The Emotional Impact Of Scarring
Whether it is a line across the knee, a small “s” shaped mark on a palm, or a raised streak on a forearm, most people have some form of scarring on their body. Any type of burn, injury, trauma, or accident can result in a scar as a physical sign of the healing process. These scars can be classified into several different types including keloid, contracture, or hypertrophic scars.1 A keloid scar is evidence of an aggressive healing process, expands beyond the injury site, inhibits bodily movement, and are most commonly present in darker skin pigmentation.2 The contracture scar in similar to keloid scars due to the effect on mobility, but are recognized due to the associated tightening skin and deep impact into the muscles and nerves.3 Lastly, hypertrophic scars also share similarities to the keloid scar, but are confined to the injury site and present as a raised red scar.4
How Does Scarring Occur?
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, a scar appears as a natural step to repair wounded skin. The skin produces collagen, a tough fiber that supplies the body with strong and flexible skin, which functions to connect tissue cells that break apart during an injury.5 A scab forms over the wound to protect the exposed body until the skin has been repaired, upon which the scab can be replaced by a scar.6 There are three common reasons in which an injury will result in a scar: extensive injury, rapid healing process, or injury to a continually mobile portion of the body.7 There are a range of treatments that can minimize the presence of a scar, but the skin will never return to its precise pre-injury condition and the emotional impact of a scar is also likely to remain.
Scars and Emotional Trauma
Scar tissue can result in social, emotional, and psychological effects.8 Scars impact people in two primary ways: by creating a physical trigger that reminds people of the events surrounding the injury and by creating new emotional consequences for having to manage life with the presence of a physical scar which may impact their appearance.9 Some of the common emotional effects of a scar include insecurity, fear, anger, worry, pain, feelings of guilt, disgust, or sadness.10 Trauma sustained to a child during the emotional or physical development stages can create different and more devastating scars. Children and adolescents who sustain a scar when they are in the midst of developing a personal identity that is in part based on the level of concern or importance placed on personal appearance can alter their emotional and personal state.11 Regardless of age, accidents or trauma that results in either physical or emotional injury entitles a victim to recovery.
Contact an Experienced St. Louis Personal Injury Attorney for a Free Consultation
If you have suffered an injury which left you scarred, it is important to discuss the circumstances of your injury with an experienced personal injury attorney who can help to protect your legal rights and interests. To contact a personal injury attorney for a free consultation please feel free to call The Bruning Law Firm at 314-735-8100.