There are two main groups of scars - skin scars and soft tissue scars. Skin scars are easier understood due to their visibility, they are due to breakdown of the skins integrity. Whereas soft tissue scars form due to injury to muscle, tendon, ligament and nerve tissues. Scaring and its specific diagnosis can be made by our team of highly skilled Physiotherapists, this will help guide your treatment and hopefully speed up recovery.
Types of Skin Scars
- Atrophic Scars - Sunken down into skin. Often seen with acne scars or with wounds where skin or muscle has been removed.
- Hypertrophic Scars - Usually red, purple and slightly raised above the skin. They generally fade and flatten over time.
- Contracture Scars - Often happen due to burns and pull the skin in towards the injury site.
- Keloid Scars - Elevated, red or dark scars that form when the body produces too much collagen in the scar.
- Stretch Scars - Flat scars that occur due to sudden weight gain. They are common around the abdominal area during pregnancy.
Soft Tissue Scarring
‘Scar tissue’ is commonly described as the formation of weak tissue at the site of injury. Scar tissue forms two different ways.
1. If a muscle, tendon or ligament is torn or damaged, the body creates scar tissue to bind the torn pieces together.
2. The most common way for scar tissue to form is by soft tissue not receiving enough oxygen (hypoxia). Poor posture, repetitive actions, sustained pressure (sitting) all result in increased muscle tension. Increased muscle tension can result in reduced blood supply which means less oxygen. Hypoxia leads to the formation of scar tissue which can affect muscle length, strength and pain.
This is an area of expertise for physiotherapists and encompasses the whole body. Once a diagnosis is made, specific treatment advice can be given.
Soft tissue injuries are seen in our clinics every day so our physiotherapy team are extremely experienced in treating soft tissue injuries.