A recent study published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine found that people with post-operative scars are twice as likely to suffer from pain and inflammation compared to healthy volunteers.

The researchers also found that these scars were more likely to cause scarring over time and result in a more visible mark on the skin, as well as scarring to the skin and joints. 

It’s unclear exactly why the scarring might be more noticeable in the post-surgery period. 

“The answer is complicated, but perhaps one of the most important is the inflammatory response, which leads to inflammation and scarring,” Dr. Peter Aiken, a researcher at the University of Utah, told the New York Times.

“The body has evolved to handle a scar and it does so by producing a protein called collagen, which helps to seal the wound.” 

However, Dr. Aiken cautioned that the inflammatory process was still not completely understood, and that further research is needed. 

Aiken and his team, including lead author of the study, Dr Jessica M. Miller, are now testing whether they can help patients with more complicated scars, like those with a facial scar.

“We’re trying to get to the root of what it is about the scar that leads to scarring, rather than trying to understand the inflammation response, because the answer may be different,” Miller told the Times.

“The goal of this study is to understand why it’s so difficult to treat these scars,” she added. 

The study was supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIAID). 

The National Institute of Dermatology (NIDDK) and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (Niaid) funded the research.