How do you know if a scar is permanent?

Scars are a natural part of the healing process after an injury or surgery. They form when the body produces collagen fibers to repair the damaged skin. However, not all scars are permanent. In this article, we will explore the factors that determine the permanence of scars and how to identify if a scar is likely to be permanent.

Factors affecting scar permanence

Several factors play a role in determining whether a scar will be permanent or not. These include:

Depth of the wound

The depth of the wound is a crucial factor in scar formation. Deeper wounds are more likely to result in permanent scars as they involve damage to the underlying layers of the skin.

Type of wound

The type of wound also influences scar formation. Surgical incisions, burns, or deep lacerations often result in more noticeable and potentially permanent scars.

Location of the scar

The location of the scar on the body can affect its permanence. Scars on areas with high tension, such as joints or the chest, are more prone to widening and becoming permanent.

Individual factors

Individual factors, such as genetics, age, and overall health, can also impact scar formation. Some individuals may have a predisposition to develop permanent scars due to their genetic makeup, while older individuals may have less efficient collagen production, making scar remodeling slower.

Signs of permanent scarring

While it may take time for scars to fully mature and stabilize, certain signs can indicate the likelihood of permanent scarring:

Thick, raised scars

Hypertrophic or keloid scars that are thick, raised, and extend beyond the boundaries of the initial wound are often more challenging to treat and may become permanent.


If the scar remains significantly darker or lighter than the surrounding skin after several months, it may indicate that the scar will be permanent.

Persistent symptoms

If a scar continues to cause pain, itching, or discomfort even after the initial healing period, it may suggest a permanent scar.


How do you know if a scar is permanent?

If the scar has not shown any improvement or fading after 6-12 months, it is more likely to be permanent.

Treatment options

While it may not be possible to completely remove a permanent scar, various treatments can help improve its appearance:

Topical creams and gels

Topical treatments containing ingredients like silicone, vitamin E, or onion extract can help soften and flatten scars, improving their overall appearance.

Corticosteroid injections

Corticosteroid injections can reduce the size and thickness of hypertrophic and keloid scars, making them less noticeable.

Laser therapy

Laser treatments can help minimize the redness and uneven texture of scars, making them blend more seamlessly with the surrounding skin.

Surgical revision

In some cases, surgical scar revision may be necessary to remove or alter the scar tissue. This option is typically considered for larger or more prominent scars.

Determining whether a scar is permanent requires considering various factors such as the depth and type of wound, location of the scar, and individual factors. Recognizing signs of permanent scarring is important in order to seek appropriate treatment options. While complete removal may not always be possible, many treatments can help improve the appearance of permanent scars.

Doctor explains KELOID SCARS including causes, treatment and prevention