The biology of scar formation

Phys Ther. 1989 Dec;69(12):1014-24. doi: 10.1093/ptj/69.12.1014.


Scar, our body's "glue," is formed through a highly organized sequence of physiologic events. The ability of one type of collagenous tissue to weld various tissues, adapt to their structural integrity, impart tensile strength, and permit return of function is reviewed. A knowledge of wound healing enables the clinician to design and implement treatment strategies based on scar biology. The purposes of this overview are 1) to address the three phases of repair (inflammatory, fibroplastic, and remodeling), 2) to discuss the cellular processes occurring in each phase, 3) to review appropriate intervention methods based on research findings, and 4) to describe complications that interfere with normal healing.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cicatrix / physiopathology*
  • Collagen / biosynthesis
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / physiopathology
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic
  • Phagocytosis / physiology
  • Wound Healing / physiology*


  • Collagen