Types of Scars

Flat & Pale

These are the most common type of scar, occuring as a result of normal healing. At first these scars may be red, dark and raised, but over time (up to 2 years) they will tend to become paler and flatter.2

Stretch Marks

These scars appear after rapid growth of the skin, such as occurs during pregnancy.9 Here the scar is sunken a little into the skin. The most common locations for stretch marks are around the abdomen (or belly), breasts, upper arms, underarms, back, thighs, hips and buttocks.9


Are usually red or purple and are raised above the surrounding skin. These scars are due to an over production of collagen and normally form along the site of the wound, for example following surgery. These scars sometimes fade and become flatter over time, but can remain discoloured and raised for a number of years.2,4


These scars are sunken down into the skin, looking like a valley or pick-hole in the skin. It is like some of the inner layers of the skin are missing causing this sunken appearance.5 Atrophic scars are often caused by inflammation as can occur with acne or infections such as chicken pox.4,5,12 Sometimes this type of scar is formed following an injury where there is a loss of tissue under the skin.4,5,12


These are very elevated red or dark scars that form when the body produces too much collagen. They often spread larger than the area of the original injury and can continue to become larger even after the original wound is fully healed.2,4


These types of scars are caused by the skin shrinking and tightening during the repair process. Contracture scars often happen after a burn and end up pulling the skin in towards the site of the injury. This can make the skin look puckered around the wound.2,4