Can you see my scar?
Posted on 3rd April 2017
There are various types of accidents which can cause scars to develop as part of the healing process. Scars can vary in size, shape and texture and are a very visible sign of a potential personal injury claim.
This presents a challenge in itself as a scar or even multiple scars can cause distress and serve as a constant reminder of the accident making an individual feel self-conscious and develop psychological symptoms.
The following are scenarios where an individual may sustain scarring:-
- Accidents at work: Defective machinery causing hand injuries; Hot liquids and chemicals causing burn injuries
- Road traffic accidents: A motor cyclist suffering impact with another vehicle or the ground; glass shattering in a car causing lacerations
- Slips and trips: A fall which can cause cuts which do not heal adequately or falling on a surface which causes sufficient skin damage to result in scarring
- Laser treatment: A practitioner may not use the correct setting causing burns and pigmentation conditions to develop
There will be many more scenarios. I can still vividly recall an accident at the age of 15 years old where I sustained two large lacerations at a gym due to a defective strap on an exercise bike which snapped causing the pedal to rotate at speed and cut through my leg. What followed were various attempts to conceal my scars and hiding my leg due to being self-conscious.
Treatment for scars can present a maze of options. It is difficult to improve the appearance of a scar and often intervention with specialised skin creams such as silicone gels, steroid injections and surgery is required. Unfortunately most scars will be permanent and the best option going forward will be the use of camouflage makeup to conceal the scar.
Seeking compensation for scarring
An individual can seek compensation where they have suffered scarring due to a negligent act of a defendant.
Our firm will most often instruct a Consultant Plastic Surgeon to provide an opinion in relation to future prognosis concerning the scar as well as any requirement for further treatment such as scar revision surgery and if camouflage makeup is necessary.
An opinion from a Consultant Psychologist may be required where an individual develops self-consciousness, anxiety or depression due to the appearance of a scar. The award of compensation you receive for the scarring will principally be influenced by the extent, severity and location of the scarring and whether the scar(s) will improve in time as well as psychological impact.
We may also instruct a practitioner from the British Association of Skin Camouflage (BASC) to provide a report on how skin camouflage may help an individual. Often there may be a lifetime requirement for skin camouflage makeup.
Having personally experienced the lifecycle of scarring, here are my tips which may assist:
- Make an appointment with your GP or if you have private healthcare, with a Plastic Surgeon to discuss treatment options as early intervention can dictate the long term appearance of a scar.
- If you feel self-conscious about your scar you may wish to visit a department store where you can obtain advice and purchase products to conceal the scar. My personal favourite is Vichy Dermablend corrective foundation .
- You may wish to arrange a ‘camouflage consultation’ at a British Association of Skin Camouflage clinic.
- If you wish to bring an action against the Defendant take clear photos of the scar on a regular basis as these photos can be valuable evidence.
An injury leaving behind a scar can have a lifelong impact. Taking a pro-active approach at an early stage could make a significant difference.