Scars are made up of living tissue and can therefore, like any other bodily tissue, get infected.
More Info: It is obvious to most people that open wounds can easily become infected. However, fewer people are aware that scars can get infected as well. Symptoms of infection include but are not limited to tenderness, itching, swelling, redness, a warm sensation to the touch, color change, and any type of fluid or puss leakage.
If a scar begins to itch, do not scratch it; this could tear the skin and allow germs to enter, providing a breeding ground for infection. Keep the area as clean as possible. If other signs of infection arise, consult a doctor immediately.
Never touch a potentially infected area without first carefully washing your hands and cleansing the area. Antibiotic creams and ointments may be helpful but check with your doctor first. Many over-the-counter medicines are available to minimize the damaging effect of scars. There are creams that can even out skin pigmentation issues.
When injuries occur, the body naturally goes on the defensive by causing the blood to clot in the wounded area as well as by sending white blood cells to stop the spread of an infectious organism. Scabs and scars form as a protective layer to prevent further damage and germ entry so that repairs can be made below the skin.
It is important to keep skin that has been scarred protected with a high level SPF sunscreen as well as a nourishing moisturizer.
“Adolescent scar contracture scoliosis caused by back scalding during the infantile period.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Apr. 2010. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2078316/.
“What is Lung Scarring?.” NetWellness Homepage. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Apr. 2010. http://www.netwellness.uc.edu/healthtopics/lung/lungscar.cfm.