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The Psychological Impact of Visible Scars

If small injuries heal without leaving a mark, almost every wound leaves a scar. Whether they are small or big, dark, pale, raised or flatten, scars may negatively affect our self-esteem and confidence, especially the most visible ones. 


Certain tribal cultures consider scarification a body art ritual. In contrast, modern western society stigmatizes scars and uses this characteristic to portray evil in horror films, comic strips, and fairy tales. In this way, carrying a scar in social environments where beauty is one of the most valuable aspects can be devastating. Even casual social situations such as meeting people for the first time can be a challenge. In fact, studies showed that up to half of patients living with scars are unhappy with their appearance and suffer from high levels of anxiety, social avoidance and decrease in the quality of life. Often, these feelings give rise to different coping behaviors, interfering with their communication skills, personal relationships, work life and leisure activities.


High visibility rather than size or severity is highlighted as the determinant scar feature that causes feelings of unattractiveness, shame, and embarrassment. Face and neck scars are the most difficult to deal with as they are the most exposed ones and difficult to hide. A systematic review from 2018 where data from over than 2,000 participants were analyzed concluded that facial scars are associated with high incidence of anxiety [26.1% (95% CI 17.9%-36.3%)] and depression [21.4% (95% CI 15.4%-29.0%)].


Scar treatment is very sought after to make scars less visible. Fortunately, there are an increase of non-invasive topical treatments to help soften the appearance of your scar and reduce the abnormal scar tissue. Kelo.Cell Biogel may help you to improve your image and move away scars’ preconceptions and stigma. Its composition with silicone polymers is designed for all types of scars and it is clinically proven to help fade, flatten and soften the appearance of scars, caused by trauma, surgery, acne, stretch marks, burns or other wounds that may result in broken skin. The incorporation of stem cells extracts in the Kelo.Cell Biogel stands out this silicone gel formula, conferring essential properties to soften the scarring process.  

 

References

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/article/scarification-ancient-body-art-leaving-new-marks (Accessed May 12, 2022)

https://guardian.ng/sunday-magazine/scarification-harmful-tradition-that-dies-hard/ (Accessed May 12, 2022)

Brown, B. C., Moss, T. P., McGrouther, D. A., & Bayat, A. (2010). Skin scar preconceptions must be challenged: importance of self-perception in skin scarring. Journal of plastic, reconstructive & aesthetic surgery: JPRAS, 63(6), 1022–1029. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bjps.2009.03.019

Ngaage, M., & Agius, M. (2018). The Psychology of Scars: A Mini-Review. Psychiatria Danubina, 30(Suppl 7), 633–638.

Rumsey, N., Clarke, A., & Musa, M. (2002). Altered body image: the psychosocial needs of patients. British journal of community nursing, 7(11), 563–566. https://doi.org/10.12968/bjcn.2002.7.11.10886

Ziolkowski, N., Kitto, S. C., Jeong, D., Zuccaro, J., Adams-Webber, T., Miroshnychenko, A., & Fish, J. S. (2019). Psychosocial and quality of life impact of scars in the surgical, traumatic and burn populations: a scoping review protocol. BMJ open, 9(6), e021289. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2017-021289

Gibson, J., Ackling, E., Bisson, J. I., Dobbs, T. D., & Whitaker, I. S. (2018). The association of affective disorders and facial scarring: Systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of affective disorders, 239, 1–10. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2018.06.013


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