may blister, swell, and peel. Sun poisoning (severe sunburn) include nausea, fever, chills, rapid pulse, dizziness and more. Home remedies can help relieve sunburn pain, blisters, and peeling. Severe sunburns may need medical treatment. Sun protection and sunscreen for an person's skin type is recommended to decrease the chance of a severe sunburn and sun poisoning.
Shaken Baby Syndrome (Abusive Head Trauma)
Shaken baby syndrome, or abusive head trauma, is the condition that describes the symptoms and signs that result from the violent shaking of an infant. These symptoms and signs include: bruising, vomiting, poor feeding, seizures, head trauma, and hemorrhages of the retina. Shaken baby sundrome treatment involves removing the infant from the household where the abuse occurred and providing supportive care for the child's injuries.
Pregnancy Changes and Body Discomforts
Pregnancy can bring challenges like weight gain, stretch marks, varicose veins, heartburn, constipation, hemorrhoids, problems sleeping, and wondering if it is safe to have sex while pregnant. Learn how to manage and move through these challenges during pregnancy.
Folliculitis (Symptoms, Causes, Transmission, Home Treatment, and Cure)
Folliculitis is a skin condition that causes small red bumps to form around the hair follicles. Skin bacteria such as Staphylococcus and Pseudomonas may infect the follicles. Treatment involves over-the-counter bacterial washes, topical antibiotics, and/or topical steroids.
Molluscum contagiosum is a skin disease that causes pink painless bumps on the skin. It typically resolves in 6 to 12 months. Cryotherapy, laser therapy, and curettage may also treat the nodules of molluscum contagiosum.
Blepharitis is inflammation of the eyelids. Acne rosacea, staphylococcal bacteria, allergies, sensitivities to makeup or contact lens solutions, head lice, or other conditions may cause blepharitis. Symptoms and signs include itchy eyelids, burning sensation in the eyes, crusting of the eyelids, light sensitivity, red, swollen eyelids, loss of eyelashes, and dandruff of the lashes and eyebrows. Proper eyelid hygiene and a regular cleaning routine controls blepharitis.
A dog bites about 4.5 million people each year, and about 27,000 will need surgery. Dog bites often become infected and will need medical treatment and management. Make sure that the dog's rabies vaccination is current; if not, rabies treatment may be necessary. A dog bite may cause symptoms and signs like puncture wounds, lacerations, pain, swelling, and redness. Treatment and management of a dog bite in and infant, child, teen, or adult depends upon the severity of the wound.
Iritis is inflammation of the iris, the colored portion of the eye. Symptoms include a red, painful eye, blurry vision, and light sensitivity. Treatment usually involves cortisone eyedrops.
Ingrown hairs may be caused by improper shaving, waxing, or blockage of the hair follicle. Symptoms and signs of ingrown hairs include itching, tenderness, and small red pus bumps. Ingrown hairs usually heal on their own, but topical antibiotics, chemical depilatories, and hair-removal laser may be used in the treatment of ingrown hairs.
A urethral stricture, or narrowing of the urethra, may cause decreased urine output. Symptoms include painful urination, urinary retention, and pelvic pain. Surgery is the only treatment for people with uncontrolled symptoms of urethral narrowing.
Moles are small skin growths that may appear flat or raised and are often tan, brown, black, reddish brown, or skin colored. They are typically about the size of a pencil eraser. There are three types of moles. Monthly skin self-exams are essential in the early detection of abnormal moles and melanomas.
A corneal ulcer is an open sore on the cornea. Infection is a common cause of corneal ulcer. Symptoms and signs of corneal ulcer include redness, eye pain and discharge, blurred vision, photophobia, and a gray or white spot on the cornea. Treatment depends upon the cause of the corneal ulcer.
Smallpox is a disease caused by the variola virus. Symptoms and signs include: a characteristic rash and high fever. Treatment focuses on supporting the patient. Smallpox may be prevented with the ACAM2000 smallpox vaccine.
Trachoma is an infectious disease caused by the Chlamydia trachomatis bacteria. Symptoms and signs include redness and irritation of the eyes with tearing. Trachoma is diagnosed by examining the eyes and eyelids. Treatment involves a single dose of azithromycin (Zithromax) or the use of topical tetracycline (Achromycin) ointment. Infected individuals should be counseled about sanitation and taught simple cleanliness.
Liver cancer is cancer of the liver cells (hepatocellular carcinoma) or of the ducts in the liver (cholangiocarcinoma). Liver cancer often arises due to liver damage, cirrhosis (scarring) caused by alcohol use/abuse, hepatitis B, or hepatitis C. Liver cancer may not cause any symptoms. Liver cancer is diagnosed with blood tests, imaging tests, and a liver biopsy. Treatment for liver cancer may include surgery, ablation, embolization, radiation, chemotherapy, and targeted therapy.
Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the ligament underneath the sole of the foot. Symptoms of plantar fasciitis include heel pain, foot pain, tenderness, stiffness, and difficulty walking on hard surfaces. Plantar fasciitis treatment involves icing the area, taking anti-inflammatory medications, using orthotics, and physical therapy.
Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB)
Epidermolysis bullosa (EB) is a group of inherited diseases characterized by skin blistering, erosion, and fragility. EB affects eight of 1 million Americans. There is no cure for EB, and the only treatment is supportive care.
Piriformis syndrome may develop if the piriformis muscle spasms and compresses the sciatic nerve. This causes buttock pain that radiates down the back of the leg along the sciatic nerve. Symptoms include numbness, a pins-and-needles tingling sensation, and low back pain. Treatment of piriformis syndrome depends upon the syndrome's phase: acute, recovery, or maintenance.
Cystic acne is distinguised by painful nodules on the chest, face, neck, and back. This form of acne is known to scar. Treatment may incorporate the use of hormonal therapies, oral antibiotics, and prescription medications.
Hidradenitis Suppurativa (Acne Inversa)
Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS or acne inversa) is a chronic skin condition that causes painful red abscesses in the groin and armpits that may drain foul-smelling pus. Treatment options include weight loss, smoking cessation, topical antibiotics, and avoidance of tight-fitting underwear. Finasteride and adalimumab may be helpful for those with resistant cases of HS.
Can Scars Be Removed by Laser?
You cannot get rid of a scar with laser treatment. However, laser treatment can make a scar less noticeable. Laser treatment for a scar can be considered as an approach to replace one scar with a less visible scar. The treatment involves using a focused light (laser) to either remove the outer layer of skin or stimulate the production of new skin cells to cover the scarred or damaged skin cells.
How Do You Get Rid of Acne Scars Naturally?
Approximately 80% of people between the ages of 11 and 30 years old have acne due to hormonal changes, stress, menses, oil-based cosmetics or birth control pills. A variety of remedies including tea tree oil, coconut oil, honey and other substances may help get rid of acne scars naturally. The dermatologist has prescription treatments and procedures to reduce the appearance of acne scars.
Local ResourcesFind a local Dermatologist in your town
Treatment & Diagnosis
- MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging Scan)
- Skin Biopsy
- Laser Resurfacing
- Chemical Peel
- Blepharoplasty (Eyelid Surgery)
- Brow Lift Cosmetic Surgery
- Lip Augmentation
- Collagen and Injectable Fillers
- Hair Removal
- Tattoo Removal
- Breast Reconstruction Without Implants
- Breast Reconstruction
- Plastic Surgery (Cosmetic Surgery)
- Mohs Surgery for Skin Cancer
- Photodynamic Therapy
- C-Section (Cesarean Birth)
- Cupping Therapy
- What Is CO2 Laser Skin Resurfacing?
Prevention & Wellness
- AHA News: Surgery Like Jagger: Doctors Explain Heart Valve Problems, Treatment
- Health Tip: Making Ugly Scars Scarce
- Does Less-Invasive Surgery Make Sense for You?
- Health Tip: Things to Remember About Acne
- Patients, Doctors Often Differ About Scars After Surgery
- Tattoo Today, Regret Tomorrow: Tips to Parents From Pediatricians
- Hollywood Villains Are No Dermatologist's Friend
- How Doctors Decide to Treat a Ruptured Achilles
- Could a Therapy for Irregular Heartbeat Harm the Brain?
- Gene Therapy May Hold Promise for Blistering Skin Disease
- 'Medical Tattoos' Help Hide Surgical Scars
- Newer Treatments Can Make Scars Less Scary
- Could a Cellular Tweak Someday 'Switch Off' Gray Hair?
- Scans Show Many Injured U.S. Vets May Have Brain 'Scarring'
- Bullying Can Leave Lasting Mental Scars
- Health Tip: Minimize Scarring
- Dermatologist's Tips for Reducing Scars After Cuts, Scrapes
- Laser Used to Remove Tattoos May Help Reduce Acne Scars
- Salamanders May Hold Clues to Human Scar Healing
- Keep It Clean After Ear Piercings
- Researchers Report Progress With Growing Hair
- Some People Really Might Have 'Gaydar'
- Kids Exposed to Bullying and Violence May Age Faster
- Men's Legs May Be New Source for Hair Transplants
- Scarred Hearts Healed After Heart Attack
- Snakes Make Your Skin Crawl? Study Suggests Why
- Low-Carb Diets May Improve Acne
- Early Success for Gel That Treats Acne Scars