Chances are pretty good that you've gotten a scar at least once in your life. Whether it was an accident as a kid — learning to ride your bike, running around the neighborhood, roller skating — or an incident that happened when you got older, sometimes cuts, scrapes, burns, surgeries, and more can cause your skin to scar. In fact, it actually says some fascinating things about your health if you scar easily that you might want to know more about, particularly if you're accident-prone.
There are a number of reasons that can impact why you might experience some scarring from time to time, but why do some people scar more than others?
"Scarring easily has more to do with your genetics than with your health," Dr. Suzanne Friedler, board-certified dermatologist with Advanced Dermatology PC and Clinical Instructor of Dermatology, Mt Sinai Medical Center, tells Romper.
"Some people scar easily & others don't," Dr. Friedler continues.
"It's not a reflection of your health. The same person can scar differently in different body locations. Chests tend to heal poorly. The cartilage high up on the ear may scar worse than the fleshy ear lobe. Also people with darker complexions tend to scar worse than people with fair skin. The best indicator may be looking at how close family members scar."
Scars can appear even with injuries that you don't think are severe enough to result in one, which goes to show that it can be difficult to predict when a scar will occur and when your injury will heal without any issue. If you do scar relatively easily or have noticed a change in how often you're scarring, knowing what it might be subtly telling you may be worth knowing.
1. You Might Have Some Chronic Inflammation
In a paper published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences, researchers argued that two kinds of scars, keloid and hypertrophic scars, can be the result of chronic inflammation in a lower layer of skin cells. Both keloid and hypertrophic scars are at least a little bit raised above the surface of your skin. These kinds of scars are often more noticeable than other sorts of scars.
2. You Might Not Get Enough Vitamin E
If you're not getting enough vitamin E from your diet or any supplements you're taking, you might experience a number of symptoms, including an uptick in scarring, as HuffPost Australia reported. Talking to your doctor about any potential deficiencies and determining how to go from there is often your best bet. Because vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin, taking too much is a problem as well.
3. You Have A Certain Genetic Makeup
If the rest of your family has always scarred easily as well, it could be that your propensity for scarring is genetic. The American Academy of Dermatology noted that scarring can be genetic and that it might be the way that your body heals.
4. You Lost Muscle Or Fat From Underneath The Abrasion
If your scar takes on a certain appearance, in which it's sunken below the surface of your skin instead of right at the surface or raised above it, it might be because of what's going on below the surface. WebMD noted that these sorts of scars are often caused by muscle or fat loss beneath the abrasion. If you've had surgery, for instance, you might experience one of these scars.
5. Your Diet Is Falling Short
Your diet may actually play a real role in how easily you scar. If you aren't eating a healthy, well-balanced diet, you might not be making the blood cells needed to promote healing, an answer by a board-certified physician on Zocdoc noted. Raising your concerns with your doctor about scarring more frequently or what sorts of nutrients you may not be getting can help you formulate a plan to address those issues.
6. You Don't Get Enough Vitamin C
If you're having a hard time with wounds healing well and scarring issues, it could be a lack of vitamin C. As the previously-mentioned article from HuffPost Australia noted, a vitamin C deficiency can impede healing. Additionally, a paper published in the British Journal of Community Nursing noted that a vitamin C deficiency can change the way collagen is produced and scars develop.
Easy scarring may not be a huge issue, but if you're concerned about how quickly and frequently you're dealing with scars, breaking those concerns down with your doctor can be a good place to start. It might be something that can be easily addressed or, at least, you might be able to work out a plan to try to minimize the effects.
This post was originally published on 5/10/2019. It was updated on 9/6/2019.