Purpose of review: The precise mechanisms of normal and abnormal scar formation have long remained a mystery despite the extensive literature regarding wound healing. Only recently have researchers begun to delineate the complex biochemical signaling pathways that regulate these processes. This article reviews basic wound healing, while focusing on medicine's latest understanding of the development and treatment of keloids and hypertrophic scars.
Recent findings: The importance of the transforming growth factor-beta signaling pathways and the related downstream effector molecules has proven to offer a new detailed view of scar biology. Regulation of scar metabolism with regards to collagen and wound matrix degradation is likewise showing promise in generating alternate therapies to treat abnormal scars.
Summary: Understanding the exact process of normal and abnormal scar formation will help define better ways to successfully manage and potentially prevent abnormal healing like hypertrophic scars and keloids.