Skin scars may negatively impact a patient's quality of life (QOL). The negative impact on the patient may be much greater than the clinical severity of the scar.


Factors affecting how a scar may affect a patient:

(1) visibility

(2) appearance and disfigurement

(3) predictability of cause (slash marks on wrist)


Domains of patient concerns (Brown et al):

(1) physical comfort and functioning

(2) acceptability to self and others

(3) social functioning

(4) confidence in the nature and management of the scar

(5) emotional well-being (including anger, depression, negative self-image and obsession)


Negative aspects may be related to:

(1) stigma

(2) post-traumatic stress associated with the cause of the scar

(3) abnormal or excessive coping behavior (which may reinforce the need to conceal)

(4) becoming unsociable

(5) interference with work, leisure or relationships


Interactions with clinical provider, friends and family members can make a significant difference. A person who is treated with acceptance and empathy tends to have a better outcome than someone who does not.


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