Post Traumatic Scars

Many types of injuries may result in scarring. These post-traumatic scars can be unpleasant reminders of an injury, a source of self-consciousness, or even cause physical discomfort. Thankfully, professional dermatologists like Dr. Liz Damstetter can help reduce or remove unwanted post-traumatic scars. Patients in Glenview, Illinois and the surrounding areas can turn to Dr. Damstetter and the Reserve Dermatology team for effective post-traumatic scar treatment options.

What is a Post-Traumatic Scar?

A post-traumatic scar is any scar that forms after a significant injury (scraping, burning, or surgery) to the skin. Post-traumatic scars generally do not cause physical symptoms, but patients often feel self-conscious about their appearance or find that they are uncomfortable reminders of the injury. In some cases, large scars can also restrict movement or cause discomfort due to thickening or tightening of the skin. Post-traumatic scars may be virtually any size or shape and are categorized into three major types based on their appearance.

Types of Post-Traumatic Scars

There are three basic types of post-traumatic scars.

Atrophic scars are depressed and thinner than the surrounding skin. They are typically narrow and follow the boundary of the original injury.

Hypertrophic scars are raised scars that generally follow the border of the original injury.

Keloid scars are raised and extend beyond the border of the original injury. These scars may also be discolored in some way. They are more common among patients of Asian or Latino descent.


“I had a recent visit to Dr Damstetter’s clinic and would like to share my experience. I am a Navy vet(corpsman) and usually get seen at the VA but since we don’t have a Derm provider right now, I was fortunately sent out to her clinic to be evaluated. It’s a nice clinic in a nice area and was relatively easy to find. A pleasant Ms. Nancy at the front desk was helpful in completing the check-in process. Easy day. I did not have to wait long and was soon met by Dr. Damstetter’s assistant, who for classified reasons I will refer to as “Agent 8”. I am sure if she gets tired of providing excellent medical care, her slick-ninja skillset could get her a job with the CIA or MI6 maybe. Short story long, Agent 8 brought me back to the patient area, where I was introduced to Dr Damstetter, who was all the things you would want in a doctor: a knowledgeable provider with a great bedside manner. She gave me a thorough exam which did end up showing that I needed a minor procedure. No worries. I felt well taken care of throughout my visit. No one likes to have to see the doctor, but if you have a dermatological concern, this is a good place with good people who did great by me, and I am thankful to have been sent here.”

“Dr. Liz is truly the best dermatologist I’ve ever been to. She is attentive, kind, and genuinely cares about her patients and their overall skin health. I can not recommend her enough!!!”

“Wonderful experience here! The doctor took the time to educate me on a variety of cosmetic options and gave her candid opinion resulting in just the right amount of cosmetic adjustments! Her staff was delightful and attentive! I would highly recommend for general derm needs and cosmetic adjustments.”

“Dr. Damstetter was the first dermatologist I trusted to do my Botox. She is both knowledgeable and professional and did a fantastic job. I will be using her for any and all of my future needs.”

What Causes Post-Traumatic Scars?

Virtually any injury could result in a post-traumatic scar, especially those that are more severe. This includes:

  • Cuts or lacerations
  • Sharp objects penetrating the skin
  • Thermal or chemical burns
  • Friction or scraping injuries

Liz Damstetter, MD

Board-Certified Dermatologist

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Preventing or Minimizing Post-Traumatic Scars

In some cases, scarring can be prevented or minimized through proper wound care. Keeping the injury clean and moisturized as it heals can encourage healthier healing and minimize subsequent scarring. In some cases, applying pressure to the injury as it heals can also help minimize visible scarring.

Treatment for Post-Traumatic Scars

If a scar causes physical discomfort, restricts movement, or causes self-consciousness, treatment is available to help minimize or remove the scar tissue. Dr. Damstetter may suggest one of several options depending on the type or size of the scar.

  • Corticosteroid injections can be helpful to reduce keloid scars or hypertrophic scars. Multiple injections over the course of several appointments may be necessary.
  • Laser or light therapies can be beneficial, especially for pigmented scars or atrophic scars. These treatments can stimulate collagen production for smoother skin.
  • Pressure or massage therapy can, in some cases, break apart scar tissue.
  • Topical creams and ointments, such as corticosteroid creams or hydroquinone creams, can be effective in reducing scars.
  • Microneedling can be utilized to reduce the appearance of scars.

Schedule an Appointment

To learn more about post-traumatic scar treatment, schedule an appointment with Dr. Damstetter. Call Reserve Dermatology in Glenview, Illinois or contact us online. 

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